As noted previously, the union group that reliably runs ads attacking Progressive Conservatives was unusually quiet in the run-up to this election.
Working Families Coalition is expected to get a lot louder when the advertising blackout lifts on Wednesday, with what’s sure to be a seven-figure spend on ads warning Ontarians that they can’t trust Tim Hudak. So unsurprisingly, the Tories are trying to get out ahead of it.
What is a little surprising is how they’re going about it. The one major party in Ontario currently led by a white male is accusing those campaigning against it (including former Liberal campaign director Don Guy, who is neither involved in current Ontario campaign efforts nor a “union boss”) of being “male, pale and stale.”
I suspect this will get more attention than just about any other low-cost online ad the Tories could have used for this purpose. And it fits into their broader effort to cast their policies – in particular to change skilled-trades rules that they think have been stacked toward union interests – as being about giving opportunity to younger workers being held down by entrenched interests.
Still, one can imagine the reaction if an official communication from the Liberals or New Democrats tried to attach the “male, pale and stale” tag to Mr. Hudak or his caucus members.
If the Tories are able to get away with it, it will be for the same reason sexist Facebook posts by a couple of their candidates didn’t cause the Liberals more grief. That’s not to say that alleging a lack of diversity among organized-labour leaders is equivalent to offering analysis about why women’s brains function differently from men’s, or posting photos comparing female posteriors. But just as nobody is going to accuse a party led by Kathleen Wynne of being anti-woman, the Tories are probably not going to lose a lot of votes to the perception they have it in for old white men.