Despite the optimism of Progressive Conservative candidate Tim Hudak’s Million Jobs plan in this Ontario election, it seems that everybody is rallying against it. Just yesterday, Kathleen Wynne joined the chorus of Hudak Haters by issuing an open letter to Hudak repeating all the existing criticisms.
For those who missed it, Hudak’s Million Jobs Plan was mathematically debunked by a bunch of different economists this week because they counted person-years of employment as permanent jobs to count their job creation numbers over eight years, essentially multiplying a bunch of their numbers by eight for no reason. That is not especially good mathematical policy.
Since there’s already a defamation suit between Wynne and Hudak, the Liberal leader’s open letter is decidedly uncontroversial in its content. Wynne systematically references other people who have already been mean to Hudak, rather than doing the trash talking herself. She’s even almost nice to him, calling the mathematical blunder in the Million Jobs Plan “an honest mistake.” Don’t worry, she follows it up by saying that his behavior is “deeply troubling.”
While how polite the open letter is moderately disturbing, this does continue in the saga of Tim Hudak’s elementary math mistake getting bad press. Considering how close the Ontario election race was before this major policy blunder, this entire week of bad press could be the final straw that breaks the proverbial wage worker’s back. This is even worse than Wynne’s #TractorGate.
In reality, Wynne issuing an open letter, as boring and non-controversial as it is, does one thing very right: it extends the news cycle on #Hudak8 and #HudakMath. Before today, every major media outlet had already sounded off and every pundit had voiced their two cents. This gives the media another excuse to write about the major math mistake in Hudak’s plan, another excuse to call some random economist for a quote, and another excuse for the Conference Board of Canada to be mentioned a few more times. Clearly, the strategy is working. The Conference Board of Canada has never been mentioned this frequently before this scandal.
The real question we should be asking is whether or not elementary math is something we should judge our candidates on. They have to make education policy, not go through elementary school, right?