Transcript: Show #146 "Vision Thing" | Jan 10, 1999

The opening sequence rolls.
In animation, the title "Fourth Reading" spins against a red background. Then, snippets from the current episode play.

(music plays)

Steve says THIS WEEK,
TAKING STOCK.

Steve and Premier Mike Harris stand in front of a large building, on a cold winter day.
Harris is in his forties with short graying hair. He wears a turquoise and black jacket, light blue shirt and black gloves.

He says IF THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT COMES THROUGH
WITH WHAT IT SHOULD DO - GIVE
US OUR HEALTHCARE MONEY BACK,
REDUCE THE TAXATION
IN SOME AREAS -
THEN WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT
HOW WE CAN COMPLEMENT THAT,
AND IT'LL BE A DOUBLE
BANG FOR THE BUCK,
AND I THINK ONTARIO
WILL DO EVEN BETTER.

Steve narrates PREMIER MIKE HARRIS
LOOKS AHEAD TO 1999,
THE YEAR THE VOTERS
PASS JUDGMENT ON HIS
COMMON SENSE REVOLUTION.

Now in the studio, Steve and three guests sit around a table in the shape of a number 4.

Steve is in his thirties, clean-shaven, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a beige blazer over a dark blue polo shirt.

He says HI, EVERYBODY.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
AND WELCOME TO THE FIRST
EDITION OF 4TH READING
FOR THE NEW YEAR.
1999 PROMISES TO BE A
HOT ONE AT QUEEN'S PARK.
IT'S ALSO ALMOST CERTAINLY
THE YEAR IN WHICH
PREMIER MIKE HARRIS WILL
ASK PEOPLE TO JUDGE
HIS COMMON SENSE REVOLUTION
BY CALLING AN ELECTION.
FOR SIX STRAIGHT YEARS
SINCE THIS PROGRAM DEBUTED,
THE PREMIER OF THE DAY HAS
CONSENTED TO AN ANNUAL
CONVERSATION ON THE
STATE OF THE PROVINCE
AND THE GOVERNMENT.
PREMIER MIKE HARRIS AND I
HAD THIS YEAR'S CHAT
A FEW DAYS AGO ON THE
SNOWY SOUTH LAWN
OF THE ONTARIO
LEGISLATURE.

Now, Steve and Harris walk down the stairs outside the Ontario Legislature.
Steve wears a brown jacket, red scarf, black trousers and beige gloves.

Steve says AS WE LOOK AHEAD TO 1999,
I JUST WANT TO KNOW
WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE.
WHAT'S YOUR TOP PRIORITY
BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTION?

Steve and Premier Harris walk across the street. As they walk, Steve talks to Harris.

Harris says REALLY, WHAT WE'VE
DONE IS TRY TO GET
ONTARIO BACK ON TOP.

Steve says DO YOU THINK IT IS YET?

Harris says WELL, IT IS ON
TOP IN CANADA.
THE JOB CREATION RECORD
IS VERY, VERY POSITIVE.
THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE,
I MEAN, ANOTHER 5,000
PEOPLE ARE OFF THE
WELFARE ROLLS TODAY
IN DECEMBER, AND
WE'RE NOW OVER 360,000
PEOPLE OFF THE
WELFARE ROLLS,
OVER 460,000
NEW JOBS.

Steve says DO YOU KNOW WHERE
THEY'VE GONE THOUGH?
IF THEY'RE OFF WELFARE, ARE
THEY DEFINITELY IN JOBS?

Harris says WELL, TWO INDEPENDENT
SURVEYS THAT WERE DONE
INDICATE 60 PERCENT OF
THEM INTO FULL-TIME JOBS,
AND A LOT OF THE NEW
JOBS BEING CREATED
ARE NOT MINIMUM
WAGE JOBS.
THEY ARE JOBS THAT
ARE GOOD PAYING JOBS.
SO WE'RE SEEING PEOPLE
WHO WERE SORT OF CAUGHT
IN THIS CYCLE OF
DEPENDENCY BREAKING FREE
AND GETTING HOPE AGAIN.
WE SEE '99, AND
THE TAX CUTS,
I THINK HAVE
CONTRIBUTED TO THIS.
I THINK THE POLICIES
OF OUR GOVERNMENT
HAVE CONTRIBUTED.
I THINK THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT HAS HELPED.
I THINK GETTING THE BOOKS
BALANCED HAS RESTORED
CONFIDENCE IN
INVESTMENT.

Steve says ARE YOU JUST THE RIGHT
GUY IN THE RIGHT PLACE
AT THE RIGHT
TIME THOUGH?
OR WOULD THIS NOT HAVE
HAPPENED HAD YOU
NOT BEEN IN THE CHAIR?

Harris says PEOPLE WILL PASS
JUDGMENTS ON THAT,
I'LL ALLOW OTHERS
TO PASS OPINIONS.
BUT CERTAINLY, THE
RECORD'S CLEAR.
OUR POLICIES OF REDUCING
TAXES, NOT INCREASING THEM,
REDUCING RED TAPE, AND
ENCOURAGING INVESTMENT
HAS PRODUCED A DRAMATIC
DIFFERENT RESULT
THAN SAY, BRITISH
COLUMBIA,
WHICH WENT IN A
DIFFERENT DIRECTION,
OR EVEN SOME OF THE STATES
THAT WE'VE COMPETED WITH.
SO WE THINK WE'VE
CONTRIBUTED POSITIVELY,
BUT SO HAS THE
PRIVATE SECTOR,
SO HAVE ONTARIANS
RALLYING TOGETHER,
SO HAS THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT.
'99 - '99 WE SEE AS THE YEAR,
WE CALL IT THE YEAR
OF THE MIDDLE CLASS.

Steve says SOUNDS LIKE A
GOOD ELECTION SLOGAN.

Harris says WELL, WE WANT TO SEE MORE
PEOPLE COME INTO MIDDLE CLASS.
THOSE THAT ARE NOT WORKING,
WE WANT TO SEE WORKING.
THOSE WHO WE CLASSIFY
AS WORKING POOR,
WHO DON'T HAVE INCOMES
THAT WE BELIEVE ARE STRONG
ENOUGH TO BE ABLE TO MEET THEIR
OBJECTIVES AND THEIR GOALS,
WE'D LIKE TO SEE THEM MOVE
INTO THE MIDDLE CLASS.
WE'D LIKE TO SEE THE
MIDDLE CLASS KEEP MORE
OF THEIR OWN MONEY.

Steve says SO WHICH TAXES ARE YOU
GOING TO CUT IN THE NEXT
BUDGET, CAN YOU
TELL US?

Harris says NO, I CAN'T
TELL YOU THAT.
YOU HAVE TO WAIT FOR
THE BUDGET FOR THAT.
WE'RE WATCHING THE
FEDERAL BUDGET RIGHT NOW.
OUR GOAL IS TO MAKE
SURE THAT THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT DOESN'T UNDO
SOME OF THE GOOD WE'VE DONE.
SO IF THEY WILL CUT SOME
TAXES, AND THEY'RE
IN A 10, 14, 15 BILLION DOLLARS
SURPLUS NEXT YEAR.
THIS WILL BENEFIT
ONTARIANS AS WELL.
AND WE'LL TAKE A LOOK AT
OUR FISCAL SITUATION.
WE'RE STILL A COUPLE
OF YEARS AWAY
FROM BALANCING OUR BOOKS.
WE STILL HAVE SUBSTANTIAL
INVESTMENTS TO MAKE
IN HEALTHCARE AS
YOU KNOW.
SO IF THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT COMES THROUGH
WITH WHAT IT SHOULD DO,
GIVE US OUR HEALTHCARE
MONEY BACK, REDUCE THE
TAXATION IN SOME AREAS,
THEN WE'LL TAKE A LOOK
AT HOW WE CAN COMPLEMENT THAT,
AND IT'LL BE A DOUBLE
BANG FOR THE BUCK,
AND I THINK ONTARIO
WILL DO EVEN BETTER.

Steve says I THINK I, LIKE YOU, TAKE
A LOT OF MY CUES ABOUT
POLITICS FROM MY
HOCKEY BUDDIES.
YOU KNOW, YOU'RE SITTING
AROUND IN THE DRESSING ROOM
AFTER THE GAME, AND
YOU WANT TO KNOW
WHAT PEOPLE TALK ABOUT.
AND I'VE GOT TO TELL
YOU A LOT OF THEM
ARE COMPLIMENTARY.
THEY LIKE THE FACT YOU CAME
THROUGH ON THE TAX CUTS,
AND THAT YOU GOT
RID OF PHOTO RADAR,
AND YOU DID WHAT YOU SAID YOU
WERE GOING TO DO ON WELFARE.
THE OTHER SIDE
OF THIS, THOUGH,
IS THAT THEY'RE CONCERNED
THAT STUFF THAT WASN'T
IN THE COMMON SENSE
REVOLUTION,
STUFF YOU DIDN'T
CAMPAIGN ON,
LIKE FOR EXAMPLE THE
CREATION OF THE MEGACITY,
OR BILL 160, OR MAYBE THE WAY
YOU HANDLED THE DIONNE QUINT
SITUATION, THAT'S
BEEN SUB PAR.
DO YOU ACKNOWLEDGE
THAT, YOU KNOW,
AS MANY AREAS AS YOU LIKE
TO THINK YOU'VE DONE WELL,
YOU'VE BLOWN A FEW, TOO?

Harris says WELL,
I THINK IN THE BIG
AREAS WE HAVE DONE WELL,
AND I THINK WHEN YOU
TALK ABOUT ONE CITY,
WE TALKED ABOUT
FEWER POLITICIANS,
WE TALKED ABOUT
RESTRUCTURING
IN MUNICIPALITIES SO WE
COULD GET MORE FOR LESS.

Steve says BUT I'M LOOKING
AT THE GENERAL PRINCIPLE HERE,
NOT THE SPECIFIC,
THE GENERAL PRINCIPLE
OF WHAT YOU CAMPAIGNED
ON, WHAT YOU KNEW ABOUT
FOR THE PAST THREE
YEARS YOU WERE GOOD AT.
STUFF THAT CAME
ALONG LATER,
YOU WEREN'T SO GOOD AT.
IS THAT A FAIR
CRITICISM?

Harris says I THINK SOME OF THE THINGS
WE DIDN'T HANDLE NEARLY
AS WELL AS WE WANTED.
LISTEN, WE'LL MAKE MISTAKES
EVERY DAY WHEN YOU LOOK
AT THE MYRIAD OF ISSUES
WE HAVE TO HANDLE.
BUT THEY ARE
WELL-INTENTIONED MISTAKES.
WE HAVEN'T HAD A LOT OF
COOPERATION FROM SOME UNIONS
IN SOME OF THE
REFORMS THAT ARE BETTER
FOR THEIR UNION MEMBERS,
BRINGING THEM MORE JOBS,
BRINGING THEIR COMPANIES
MORE MONEY SO THEY CAN GET
MORE MONEY, SAVING THE
PUBLIC SECTOR, YOU KNOW?
SO WE'VE HAD A LOT OF
MISINFORMATION OUT THERE
AND CAMPAIGNS TRYING TO
FIGHT US ALONG THE WAY,
AND PERHAPS WE DIDN'T
SPEND AS MUCH TIME
COMMUNICATING WHAT WE
WERE DOING AND WHY
WE WERE DOING IT AND HOW
THIS WOULD LEAD
TO A MORE MODERN, BETTER
HEALTHCARE SYSTEM,
OR EDUCATION SYSTEM
AT THE END OF THE DAY.

Steve says HAS THAT BEEN YOUR
CHIEF DISAPPOINTMENT
THAT YOU FEEL YOU HAVE AN
INABILITY TO COMMUNICATE
WHAT YOU SEE AS
A GOOD MESSAGE?

Harris says I THINK OUR
OPPONENTS REALLY,
WHEN I STOP
AND LOOK AT IT,
THEY'VE BEEN ABLE TO
CONVINCE SOME PEOPLE
THAT SOMEHOW OR
OTHER OUR AGENDA
IS NOT AS IT WAS THERE.
WE'VE DONE SO
MUCH FOR CHILDREN.
WHEN I LOOK AT
NUTRITION PROGRAMS,
WHEN I LOOK AT THE
THOUSAND DOLLAR CREDIT
FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES
FOR EVERY CHILD,
UP TO A THOUSAND DOLLARS
UP TO SEVEN YEARS OLD,
WHEN I LOOK AT THE
WELFARE REFORMS.
WHEN I LOOK AT THE
EDUCATION -

Steve says YOU'VE CUT WELFARE
FOR A LOT OF KIDS THOUGH.

Harris says ACTUALLY, WE HAVEN'T.
WHAT WE'VE DONE IS CUT THE
GOVERNMENT PORTION
AND INCREASED THE
EARNING PORTION
AND THE PRIVATE
SECTOR PORTION.
AND HAS IT BEEN
PERFECT?
NO, BUT I CAN TELL YOU
THERE ARE MORE SUCCESS
STORIES THAN THERE ARE
STORIES OF THOSE WHO
JUST SAT BACK AND
SAID WOE IS US.
AND THOSE WHO COULDN'T WORK
WE'VE MAINTAINED WELFARE,
30, 40, 50 PERCENT HIGHER
THAN THE REST OF CANADA.
WE'VE RECEIVED PLAUDITS
FROM SOME, NOT EVERYBODY,
FOR TAKING PEOPLE WITH
DISABILITIES OFF
OF WELFARE AND GIVING
THEM A SEPARATE PROGRAM,
AND GIVING THEM
OPPORTUNITIES.
SO IT HASN'T BEEN PERFECT,
BUT OUR MOTIVE IS TO HAVE
A BETTER LIFE FOR CHILDREN
TO SEE THOSE WHO ARE
WORKING POOR GET BETTER
OPPORTUNITIES IN LIFE.
AND WE'VE DONE A NUMBER
OF THINGS THAT I THINK
HAVE IMPROVED THINGS
IN THAT AREA.
I'M THE FIRST ONE TO SAY
THERE'S A LOT MORE TO DO.
BUT THE BIGGEST FAILING,
PERHAPS WE'VE ALLOWED
THE UNIONS AND SOME OF
OUR POLITICAL OPPONENTS
TO MISREPRESENT
THE MOTIVE.
AND WE'RE TRYING TO MAKE
SURE PEOPLE UNDERSTAND
WHY WE'RE DOING
THESE THINGS.

Steve says OKAY, PREMIER, LET'S
WALK A LITTLE MORE,
IF YOU DON'T MIND.
MY SUSPICION IS MOST
NEW GOVERNMENTS,
WHEN THEY COME
INTO OFFICE,
THEY HOPE THEY HAVE A
UNIFYING RATHER THAN
A DIVISIVE EFFECT ON THE
PUBLIC THAT THEY SERVE.
AND I GUESS THE KNOCK I
HEAR ABOUT YOU GUYS ALL
THE TIME IS THAT HASN'T
BEEN THE CASE WITH YOU.
THAT YOUR GOVERNMENT
BECAUSE IT CAME TO POWER
WITH SUCH AN AGENDA, HAS
POLARIZED THIS PROVINCE
MORE THAN IT'S
HELPED UNIFY IT.
DON'T YOU THINK
THAT'S THE CASE?

Harris says I THINK THERE ARE SOME WHO
FEEL THAT THEY HAVE BEEN
POLARIZED, BUT REALLY AND
TRULY I THINK THERE
ARE SOME, THE VESTED
INTERESTS, I WOULD
CALL THEM, THE SPECIAL
INTERESTS WHO
KIND OF HAD THEIR WAY.
SOON AS THEY
RAISED THEIR VOICE,
THEY KNEW HOW TO
ACCESS GOVERNMENT,
THEY KNEW HOW
TO GET TO MEDIA,
GOVERNMENT ALWAYS BACKED
DOWN AND GAVE THEM
WHATEVER THEY WANTED.
AND WE RESISTED THAT.
WE RESISTED THE TEMPTATION
TO PLAY INTO THAT.
AND CERTAINLY IT'S
NOT BEEN OUR GOAL,
YOU'RE QUITE RIGHT,
EVERY GOVERNMENT,
INCLUDING MIKE
HARRIS' GOVERNMENT,
INCLUDING ME PERSONALLY,
WANTS TO REPRESENT
ALL THE PEOPLE, IT WANTS
TO BE A UNIFYING FORCE.

Steve says LET ME ASK YOU
ABOUT TRILLIUM.
TRILLIUM IS THIS FOUNDATION
WHICH IS GOING TO DISPENSE
100 MILLION DOLLARS IN LOTTERY
MONEY AND CASINO MONEYS.
AND, YOU KNOW, A COUPLE
OF BOARD MEMBERS HAVE
RESIGNED IN RATHER
SPECTACULAR FASHION
LATELY BECAUSE THE FORMER
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
WAS LET GO IN A WAY THEY
THOUGHT WAS UNFAIR.
AND THE ARGUMENT THEY ARE
MAKING IS THESE FORMERLY
ARM'S LENGTH ORGANIZATIONS
FROM GOVERNMENT
ARE NO LONGER.
THAT YOU'VE PUT TOO MANY
PARTISAN APPOINTMENTS
ON THEM, AND THAT
THIS ORGANIZATION
WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY
PURE AND PRISTINE,
IS NOW GOING TO BASICALLY
BE A TORY SLUSH FUND.
I KNOW YOU DON'T
BELIEVE THAT.

Harris says NO, WE DON'T.

Steve says BUT HOW WOULD YOU
CONVINCE PEOPLE
THAT'S NOT THE CASE?

Harris says WELL, LISTEN, THIS IS A
HUGE GOOD NEWS STORY.
TRILLIUM IS GOING FROM
10 TO 12 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR
TO 100 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.
WE HAD OUTSIDE CONSULTANTS
GO ACROSS THIS PROVINCE
EXTENSIVELY FOR A YEAR,
AND THEY MET WITH LOCAL
CHARITIES, AND WITH
LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS,
AND WITH NON-PROFIT GROUPS
IN TOWN AFTER TOWN AFTER
TOWN, AND ALL OF THEM SAID
IT SEEMS THERE ARE A FEW
INSIDERS KNOW HOW TO
ACCESS CHARITABLE MONEY
FROM THE GOVERNMENT
AND FROM TRILLIUM,
AND THE REST OF US SEEM
TO BE SHUT OUT FROM THAT.
SO WHATEVER YOU DO, IF
YOU'RE GOING TO INCREASE
THE POT, AND YOU'RE GOING
TO DO IT THROUGH TRILLIUM,
YOU BETTER
REFORM TRILLIUM,
AND MAKE IT MORE SENSITIVE
TO LOCAL PRIORITIES.

Steve says IT WASN'T BEFORE?

Harris says NO, IT CLEARLY WAS
NOT, NEAR AS MUCH
AS IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN.
NOW 80 PERCENT OF THAT
MONEY, 80 MILLION DOLLARS,
AND ESSENTIALLY THE NEW
MONEY, THE BIG BULK OF IT,
THE ACTUAL TRILLIUM BOARD,
AND THE TRILLIUM DIRECTOR,
WILL NOT HAVE
THE FINAL SAY.
IT'S NOT ONLY GOING TO BE
MORE ARM'S LENGTH THAN
IT WAS BEFORE, THE GOVERNMENT
STILL HAS TRILLIUM
AS ARM'S LENGTH, BUT IT WILL
BE LOCAL GROUPS AND LOCAL
COMMITTEES THAT
WE'VE SET UP THAT
WILL MAKE THE DECISION.
THERE WERE SOME WHO
RESISTED THAT CHANGE, CLEARLY.
THERE WERE SOME BOARD
MEMBERS LIKED THE OLD WAY.
BUT, YOU KNOW, OUR
GOVERNMENT SAID
WE'RE GOING TO EXPAND
SUBSTANTIALLY.
THIS WILL BE THE LARGEST
CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION
NOW IN CANADA.
AND WE WOULD LIKE IT NOT
TO BE SO CENTRALIZED.
WE DON'T WANT THE
GOVERNMENT INVOLVED,
BUT WE DON'T WANT TRILLIUM
EXECUTIVE LOCATED IN TORONTO
TO BE MAKING ALL
THESE DECISIONS EITHER.

Steve says AND YOU CATEGORICALLY DENY
THIS IS GOING TO BE BECOME
A, QUOTE AND QUOTE,
"TORY SLUSH FUND"?

Harris says IN FACT THE EXACT OPPOSITE
WILL BE THE CASE.
SO THE MANDATE HAS
CHANGED.
IT'S GROWN.
IT REALLY IS, AND I THINK
PEOPLE WILL SEE IT,
IT WILL BE A TERRIFIC
GOOD NEWS STORY
FOR COMMUNITIES,
INCLUDING TORONTO,
WHO WILL HAVE A LOT MORE
SAY IN HOW THEY BELIEVE
THESE DOLLARS SHOULD GO
TO NOT ONLY CHARITABLE,
BUT TO NON-PROFIT, AND TO
BENEFIT THE COMMUNITIES
IN THE AREA.

Steve says OKAY, IT'S ABOUT MINUS 15
AND BLOWING LIKE CRAZY
OUT HERE, SO WHY DON'T WE
HEAD BACK TOWARDS THIS WAY,
AND WE'LL DO A COUPLE
MORE QUESTIONS.

They both start to walk towards the Legislature.

Steve says I GUESS ONE OF THE LAST
THINGS I WANT TO FIND OUT
FROM YOU IS WHETHER OR NOT
YOU THINK THE MAIN THING
YOU CAME INTO
GOVERNMENT TO DO,
WHICH WAS BASICALLY GET
IT A LITTLE BIT LESS
INTO PEOPLE'S LIVES, SHRINK
IT, HAVE IT LESS INTRUSIVE
IN OUR LIVES, WHETHER IN
FACT YOU'VE ACHIEVED THAT.
BECAUSE THE ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT IS STILL
SPENDING MORE THAN
50 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR.
YOU HAVEN'T CUT
SPENDING ALL THAT MUCH.
HAVE YOU FAILED TO DO
THE CHIEF THING
YOU CAME INTO
OFFICE TO DO?

Harris says WELL, WE'VE TRIED
TO CUT OUT WASTE.
WE'VE CERTAINLY CONTROLLED
SPENDING BETTER THAN IT WAS.
IT'S NOT ACCELERATED.
AND WE'VE TRIED TO,
IN A NUMBER OF AREAS,
CUT OUT WASTE AND THEN
REDIRECT IT INTO
MORE PROGRAMS, OR
BETTER PROGRAMS,
OR AREAS WE BELIEVE
ARE IMPORTANT.
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES,
WE REDUCED SOME MONEY
INITIALLY IN THE FIRST
YEAR AND SAID WE WANT
YOU TO TAKE THIS OUT
OF ADMINISTRATION.
WE WANT YOU TO LOOK AT
HOW YOU CUT THE FAT,
NOT THE PROGRAMS.
THEN WE HAVE SUBSTANTIALLY
REINVESTED IT BACK
INTO COLLEGES AND
UNIVERSITIES, IN RESEARCH
AND DEVELOPMENT, IN
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY,
IN A WHOLE HOST OF AREAS.

Steve says BUT IS GOVERNMENT
JUST TOO UNWIELDY?
IS GOVERNMENT
TOO UNWIELDY?

Harris says LISTEN, I THINK WE'VE
HAD SOME SUCCESS.
WE'VE CUT A LOT
OF RED TAPE.
HAVE WE DONE
ENOUGH YET?
IS THERE MORE
THAN CAN BE DONE?
I THINK IT'S A
CONSTANT EXERCISE.
THERE'S A LOT
MORE TO BE DONE.
I BELIEVE THIS PROVINCE,
WE'VE GONE ACTUALLY
FROM LAST IN CANADA IN A NUMBER
OF CATEGORIES IMPORTANT,
MOST PEOPLE DEPENDENT UPON
WELFARE IN THE COUNTRY
PER CAPITA, WE
WERE THE WORST.
WE'RE NOW MOVING
TOWARDS THE BEST.
THE JOB NUMBERS DOWN
NOW BELOW 7 PERCENT
UNEMPLOYMENT RATES,
WE WERE UP OVER 8
PUSHING 9 PERCENT.
WE'VE DONE BETTER IN A
WHOLE HOST OF AREAS,
BUT THERE'S STILL
A LOT TO BE DONE.

Steve says I KNOW ALL THIS.
I KNOW ALL THIS BECAUSE
THE TAX FIGHTERS
ON TV IN COMMERCIALS
ARE TELLING ME THIS ALL THE TIME.
I CAN'T TURN ON THE
RADIO OR TV WITHOUT
SEEING YOU THESE DAYS.

Harris says PEOPLE HAVE SAID WE WANT
TO HEAR FROM YOU MORE.
WE WANT YOU TO
COMMUNICATE MORE.
AND THE OPPOSITION AND
THE UNIONS HAVE DONE
A BETTER JOB OF COMMUNICATING
SOME OF THESE THINGS,
AND OFTEN TIMES THEIR
INFORMATION...

Steve says YOU'RE NOT WORRIED
THIS IS BACKFIRING?
SPENDING PUBLIC MONEY
TO MAKE THESE ADS?

Harris says WE SPEND SOME
PUBLIC MONEY.
WE'RE PROBABLY BACK TO THE
LEVEL THE LIBERALS
AND THE NDP SPENT,
NOT EVEN COUNTING
INDEXING FOR
INFLATION.
AND WE DIDN'T COMMUNICATE
A LOT IN THE FIRST YEAR
OR TWO, AND PERHAPS WE
PAID A PRICE FOR THAT.
SO I THINK WE HAVE TO,
WE'RE CERTAINLY NOT
COMMUNICATING IF YOU LIKE,
OR SPENDING MORE THAN
PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS DID,
BUT WE ARE DOING MORE
THAN WE DID IN THE
FIRST TWO YEARS.
WE WERE SO BUSY GETTING
THINGS DONE THAT PERHAPS
WE DIDN'T DO ENOUGH
IN THOSE AREAS.

Steve says I APOLOGIZE.
I TOOK YOU OFF COURSE
THERE FOR A SECOND,
BUT TELL ME AGAIN WHY DOES
GOVERNMENT NEED TO BE SMALLER?
WHY PHILOSOPHICALLY
IS THAT IMPORTANT?

Harris says IT'S NOT JUST
PHILOSOPHICALLY,
I THINK YOU WANT GOVERNMENT
TO BE AS EFFICIENT
AS IT CAN POSSIBLY BE.
AND WHEN YOU DO THAT, YOU
LEAVE MORE DOLLARS AND MORE
OPPORTUNITIES IN THE HANDS
OF THE HARD WORKING,
MIDDLE CLASS, WORKING
CLASS, WORKING ONTARIANS.
AND THE MORE THEY HAVE,
THE MORE THEY SPEND,
THE MORE JOBS THEY CREATE,
AND THE MORE SECURE
THEY ARE, AND THE MORE
PROSPEROUS
THE WHOLE COUNTRY IS.

Steve says YOU REALLY THINK IT
TURNS OUT THAT WAY?
I KNOW YOU'VE BEEN GOING
AROUND THE PROVINCE
WITH YOUR JAR OF LOONIES
SHOWING PEOPLE HOW MUCH
THEY'VE SAVED UNDER
YOUR TAX CUTS, HOWEVER,
THERE ARE MORE CO-PAYMENTS,
THERE ARE MORE USER FEES,
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
HAS MOVED INTO AREAS
WHERE YOU'VE
REDUCED TAXES.

Harris says WELL, THE FEDS ARE
MOVED INTO SOME AREAS.

Steve continues SO WE'RE NO FURTHER
AHEAD THEN, MAYBE.

Harris says WELL, WE'RE A LOT FURTHER
AHEAD THAN IF WE HAD NOT.
AND WE ARE FURTHER
AHEAD IN SO MANY AREAS.
LISTEN, SOME PEOPLE HAVE
SAID PROPERTY TAXES
HAVE GONE UP.
PROPERTY TAXES HAVE GONE
UP THE LEAST UNDER
OUR ADMINISTRATION THAN THEY
HAVE IN THE LAST 20 YEARS.
SO, YOU KNOW,
IN MANY CASES,
THEY HAVEN'T EVEN GONE UP
THE RATE OF INFLATION.
SO CERTAINLY COLLECTIVELY
WE'RE BETTER OFF.
AND WE'RE SO MUCH BETTER
OFF THAN WE WOULD HAVE BEEN
HAD WE HAD ANOTHER TEN
YEARS OF THE SPENDING
WE HAD IN THE TEN
YEARS PREVIOUS.

Steve says AS ALWAYS, WE THANK
YOU FOR YOUR TIME,
AND THE BEST TO YOU AND
YOUR FAMILY
IN THIS NEW YEAR.

Harris says THANK YOU, STEVE.

Now, back on the studio,
Steve says PREMIER HARRIS ON THE SOUTH
LAWN OF QUEEN'S PARK.
WELL, FOR SOME THOUGHTS
ON WHAT WE CAN ALL EXPECT
FROM OUR LEGISLATURES
THIS YEAR,
LET US WELCOME
BACK RUTH GRIER,
THE FORMER NDP CABINET
MINISTER FROM 1990 TO 1995,

Ruth is in her sixties, with short white hair. She is wearing a bluish- green blouse.

Steve continues JOHN DUFFY WHO'S WITH
STRATEGY CORP, A BIG
LIBERAL BACK ROOM GUY,

John is in his thirties with short brown hair. He wears glasses, a dark gray blazer, blue shirt and black and red patterned tie.

Steve says AND MAC PENNEY FROM
GPC, GOVERNMENT POLICY
CONSULTANTS,
AND OCCASIONAL TORY
SUPPORTER, WE'RE TOLD.

Mac is in his fifties with short white hair. He wears a white shirt, black suit and patterned red tie.

Steve continues LET US GO, WE ALL KNOW THIS
IS GOING TO BE AN ELECTION
YEAR, AND I DIDN'T WASTE
A LOT OF TIME
WITH THE PREMIER TALKING
ABOUT IT BECAUSE
HE'S GOING TO DENY IT,
AND WE ALL KNOW IT.
OKAY, WHAT'S EVERYBODY DO
AT THIS STAGE, PRESUMABLY,
FOUR, FIVE, SIX, MAXIMUM
NINE MONTHS BEFORE
AN ELECTION IS CALLED?
JOHN, CAN YOU GIVE US A SENSE
ABOUT WHAT ARE LIBERALS
BEHIND THE SCENES DOING
RIGHT NOW TO GET READY?

A caption appears on screen. It reads: "John Duffy, Ontarian Liberal Activist."

John says WELL, I THINK THE
PRINCIPAL WORK
IS IN ORGANIZING
RIDING CAMPAIGNS.
THAT'S WHERE THESE
THINGS ARE WON AND LOST.
WE LIVE IN A MATURE
THREE PARTY SYSTEM.
WE'VE HAD ALL THREE
DIFFERENT PARTIES BECOME
GOVERNMENT AT ONE POINT
OR ANOTHER OVER THE
PAST TEN OR SO YEARS.
AND THAT MEANS THAT ANY
PARTY CAN WIN THIS THING.
I THINK THE LIBERALS ARE
GOING TO WIN THIS THING,
BUT THE PLACE WHERE THAT
GETS DECIDED IS IN EACH
OF THE RIDINGS AROUND
THE PROVINCE.
AND THAT'S THE FOCUS IS
GETTING THE CANDIDATES
NOMINATED, THE CAMPAIGN
TEAMS IN PLACE LOCALLY,
AND THE BROCHURES UP AND
RUNNING AND THE VOTERS' LISTS
READY TO GO, AND
GETTING OUT THERE
AND WORKING HARD.

Steve says WHAT ABOUT THE
LEADER?
WHAT'S YOUR
LEADER DOING?

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Ruth Grier. Former NDP cabinet minister."

Ruth says CAN I ADD, I MEAN,
OBVIOUSLY WE'RE DOING ALL
OF THOSE THINGS WITH THE
ADDITION OF TRYING
TO FOCUS ON THE SUBSTANCE OF
WHAT WE'RE GOING TO SAY
IN THE CAMPAIGN.
AND FOR US,
THAT'S, I THINK,
ONE OF THE LESSONS WE
LEARNED FROM BEING GOVERNMENT.
THAT YOU NEED TO PUT IN
FRONT OF THE PEOPLE,
ONE OF THE LESSONS YOU
LEARNED FROM MIKE HARRIS
IN THE COMMON SENSE
REVOLUTION, A FAIRLY CLEAR,
SUCCINCT NUMBER OF PLEDGES
OF WHAT YOU WOULD DO
IF YOU BECAME THE
GOVERNMENT.
AND HAVING HAD UNDER HOWIE
HAMPTON A SORT OF YEARLONG
PROCESS OF POLICY
DISCUSSION, WE'RE NOW,
AS WELL AS ALL OF THE
MECHANICS, FOCUSING ON,
OKAY, OF ALL THE THINGS
WE WOULD LIKE TO DO
IN GOVERNMENT, WHAT
ARE THE PRIORITIES,
HOW CAN WE AFFORD THEM?
AND WE SAY WE'LL AFFORD
THEM BY PULLING BACK
THE TAX CUT FOR THE TOP
10 PERCENT OF TAXPAYERS.
AND HOW DO WE THEN
COMMUNICATE THAT
TO THE PEOPLE OF
THE PROVINCE?

Steve says AND HOWIE IS DOING WHAT
ON THAT SCORE RIGHT NOW?

Ruth says WELL, HOWIE IS IN FACT
ARTICULATING THAT APPROACH.
HE IS POINTING OUT
THAT FOR NEW DEMOCRATS,
HOW WE PAY FOR OUR
COMMITMENTS TO REINVEST
IN HEALTHCARE, EDUCATION IS
VERY CLEARLY PULLING BACK
THE HARRIS TAX CUT FROM
THOSE EARNING OVER 80,000 DOLLARS
A YEAR, AND CONTINUING
TO FOCUS ON THOSE ISSUES.
AND I THINK IT'S THE
REPETITION AND THE
FOCUSING OF THE CAMPAIGN
THAT IS GOING TO MAKE
A DIFFERENCE WHEN
IT HAPPENS.

Steve says ARE PEOPLE ENGAGED YET?
THE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM
IS THAT IT'S ACTUALLY
HALFWAY THROUGH AN ELECTION
CAMPAIGN WHERE PEOPLE
REALLY START TO
PAY ATTENTION.
BUT IS THAT TO SAY ALL THE
MONEY TORY SPENT SLAMMING
DALTON MCGUINTY ON
HIS HEALTHCARE WITH
THE QUESTION MARKS
ALL OVER HIS FACE,
IS THAT THROWING
AWAY MONEY?
OR ANY OF THE 40 MILLION
PLUS WORTH OF ADS THAT
THE TORIES ARE RUNNING NOW
ABOUT HOW THEY'VE REFORMED
HEALTHCARE AND ALL THESE
OTHER GOOD THINGS.
IS THAT WASTED MONEY?

Mac says NOT ACCORDING TO THE
MOST RECENT POLL.

Steve says TELL THE
PEOPLE WHAT YOU MEAN.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Mac Penney, Ontario PC advisor."

Mac says BEING HALF FACETIOUS,
I DON'T THINK IT HAD
A LOT TO DO WITH
THE ADVERTISING,
BUT THE GOVERNMENT HAD
TO BE ENCOURAGED
BY THE RECENT ENVIRONICS
POLL AT 43, 41, 14.

Steve says 43 TORY, 41
LIBERAL, 14 NDP.

Mac continues YES, THOSE ARE THE
NUMBERS I RECALL.
SO IS IT WASTED?
WE'LL ONLY KNOW AT THE
END OF THE 28 DAY
CONSULTATION
WITH THE PEOPLE.
BY ARE PEOPLE ENGAGED?
I DON'T THINK THAT
THE GREAT MASS
OF THE ELECTORATE IS
ENGAGED AT THIS POINT.
WE LIVE IN A - US LITTLE
GROUP OF PUNDITS AROUND
HERE LIVE IN A HYPER
POLITICIZED UNIVERSE.
THE GREAT MAJORITY OF
ONTARIANS HAVE REAL LIVES,
AND WILL ONLY FOCUS AS
IT BECOMES CONSIDERABLY
CLOSER TO THE GREAT DAY.

Ruth interrupts and says BUT STEVE, IN YOUR
INTERVIEW THE PREMIER
FOCUSED ALMOST ENTIRELY
ON THE ECONOMY,
WHAT HAS HAPPENED
TO THE ECONOMY,
AND I AGREE THAT FOR THE
MAJORITY OF ONTARIANS
THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY
IS WHAT IS LARGELY
GOING TO DETERMINE THEIR
ATTITUDE TO GOVERNMENT.
WE CAN SEE THAT SOUTH
OF THE BORDER WHERE
THE PRESIDENT'S OTHER PROBLEMS
FADE IN LIGHT OF THE ECONOMY.
AND MIKE HARRIS HAS
BEEN THE BENEFICIARY
OF AN ENORMOUS
ECONOMIC CHARGE
OVER THE LAST FOUR
OR FIVE YEARS.

Steve says IF YOU'RE RIGHT
ABOUT THAT, RUTH,
THEN HE WINS THE
NEXT ELECTION.

John says I TRUST, STEVE, AND EVERYBODY
THAT THE NDP'S MESSAGE
WILL NOT BE WHAT
A GREAT ECONOMY,
BOY, HE HAD NOTHING
TO DO WITH IT.
I THINK THE LIBERALS
ARE GOING TO HAVE
A MORE FOCUSED
APPROACHING.

Ruth says BUT HE DIDN'T HAVE
MUCH TO DO WITH IT.

John continues BUT THE REALITY
IS THAT RIGHT NOW,
THERE'S NO QUESTION THE
CONSERVATIVES ARE SPENDING
SOMEWHERE BETWEEN 50
AND 100 MILLION DOLLARS
ON ADVERTISING, ESSENTIALLY
TO SHORE UP THEIR
TWO WEAKEST POINTS, WHICH IS
ON HEALTHCARE AND EDUCATION
WHERE THEY'VE JUST
TAKEN A HAMMERING.
AND RIGHT NOW BECAUSE
THEY'VE GOT ALL
THIS GOVERNMENT TAXPAYER
MONEY TO SPEND ON ALL
THIS ADVERTISING, AND ALL
THE FUNDRAISING DOLLARS
THAT THEY ARE ABLE TO RAISE AS
A PARTY TO SPEND ON OTHER
ADVERTISING, THEY'RE ABLE
TO OWN THE AIR WAVES.
WHAT'S UP TO THE OPPOSITION
PARTIES TO DO RIGHT NOW
IS JUST KEEP HAMMERING
AWAY AT THE TORY'S
VULNERABILITIES, WHICH
THEY HAVE BEEN DOING
FOR SEVERAL MONTHS, AND THEY
ARE GOING TO KEEP DOING,
WHICH ARE HEALTHCARE
AND EDUCATION.
HARRIS IS IN THE PROCESS
OF TRYING TO CHANGE
THE SUBJECT TO THE
BUOYANT ECONOMIC TIMES,
WHICH WE STILL
SEEM TO BE IN,
ALTHOUGH THE ECONOMY
IS SOFTENING QUITE
DRAMATICALLY TO GET
AWAY FROM HIS
VULNERABLE ISSUES.

Steve says YOU KNOW, JOHN, HARRIS HAS
CLEARLY BRANDED HIMSELF
AS THE TAX FIGHTER.
HE RAN IN 1990 AS
THE TAX FIGHTER,
AND '95 AS THE
TAX FIGHTER,
AND HE SAID IN THE
INTERVIEW I INTEND
TO CUT MORE TAXES
IN THE NEXT BUDGET.
HAVING SAID THAT, YOUR GUY
DALTON MCGUINTY COMES OUT
AND SAYS ALL THE TIME,
I'M A HEALTHCARE
AND EDUCATION GUY.
BUT NO ONE KNOWS WHAT
THAT MEANS REALLY.
AT WHAT POINT DO YOU
HAVE TO EXPLAIN THAT
I'M THE HEALTHCARE AND
EDUCATION GUY ACTUALLY
MEANS SOMETHING BESIDES
JUST WHATEVER -

John says I CAN TELL YOU EXACTLY
WHAT IT MEANS.
MIKE HARRIS SAYS
I'M THE TAX CUT GUY.
AND HE SAYS I'M
GOING TO CUT TAXES
IN THE NEXT BUDGET, AND
WE'RE EXPECTING HE'LL
DO SOMETHING LIKE
CUT THE SALES TAX,
OR CUT THE PERSONAL
INCOME TAX AGAIN.
DALTON MCGUINTY
HAS SAID, NO,
I'M A HEALTH AND
EDUCATION GUY,
SO I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE
THE MONEY WE EXPECT
TO HAVE IN THE BUDGETARY
SURPLUS AND PUT IT
INTO FURTHER TAX CUTS, I'M
GOING TO TAKE IT AND PUT IT
INTO RESTORING OUR PUBLIC
SERVICES IN HEALTHCARE
AND EDUCATION WHICH -

Several guests speak at the same time.

Steve interrupts and says GIVE YOU ONE MORE
CHANCE HERE, MAC.
WHAT HAPPENS IF IN THE
NEXT ONTARIO BUDGET,
ERNIE EVES, OR WHOEVER'S
TREASURER AT THAT POINT,
DECIDES TO LOWER THE
SALES TAX TWO POINTS.
DO THE LIBERALS
CAMPAIGN AT PUTTING IT
BACK UP TWO POINTS?
OR DO THEY KEEP
IT WHERE IT IS?

John says THAT'S AN EVENTUALITY
WE'LL HAVE TO SEE IF AND
WHEN THAT HAPPENS, AND
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
HAS SOMETHING TO SAY
ABOUT THE TAX STREAM
THAT THE PROVINCE HAS.
BUT MCGUINTY HAS MADE IT
EXTREMELY CLEAR THAT HIS
PRIORITY IS NOT ON
FURTHER TAX CUTS FROM
THE ONES HARRIS HAS
ALREADY PUT IN PLACE.
THAT HIS PRIORITY IS ON
RESTORING HEALTHCARE
AND EDUCATION TO LEVELS
FAMILIES CAN RELY ON.

Ruth says SO HE'S ASSUMING THE
ECONOMY WILL STAY BUOYANT.

Mac says THAT THERE'S GOING TO
BE A SURPLUS WHICH HE
CAN INVEST IN HEALTH
AND EDUCATION,
WHICH ALLEGEDLY HARRY
WOULD INVEST IN A TAX CUT.
IF THERE IS NO SURPLUS,
WHAT DOES Mr. MCGUINTY
DO TO INVEST IN HEALTH AND
EDUCATION PROGRAMS
WHICH HE'LL DELIVER?

John says HARRIS HOPES TO MAKE
THE SURPLUS DISAPPEAR,
I WOULD SUSPECT BY
PUTTING IT IN A TAX CUT.
BUT A SURPLUS IS
ANTICIPATED IN ONTARIO
BY EVERY REPUTABLE
ECONOMIST.
AND INDEED, IF THERE
WEREN'T GOING TO BE
A SURPLUS, WHY WOULD YOUR
PREMIER, MAC, BY SAYING,
I EXPECT I'LL HAVE
A TAX CUT IN MY BUDGET.

Mac says WHAT I HEARD THE PREMIER
SAY WAS THEY ARE
A COUPLE OF YEARS AWAY
FROM BALANCING THE BOOKS.
A COUPLE OF YEARS AWAY
PUTS IT IN 2001, NOT 2000.

Steve says NOBODY
BELIEVES THAT.
IN FAIRNESS, NO
ONE BELIEVES THAT.
EVERYBODY BELIEVES
ERNIE EVES IS GOING
TO PRESENT A
BALANCED BUDGET.

Mac says NO ONE BELIEVED ERNIE
EVES WOULD EVER BE
THE TREASURER OF THE
PROVINCE OF ONTARIO
EITHER FIVE YEARS AGO.

Steve says ERNIE DID.

The guests talk at same time.

Steve says YOU AND I ARE GOING TO
HAVE A 5 DOLLAR BET
RIGHT NOW ON THE STATUS
OF THE BUDGET NEXT MAY.
I BET IT WILL
BE BALANCED. WHAT DO YOU SAY?

Mac says THERE WILL BE
NO SURPLUS.

Ruth says HE'S NOT SAYING
IT WON'T BE BALANCED,
HE'S SAYING
THERE'S NO SURPLUS.

Steve says ZERO IS
A BALANCE.

John says I AGREE WITH MAC.
WHAT THE TORIES
WILL PROBABLY DO
IS THE SCENARIO YOU
SKETCHED OUT.
WELL BECAUSE OF OUR TAX
CUT, THERE'S NO SURPLUS.
THEY'RE TRYING TO SET UP
A SCENARIO, ABSOLUTELY,
WHERE THE LIBERALS ARE
GOING TO BE FORCED
TO IN EFFECT RUN ON A PROGRAM
OF INCREASING TAXES.
BUT THAT'S A SHELL GAME.
AND I THINK PEOPLE,
INCREASINGLY CANADIANS
ALL OVER THE COUNTRY SEE
THROUGH THESE BUDGETARY
SHELL GAMES, AND THEY KNOW
WHEN THERE IS MONEY
IN THE TILL, AND WHEN
THERE ARE OPTIONS.

Ruth says AND THEY KNOW CHILD
POVERTY IS INCREASING,
HARRIS TALKS ABOUT
THE MIDDLE CLASS.
THE MIDDLE CLASS ARE
DISAPPEARING IN ONTARIO
AS SOME GET WEALTHIER
AND SOME GET POORER.
SO, PEOPLE ARE GOING
TO SEE THROUGH THIS,
I AGREE WITH JOHN.

Steve says ALL RIGHT, TELL ME
ABOUT THE PROPOSED,
AND I'M HEARING THIS
THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE,
THE PROPOSED SORT OF
PRE-ELECTION TOUR
THAT DALTON MCGUINTY
IS GOING TO DO BEFORE
THE ELECTION
ACTUALLY HAPPENS.
YOU KNOW ANYTHING
ABOUT THIS?
COME ON, TALK.

John says IF YOU LOOK AT
MCGUINTY'S SCHEDULE,
WHICH IS UP ON
THE INTERNET,
YOU'LL FIND HE IS GOING TO
BE GOING OUT ON THE ROAD
A LITTLE BIT MORE
THAN HE HAS BEEN.
THESE THINGS, MOST
CAMPAIGNS DO A BIT
OF A SHAKEDOWN TO MAKE
SURE THEY CAN HANDLE
THE LOGISTICS AND SUPPLY
OF A MAJOR CAMPAIGN.
SO I'M NOT EXPECTING
ANYTHING MAJORLY NEWSWORTHY
ABOUT THE MCGUINTY
MACHINE ROLLING THROUGH
STAYNER, ONTARIO.
IT WOULD BE A GREAT DAY
FOR STAYNER, THOUGH.

Mac says WE HAVE A HIGHER
EXPECTATION
OF Mr. MCGUINTY, I THINK,
IN THIS PRE-ELECTION PERIOD.
WE EXPECT HE'LL ROLL
OUT SOME NEW PROGRAMS,
AND WE'RE VERY EXCITED
ABOUT THE TOUR
ON OUR SIDE OF
THE SPECTRUM.
WE'RE LOOKING FOR SOME REAL
FLESH ON THE HEALTH
AND EDUCATION
MAN'S BONES.

Ruth says YOU'RE JUST SUCH AN
OPTIMIST, AREN'T YOU?

Mac says WE'RE VERY GENEROUS
IN OUR ASSESSMENT
OF THE OPPORTUNITIES
AVAILABLE.

Ruth says I THINK EVERYBODY IS
BEGINNING TO BE TOURING.
PREMIERS, OPPOSITION
LEADERS GO TO NOMINATION
MEETINGS ALL AROUND
THE PROVINCE.

Steve says SO YOU CAN SAY IT'S
A 27-DAY CAMPAIGN,
BUT IN FACT THE
CAMPAIGN IS UNDERWAY.

Ruth says THE FACT IT'S A 28-DAY
CAMPAIGN.
IS CRITICAL
IN THE PREPARATION AND
THE PLANNING BECAUSE
EVERYBODY'S GOT TO BE
OUT OF THAT GATE
AS SOON AS IT
IS CALLED.

John says THE CAMPAIGN IN
UNDERWAY IN THIS SENSE.
THE POSITIONING IS
IN ITS FINAL STAGES.
THE DEFINITION OF THE
CANDIDATES AND CAMPAIGNS
SUCH THAT HARRIS IS
REASSERTING HIMSELF
AS THE TAX FIGHTER, HAMPTON
IS GOING TO ASSERT HIMSELF
AS THE I'M-ON-YOUR-SIDE-
AGAINST-THE-FAT-CATS GUY.
MCGUINTY IS ATTEMPTING TO
ASSERT HIMSELF, I THINK,
SUCCESSFULLY AS THE
HEALTH-AND-EDUCATION GUY.

Ruth and Mac laugh. They speak at the same time.

Ruth says THE ONLY PERSON
WHO SUPPORTS HEALTH
AND EDUCATION IS
DALTON MCGUINTY.

John continues THE POSITIONING
IS UNDERWAY NOW,
BUT NONE OF IT MATTERS
AS AN ACTUAL CAMPAIGN
UNTIL PEOPLE FLICK ON
THE CONVERTER.
AND THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN
UNTIL ABOUT A WEEK OR SO.

Steve says ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MADE
THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR,
UNFORTUNATELY, IN MY
INTERVIEW WITH Mr. HARRIS
WAS WHEN HE WAS GOING
TO CALL THE ELECTION,
AND DOES HE KNOW.
AND HE SAID, NUMBER
ONE, HE DOESN'T KNOW.
HE HASN'T MADE
UP HIS MIND YET.

Ruth says I WOULD AGREE.

Steve says YOU WOULD AGREE?

Ruth says YES.
PREMIERS NEVER MAKE UP
THEIR MIND ON THAT UNTIL
THE VERY LAST MINUTE.

Steve says YOU'VE SAT AROUND THE
CABINET TABLE WHEN PRESUMABLY
AT SOME POINT BOB RAE
SAID, OKAY, GUYS,
I'M THINKING OF
THIS DATE.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Ruth says NO, NO.

Steve says DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY?

Ruth says NO, DOESN'T WORK
THAT WAY.
AS PREMIER RAE OFTEN SAID,
ONE OF THE FEW THINGS LEFT
FOR A PREMIER TO DECIDE
ENTIRELY BY HIMSELF
IS WHEN HE'S GOING TO
CALL THE ELECTION.
AND HE DOES.
IT'S HIS JUDGMENT, HIS
LEADERSHIP, HIS INSTINCT.
AND HE'LL GO FOR IT.
AND YOU MAY HAVE 24,
48 HOURS' NOTICE
MORE THAN THE REST
OF THE WORLD.

Steve says BUT NOT MUCH
MORE THAN THAT.
IN OUR LAST
MINUTE HERE, MAC.
THIS PREMIER VERY MUCH
PRIDES HIMSELF ON BEING
IN TOUCH WITH WHAT "HIS
NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR
IN NORTH BAY THINKS
ABOUT THINGS."

Ruth adds NORTH YORK, HE
LIVES IN.

Steve says HE LIVES IN NORTH YORK,
BUT HE'S FROM NORTH BAY.

Mac says THE FOLLOWING IS WAY
BETTER IN NORTH BAY.

They laugh.

Steve continues DO YOU SUSPECT, AS
A RESULT OF THAT,
I MEAN, GIVE ME THE
HONEST GOODS HERE,
HE WILL RELY LESS ON
POLLING THAN OTHER PREMIERS
MIGHT HAVE WHEN HE
MAKES THIS DECISION?

Mac says YES, I THINK THAT
Mr. HARRIS IS A VERY
INSTINCTUAL POLITICIAN.
SOME OF HIS
ADVISORS MAY NOT BE.
BUT I THINK HE IS.
HE HAS A VERY GOOD
POLITICAL SENSE.
LIKE RUTH SAYS, ONE OF
THE FEW THINGS A PREMIER
GETS TO DO BY
HIMSELF ANYMORE.

Steve says JOHN, YOU
BELIEVE THAT?

John says WELL, HARRIS IS
A POLITICIAN
AT THE END OF
THE DAY.
SURE HE RELIES ON
HIS GUT INSTINCTS,
IT'S A TOUGH
DECISION,
BUT THERE WILL BE MORE
POLLING DOLLARS THAN EVEN
ADVERTISING DOLLARS SPENT
ON FIGURING OUT JUST WHEN -

Steve interrupts and asks SPRING OR FALL?

Ruth says DEPENDS ON THE
ECONOMY.

John says RUTH'S RIGHT.

Steve says IT'S THE ECONOMY.

Mac says EARLY SUMMER.

Steve says EARLY SUMMER,
HE SAYS.

They laugh.

Steve continues RUTH, JOHN, MAC,
MANY THANKS.
SEE YOU AGAIN
NEXT TIME.
AND THAT'S OUR
PROGRAM FOR THIS WEEK,
OUR FIRST OF
THE NEW YEAR.
I'M STEVE PAIKIN.
SEE YOU SOON FOR ANOTHER
EDITION OF 4TH READING.
SO LONG.

Music plays as the credits roll.

Queen's park bureau chief, Susanna Kelley

Researcher, Brett Ballah

Editor, Paul Colbourne

A production of TVOntario. Copyright 1999, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority.

Watch: Show #146 "Vision Thing"