Ontario Election 2014

Hold Your Nose and Vote

Our steadfast endorsement is for the act of voting itself, whoever you decide you can bear to vote for.

By Ryan McGreal
Published June 12, 2014

Election day is upon us, and I can't remember a time when I've been as glad for an election campaign to be over, despite the short turnaround of just 40 days since the NDP announced they would not support the Liberal budget. This campaign has been an unpleasant grind of negative campaigning, gaffes, minor outrages and rampant partisanship.

No one thing has bubbled to the surface as the defining issue of the election, and none of the parties have distinguished themselves as obvious front-runners with a campaign that really resonates with voters.

I'm reluctant to prognosticate on the outcome and it's always much easier to explain what happened than it is to predict what's going to happen. That said, back in May I wrote "The 'safe' prediction is that we will end up with just another barely-functional minority government" and I haven't seen any developments in the past 40 days to change this.

The polling aggregator Three Hundred Eight has been converging on a minority government for the Liberals, but low voter turnout might upset that prediction.

Tim Hudak's Election to Lose

One thing is clear: this election has been Tim Hudak's to lose, and he might well lose it. After a decade of highly-publicized Liberal scandals and ineptitude, this election should be a shoo-in for the party that governed Ontario for most of the 20th century. Yet short of a major shocker today, it's unlikely the Progressive Conservative Party will even be able to muster a minority.

The PCs governed Ontario from 1943 right through 1985 and again from 1995 to 2003. The party's success was based on significant part on its ability to straddle the line between progressive and conservative leanings, especially in the "Big Blue Machine" era under Premier Bill Davis.

The party reinvented itself in the 1990s under Mike Harris, who shifted the platform to the right, building up his conservative base and convincing enough moderate Ontarians that his was the party of fiscal responsibility to claw out a majority of seats in 1995 under Canada's first-past-the-post voting system.

Harris stepped down in 2002 and was replaced by the more centrist Ernie Eves, who led the party to defeat in 2003. In 2004 he too resigned the leadership and the party selected John Tory, a more progressive MPP, to take over.

A moderate platform in 2007 was buried under the lightning-rod proposal to provide public funding for private faith-based schools and the PCs went down to defeat again, with Tory himself losing the Don Valley West seat (to incumbent Liberal Kathleen Wynne).

Hudak was a young member of the Harris government, elected in 1995 as part of the "Common Sense Revolution" and joining cabinet in 1999.

Stung by the failure of Eves and Tory to connect with centrist voters over a Red Tory platform that was overshadowed by voters' recent memories of the Harris years and debacles like faith-based school funding, the PCs under Hudak's leadership have decided to double down on the hard-right conservatism that worked for them in the 1990s.

Hudak's "Million Jobs Plan" is a naked pitch to the interests of the wealthy and conservative, cutting Ontario's already-low corporate taxes to the lowest of any jurisdiction in North America and laying off 100,000 public employees, all to create one million jobs (somehow) under a rationale that economists from across the political spectrum have noted is marred by the basic arithmetic error of counting a person-year of work for eight years as eight jobs.

(In fact, if the Ontario economy only produces a million jobs over the next eight years, it will be a rather poor job creation performance.)

The "Million Jobs Plan" is Hudak's Hail Mary pass to voters. If he can't win a majority against the disgraced Liberals, it is unlikely he will survive his next leadership review.

NDP Unprepared

Andrea Horwath's Ontario New Democratic Party pulled the plug on the Liberal minority government when she announced that her party would not support the 2014 budget, so it was surprising that the NDP seemed to be caught off-guard by the subsequent campaign.

Between fatigue with the Liberal quagmire and aversion to the draconian Conservative plan, the NDP had a unique opportunity to connect with a majority of centre-left voters with an inspiring platform and a clear message.

Instead, they were slow to release a platform and when they did, it was notably sparse in details. Commentators on the left decried its grab-bag of populist confections, like a promise to reduce auto insurance costs, while analysts across the spectrum point out that there isn't enough detail to determine whether and how the numbers might add up.

McGuinty's Legacy

Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne has the difficult task of trying to strike a balance between building on the positive legacy of the Liberal government - like the Green Belt and Places to Grow - and fulfilling the promise of a new commitment to integrated transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, while at the same time distancing herself from the litany of scandals - eHealth, Ornge, the gas plants and so on - that have accumulated after a decade in office.

The fact that it looks like the Liberals are going to win another minority says as much about the state of her competition than it does about Wynne's success at walking this line, but it's instructive that even people and organizations who like the Liberal platform stop short of endorsing the party.

It's just not clear whether the Liberals can actually be trusted to do what they say they're going to do. Whether this is due to corruption or mere ineptitude (I lean toward the latter), the Liberals just aren't that good at executing on their generally good ideas.

Their decision to quietly save the second phase of the MaRS research centre at College Street and University Avenue from default by buying the building for $317 million after already loaning $234 million to the non-profit running the centre suggests that the Liberals still have not learned the important lessons from the oversight and accountability failures that have plagued their leadership of the province.

Local Issues

That's the 30,000 foot view. Locally, some big issues are up for grabs. The biggest is arguably the planned B-Line light rail transit (LRT) line running east-west from McMaster University to Eastgate Square.

The NDP and Greens strongly support the B-Line LRT, whereas the Liberals continue to dance around the issue and the PCs are strictly opposed. (On the other hand, the PCs would go ahead with a mid-peninsula highway whereas the other parties oppose it.)

Of the five Hamilton-area constituencies, two PC candidates have responded to the RTH policy questions.

Tim Hudak, the PC candidate for Niagara West-Glanbrook, responded with a boilerplate letter directing readers to the party's Million Jobs Plan website.

John Vail, PC candidate for Hamilton Centre, responded with an even shorter note stating that the questions are "better directed to municipal candidates" because the provincial issues he is concerned with are "jobs, the provincial economy, the provincial deficit, provincial debt reduction and lower provincial taxes".

At least some members of the other parties also replied to our questions. For the Liberals, Donna Tiqui-Shebib of Hamilton Centre and incumbent Ted McMeekin of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale submitted responses.

On the B-Line LRT, Tiqui-Shebib wrote, "As someone who has built a business in the heart of downtown Hamilton, I personally support an east - west LRT line."

However, McMeekin answered the same question by writing, "The best transit option will be determined by council and supported by citizens."

Of course, Council has spent the past seven years consistently voting to support LRT, but the Liberals have been playing games ever since local candidates Ivan Luksic (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek) and Javid Mirza (Hamilton Mountain) penned an anti-LRT opinion piece in the Spectator in late February that was filled with misinformation and fearmongering.

This came soon after Premier Kathleen Wynne said she did not know whether Hamilton supports LRT.

The question voters must consider is whether the Liberals' mixed messaging on LRT is a case of the tail wagging the dog (several local Liberals have told me that Mirza and Luksic were merely expressing their personal opinion in the op-ed and not party policy) or an attempt to generate enough uncertainty about LRT that local political support crumbles and the Ontario Government is let off the hook to keep its funding commitment.

In contrast, the NDP and Greens strongly support LRT. Two NDP candidates responded to our survey: incumbent Paul Miller in Hamilton East-Stoney Creek and incumbent Monique Taylor of Hamilton Mountain. Taylor and Miller both submitted the same response: "The Ontario NDP has been behind the Hamilton LRT since day one and we remain committed to this essential investment for the people of Hamilton."

Four of the five local Green candidates responded to our policy survey: Raymond Dartsch of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, Peter Ormond of Hamilton-Centre, Greg Lenko of Hamilton Mountain and Basia Krzyzanowski of Niagara West-Glanbrook.

Dartsch prefers to see the LRT "built in stages, downtown-to-McMaster as a priority" to spread out the cost of construction. Ormond and Krzyzanowski both wrote the same response: "Of course!!! Who doesn't? 99% do. We've been talking about Hamilton's LRT system for decades! Time to act on it, and now." Lenko believes the "LRT should actually travel East to West then up and across the escarpment and back down."

The Ontario Libertarian Party fielded candidates in four local ridings (all except Hamilton Centre). Of those, Hans Weinhold of Hamilton Mountain and Stefanos Keratopis of Niagara West-Glanbrook responded to our policy questions, and both opposed LRT.

Weinhold wrote, "I especially dislike public mass transit for its idealization of Soviet style cattle car herding of the public as though they are nothing more than livestock." Keratopis wrote that he does not necessarily oppose LRT, the mid-pen highway or any other initiatives, but "I just do not think government should be doing them".

The Freedom Party ran candidates in all five ridings, and two of them responded to our questions: Barry Spruce of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale and Geoff Peacock of Niagara West-Glanbrook. Spruce wrote that the Freedom Party "has not had an opportunity to review the plans and proposed budget" for the LRT project, but that they oppose government ownership and operation of utilities in principle. Peacock responded to all the questions with a boilerplate statement that his party is focused on balancing the budget and reducing electricity costs by cancelling the green energy program.

The Communist Party of Canada (Ontario) fielded a candidate in Hamilton Centre, Bob Mann, who supports LRT with full provincial funding.

Your Vote Matters

Raise the Hammer has a tradition of not endorsing parties or candidates in elections, and that tradition continues today. That said, our steadfast endorsement is for the act of voting itself, whoever you decide you can bear to vote for.

It's no excuse to claim that none of the parties are inspiring enough. Choosing not to vote simply means you are ceding to others the right to decide who will form the next government. Whether you do this by spoiling your ballot or by formally declining to vote, the end result is the same.

If you don't think your vote matters, ask yourself: will the Province of Ontario be a different place after four years, depending on which government wins a mandate? Will four years of Progressive Conservative government play out the same way as four years of Liberal or NDP government? It would require particularly selective vision to conclude that the answer to this question is yes.

Ironically, part of the growing voter disgust with politicians and parties may be the fact that the process of government is more open and transparent than ever before. As the old saying (often wrongly attributed to Otto von Bismark) goes, Laws are like sausages; it is better not to see them being made.

However, a low voter turnout does not send a message to politicians that they need to do better at connecting with voters. Instead, it sends the message that their best bet at winning is to go for broke on activating their base, a trend that leads toward polarization and extremism.

The last thing we need in Canada is continue down the road of American-style hyper-partisanship and legislative gridlock. We need a government that works, and there is nothing that opportunistic politicians would like more than an electorate who loses faith in the possibility of good government to make a positive difference in people's lives.

Vote

So vote if you are eligible: you must be 18 years or older, a Canadian citizen and a resident of Ontario. If you didn't receive an Elections Ontario voting card, Elections ontario has a Where Do I Vote? form to find out where your polling station is.

If you don't have a voting card, be sure to bring ID that includes both your name and residential address. The following are accepted as identification:

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

29 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 12, 2014 at 09:58:26

Have to agree with everything you wrote. This has easily been the most mediocre election I've ever voted in. I loathe all the parties except Green at both the provincial level and their local MP candidates. Here in ADFW, each individual candidate represents the worst stereotypes of their parties, so I can't even vote for candidate-not-party.

If Wynne had properly cleaned house and shown Ontario that the Liberals were having a proper changing of the guard instead of just sporting a new figurehead... or if the Conservatives had taken one more crack at the political centre? This election would be an absolute landslide.

Permalink | Context

By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted June 16, 2014 at 11:18:46 in reply to Comment 102368

This has easily been the most mediocre election I've ever voted in.

I would like to disagree with this on one point alone: only 40 days of campaigning is great and I wish every election was this short (Especially looking across the border on this one!)

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 10:34:31

Today my wife and I head out to the polls to vote. Living in Hamilton Centre, we have one of the party leaders, Andrea Horwath, on our ballot.

Our commitment to social justice issues leads us to support The Big Move, particularly LRT in Hamilton. For us, the defining moment for this election was when the present government showed great courage in putting on the table the revenue tools to pay for The Big Move.

If Andrea Horwath had been faithful to the social justice principles of the NDP, she would have worked with the government to put in place these taxes to finance The Big Move and Hamilton's LRT. But she did not.

It is one thing to pay lip service to social justice principles. But when Andrea Horwath rejected the taxes to pay for these principles she revealed this support as mere idle hypocrisy.

Mature adults realize that we do not get good things without paying for them.
We cannot support a politician who hypocritically says "I support The Big Move" out of one side of her mouth and out of the other side of her mouth says "I do not support the taxes to pay for it."

Today we go and vote. Today my wife and I are going to go and vote for a candidate who has consistently supported Hamilton's LRT and demonstrated this consistency by supporting the revenue tools to pay for it.

Permalink | Context

By Steve (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 15:55:59 in reply to Comment 102369

I've been shocked at how little Horwath has done for her riding, period.

Three years of supporting a minority government and I can't think of a single thing she's done for the poorest areas of the City which are found in the riding.

Remember that when she's running for Mayor...

Permalink | Context

By Mal (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 13:42:01 in reply to Comment 102369

"Today my wife and I are going to go and vote for a candidate who has consistently supported Hamilton's LRT and demonstrated this consistency by supporting the revenue tools to pay for it."

I trust you're talking about Peter Ormond. ;)

IIRC, with the spring budget the Liberals rejected all of Metrolinx's major revenue tools, struck a second panel and rejected its advice, repurposed existing funding, earmarked TBD "net revenue gains from certain asset sales" (alongside revenue from non-existent HOT lanes they announced a year ago), hitting up the feds.

And for all this political calculation, the total funding generated is still a fraction of what is needed to complete the 2008 Big Move -- whether you use McCuaig's inflation-immune $34 billion or Paul Bedford's more pragmatic $3 billion annual requirement. The above measures allegedly generate $15 billion, less than has been spent on the Big Move to date.

Naturally, additional top-up will be available: "By unlocking value from its assets [already accounted for in the original list, but whatever] and encouraging more Ontarians to save through a proposed new Ontario Retirement Pension Plan, new pools of capital would be available for Ontario-based projects such as building roads, bridges and new transit."


Permalink | Context

By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 17:07:07 in reply to Comment 102384

The problem with being the government party is that they have to actually write a Budget and try to get it through the Legislature.

Last year, the government showed great courage in putting 11 revenue tools on the table as ways to pay for The Big Move. Even the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (not exactly a bunch of wild-eyed tax and spend leftists) said that "The question is no longer ‘if’, but ‘how’ to fund The Big Move."

As rational business types, the members of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce know that we don't get good things without paying for them. They endorsed two of the revenue tools as "high potential." The Ontario Chamber of Commerce endorsed Highway Tolls at 10 cents per km and an increase in Fuel Tax of 10 cents per litre.

Andrea Horwath rejected and vetoed all of them. Since NDP support was necessary to get a budget through the Legislature, that meant they were not going to be in the Budget.

What does it mean when the NDP and Andrea Horwath are more right-wing than the Ontario Chamber of Commerce?

It means that Andrea Horwath and the NDP do not support The Big Move. In particular, it means that Andrea Horwath and the NDP do not support LRT in Hamilton. They may pay lip service to The Big Move and Hamilton's LRT. But that lip service is meaningless hypocrisy without supporting the means to pay for it.

In the real world, if we want something, we've got to pay for it. Rejecting and vetoing the means to pay for The Big Move and Hamilton's LRT means that, in reality, Andrea Horwath and the NDP do not support The Big Move and Hamilton's LRT.

And this means that my wife and I just finished voting for a candidate who has consistently supported The Big Move and Hamilton's LRT. A candidate who has demonstrated that support by supporting the revenue tools to pay for it.

Comment edited by KevinLove on 2014-06-12 17:16:25

Permalink | Context

By Mal (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 19:27:45 in reply to Comment 102393

Liberal commitment in the lead RTH Elxn Q:

"We are committed to 100 per cent funding for base capital costs as identified in the city's Rapid Ready report. We will work with council and the community to forge a path forward, expeditiously, to ensure Hamilton keeps moving and has access to the funding available. The best transit option will be determined by council and supported by citizens."

and

"The provincial commitment is 100 per cent funding for whatever transit system our partners at City Hall ultimately decide."

These two comments are similar but not identical, and despite the appearance of a wholesome "100%," remain highly equivocal endorsements of some form of rapid transit that has not yet been identified. As the City has already indicated its interest in LRT, to me these come across as "getting warmer... keep guessing."

Permalink | Context

By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 14, 2014 at 10:24:20 in reply to Comment 102443

Don't over-think those statements. The cheque book is open; they're giving the city autonomy on designing its solution. That's pretty awesome.

Some key city politicians appear to have wavered and backpedaled a bit on the commitment to LRT. So rapid ready was the decision, until that decision started to be undermined. It's a lot of money; the province wants clarity on what line item to put on the purchase order so to speak, which I think that's pretty responsible.

To use a crude analogy: your parents want to buy you a car. Why not choose a good quality yet fuel efficient one. But it is also possible to show such whininess and indecision, that even parents whose heart is set on helping out, say nevermind.

But make no mistake, LRT with capital costs covered, is yours for the taking, especially now. Take the energy spent on over-analyzing every syllable the province speaks, and put that energy toward holding Hamilton politicians accountable for their presentation of the community wishes and the work that has already been done on Rapid Ready. That will make it happen.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By BobInnes (registered) - website | Posted June 12, 2014 at 11:39:32

Ryan, I take strong exception to the premise of this article, especially the statement: 'Whether you do this by spoiling your ballot or by FORMALLY DECLINING TO VOTE, the end result is the same.' Emphasis added.

While spoiled or blank ballots cannot be attributed to clear motive or sentiment, Election Ontario has confirmed that a declined ballot means essentially 'none-of-the-above'. Please visit http://curmudgeonreport.com/2014/05/24/o... and scroll to comments for their wording.

None-of-the-above means either one, passively, doesn't like any candidate, or more actively, one detests all candidates. It might also mean that even if one likes a fringe party candidate, one feels it would be a wasted vote, since no such candidate ever really stands a chance to be elected, let alone be a part of government.

None-of-the-above is also starting (I hope) to be attached to the message that what is really needed is MMP or some form of proportional representation. A new party by this name advocates for direct democracy, whatever that is.

As for the notion of holding one's nose, what you advocate is strategic voting. The problem is that if one doesn't vote for what one actually believes in, but pretends to be a supporter of another party, one is actually being dishonest. If voters are dishonest, why should politicians be honest? The classic notion of public virtue seems to be dead these days, for it applies to all, not just politicians.

The other reason to not hold one's nose is that you advocate voting for 'the system'. If you are a winner, carry on, vote for the team that caters to your group. But the people being squeezed by the system should not be fooled into voting against their own interest, even if nobody actually represents their interest. Whether they get squeezed by higher taxes, lower employment, lower wages, higher prices, inflation, instability or a dozen other ills, hardly matters. Lives will get worse if the system, encouraged by all those foolish votes, continues to squeeze.

The SYSTEM comprises big government, big business and big unions, with a party assigned to each. Those outside this system (mom&pop shops, homeless, students, non-unionized workers, independents, farmers, etc.) should beware false promises being made trying to suck us in. Welfare folks are particularly vulnerable since they invariably think the NDP represents their interest, as opposed to actually being agents who prefer to keep them where they can be served by a union worker. Each big party will always reward its constituency at the expense of the rest of us. So unless you're a winner, decline your ballot.

As for those who stay home, I've become more tolerant and now even encourage this strategy. One can see the hand wringing going on over low turnout. Sooner or later this will translate to political action before the pretense of legitimacy is lost.

Nose holding is not an honourable solution. Don't do it.

Comment edited by BobInnes on 2014-06-12 11:51:33

Permalink | Context

By Keith (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 12:25:01 in reply to Comment 102371

Really all the big parties care is that you vote for them. If you don't do that then the next best thing is that you don't vote for their opponent. To me, declining your ballot doesn't sent the "none of the above" or formal rejection of the options since those options are still going to be the same options in the next election. If people are upset, then join a local riding association and influence the policy decisions that the big three are offering. If people don't like the system then they should change it.

Permalink | Context

By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 11:59:46 in reply to Comment 102371

"...if one likes a fringe party candidate, one feels it would be a wasted vote..."

Most governing parties started out as small fringe parties. People agreed with their beliefs, voted for them and they grew. It is my opinion that people should vote for the candidate whose beliefs, values and vision for the future of Ontario is most closely aligned with their own.

Permalink | Context

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 12, 2014 at 12:04:22 in reply to Comment 102373

Actually, no. The Libs and Cons go back to the first elections in Canada. They got in at the ground floor - there was no fringe there. Some other parties were splintered off from the major parties, but by splintering they got to keep some of the candidates and relationships and inertia they had from their predecessor party.

Permalink | Context

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 12, 2014 at 12:20:07 in reply to Comment 102374

Sort of. The Ontario Liberal Party dates back to 1854 with roots in the earlier Reform Party, but the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party started out as the Liberal-Conservative coalition before officially forming in 1942. The Ontario NDP formed in 1961 out of the CCF and the Ontario Federation of Labour and has governed for one term, from 1990 to 1995. The Ontario Libertarian Party was founded in 1975 and has not yet elected any MPPs. The Green Party of Ontario was founded in 1983 and has not yet elected any MPPs. The Freedom Party of Ontario was founded in 1984 and has not yet elected any MPPs. The Family Coalition Party of Ontario was founded in 1987 and only fielded six candidates in 2014 - and none in the Hamilton area, despite having their headquarters in Hamilton.

Permalink | Context

By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 15:29:48 in reply to Comment 102375

You forgot about the Communist Party. :)

Founded in 1940, that makes them the second-oldest party on the ballot. I see that the Communist Party elected two MPPs in 1943).

My wife and I just got back from the polls, so I can bear witness that the Communists had a candidate on the ballot in Hamilton Centre.

We did not vote for this person, as we suspect that there may be a misalignment between his vision for the future of Ontario and our own.

Permalink | Context

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 12, 2014 at 12:29:29 in reply to Comment 102375

I was thinking of their federal counterparts, my bad.

Permalink | Context

By Pxtl (registered) - website | Posted June 12, 2014 at 11:56:17 in reply to Comment 102371

Here's the thing: if you don't vote, then why would they care what you want? Your opinion doesn't affect them.

Yes, the system is evil and uncaring and wrong and yadda yadda yadda. What are you going to do about that? Why should anybody with any power care about your opinion on the subject? The one action you have that most directly affects them is the one you've announced to the world you're not using.

They're going to prioritize appeasing the people who do vote (to the minimum amount that allows them to keep office while also pandering to their corporate masters/cronies/special-interest-groups/lizardpeople/what-have-you). If you want electoral reform, vote for somebody who supports electoral reform. If nobody does, run on a platform of electoral reform.

Comment edited by Pxtl on 2014-06-12 11:57:23

Permalink | Context

By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted June 16, 2014 at 11:29:18 in reply to Comment 102372

Here's the thing: if you don't vote, then why would they care what you want? Your opinion doesn't affect them.

This is why I think it is not quite right to equate 'declining your ballot' with 'not voting'. If you don't vote it could mean anything but most clearly means that you are not really engaged in the discussion, which means that there is not much point in appealing to your interests.

If you decline your ballot, that says that even though you don't want to give a vote to any candidate, you are still engaged in the conversation, which means that your vote could have been had. A declined ballot is a vote that was left on the table, not a vote that couldn't have been had, because if a politician had ran on a platform appealing to your interests, you might have voted for them.

Permalink | Context

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 16, 2014 at 12:58:19 in reply to Comment 102494

It turns out that the person behind the "Decline Your Vote" campaign is a conservative political activist who just happened to specifically target Liberal- and NDP-held ridings for concentrated expressions of voter dissatisfaction.

Whether you decline your ballot, spoil your ballot or just stay home, you are voting to let other people decide who your representative will be.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 15:17:10

Well today was my first time voting, and I didn't even have to hold my nose to do it. An unfortunate combination of apathy plus being tangled up in religious groups, is why I have not before now. This is a good signal that I'm back to thinking for myself!

I feel this election is pretty important, we're at a tipping point of how some major and important projects play out.

Ideally (for me) we'd be voting per-issue, rather than per-party. No combo pack is perfect - a custom mixer pack would have been ideal. Still, despite being a drop in the ocean, it feels good to have added my voice to support the Big Move.

Permalink | Context

By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 15:34:37 in reply to Comment 102388

There is a very good reason why we do not vote per-issue. Whenever that has been tried, people have tended to vote "yes" to spending and "no" to taxes. Needless to say, that does not work out very well. :)

Permalink | Context

By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted June 16, 2014 at 11:31:52 in reply to Comment 102390

Also, who gets to decide what issues make the ballot? It seems to me that the results of an election based purely on the issues would be decided more by whoever frames the issue as a yes/no question than it would be by those who respond to the question.

Permalink | Context

By mikeonthemountain (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 18:45:21 in reply to Comment 102390

I totally get what you're saying. In my oversimplifying mind, an "issue" would include the method of payment, so that each item voted on would be bundled with its corresponding budgetary proposal at the same time. Just like deciding to buy a new TV or whatever - it helps if which account it's coming out of is part of the overall decision. I know it's oversimplified. Just thinkin out loud.

Permalink | Context

By KevinLove (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 21:05:08 in reply to Comment 102394

The problem with this is that many government initiatives are such that we do not know how much they will cost until we do them. For example, the government's recent military intervention in Afghanistan. We'll be paying for medical costs for wounded veterans for years to come.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Kevin (registered) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 20:43:59

Just voted and was chagrined Rob Ford wasn’t on the ballot.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Anon (anonymous) | Posted June 12, 2014 at 22:59:23

Joining a local riding association and influencing policy decisions presupposes that this system is working for the poorest. It's not. Ontario Works or Disability Support Payments are not at all enough to live. There's no change at that level and the use of hospitality meals and food banks continues to increase. The options do not have to be the same options in the next election; those, too, can be changed. Direct action, however, is generally more effective at recovering a sense of political agency than voting every few years within a parliamentary democracy. So, vote, certainly, but don't expect much from it; expect more from yourself, your neighbourhood, and those local, tangible things and circles within which you run.

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By you smug (anonymous) | Posted June 13, 2014 at 14:05:39

real smug--don't vote or do--WHO cares??

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By 1234 (anonymous) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 00:02:54

Disappointed to see your inaccurate description of the PC's plan to reduce the public service by 100,000. Hudak never planned to fire or lay off these workers. The vast majority he would simply not replace once they retire.
This I think is the most significant reason the conservatives lost the election. Voters couldn't be bothered to look past the simplistic headlines or the misleading statements by partisans and commentators. All they heard was that Hudak was out to fire their relatives and neighbours.
I strongly disagreed with some of the PC's proposals, but I felt that a term under their leadership was the only way we could remedy the Liberals' financial incompetence during the past 10 years.

Permalink | Context

By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted June 16, 2014 at 11:33:25 in reply to Comment 102468

Voters couldn't be bothered to look past the simplistic headlines

Except those voters who dug deeper into the 1millionJobs plan and found all the discrepancies and impossibilities that make it a pipe dream...

Permalink | Context

[ - ]

By Ballyhoo (anonymous) | Posted June 15, 2014 at 21:05:53

Unfortunately Hamilton once again voted in the do-nothing NDPers and gave them a 4 year sinecure to raise their fists and pretend they care. I think we should elect more government members if we want to get something for the city, transit, jobs, attention. All we get with the NDP is the NDP. Disgusting!

Permalink | Context

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to comment.

Events Calendar

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools

Feeds