The Liberals Who Could Replace Wynne

Lousy polls and scandals alone may not kill the Ontario Liberals, but a palace coup against Kathleen Wynne surely will. Party godfather Greg Sorbara called for her ouster on TVO’s The Agenda, effectively putting a contract on the Premier’s head.

They must have forgotten how Paul Martin’s backstabbing of Jean Chretien fractured the federal Liberals and left them broken until Justin Trudeau picked up the pieces.

Is it worth benching Kathleen Wynne and putting in a reliever for the 2018 election? The idea may have some merit, but the Liberal bullpen is filled with similarly unappealing choices.

Yasir Naqvi: Unlike his predecessors  Chris Bentley and Michael Bryant, the current Attorney General is quiet about his ambitions to lead. His Queen's Park acolytes say he’s the new Obama, but that seems like a major stretch. We’re still waiting for him to properly address the case of 23-year old Adam Capay, who was held in solitary confinement for 4 years without trial. 

Deb Matthews: It seems the only reason this former Minister of Health and current deputy premier is still standing after the mess that was eHealth is because of her family connection to former Liberal premier David Peterson and friendship with current Premier Kathleen Wynne. But given the Liberals are deeply unpopular in the 519, don't count on the Liberals to pick a leader who will probably lose her London seat. 

Sandra Pupatello: After losing to Kathleen Wynne last time around, the political brawler from Windsor may be looking to finish what she started. Her record is anything but clean, with unanswered questions around the Windsor Grace Hospital and her role in the province’s hydro mess as onetime chair of Hydro One. Another downside to Sandra, the Liberals would have to find her a seat and call a by-election to get her in the legislature. And with the Liberals this low in the polls, it's no sure bet they could win any race right now. 

George Smitherman: Furious George has done more than his part to make Ontario what it is today, with roles in eHealth and the Green Energy Act. He isn't well liked within the party and many still blame him for losing to Rob Ford in the Toronto mayoral election of 2010. 

Steven Del Duca: We’ve saved the worst for last. Close ties to the Carpenters Union? Check. A former staffer to Greg Sorbara? Check. Responsible for stomach-lurching transit debacles all over the province? Check, check, check.  Vaughan MPP Del Duca has also managed to acquire that Ignatieff-like reputation as the lieutenant who’s a little too eager to outshine the boss. He’s not involved with this here website, as some commentators have led readers to believe, however.

When you consider this roster of also-rans, you might get a sense of why the Liberal power brokers are reluctant to pull the trigger!

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