It wasn’t so much a big blue machine that chugged its way across Ontario’s political landscape in the spring of 1995 — it was more a big purple bulldozer driven by leader Mike Harris and a new breed of Tories. Gone were the pinstripes and the cigar-chomping backroom boys of the forty-two years of Tory rule. These Tories were young, hip, and they were riding the wave of their Common Sense Revolution, a platform launched a year earlier.
Still, there were only a few who thought the PCs stood a chance of winning the Ontario provincial election. Though Bob Rae’s NDP government was foundering, Lyn McLeod and the Liberals were holding what looked like a steady two-to-one lead in the polls. Relying on a combination of video tapes, clever advertising, and a brilliant campaign plan, the Harris team turned it all around, pulling off one of the most stunning upsets in Canadian political history.
Right Turn tells the story.
Christina Blizzard has worked for the Toronto Telegram and the London Guardian, and for the past eight years has been a political columnist for the Toronto Sun.
Anyone who wonders how the Tories, who had been in disfavour for years, and Mike Harris, a relative unknown, won last year’s provincial election will find this short volume a good read.