I may be just a teeny tiny bit synical. I’m surprised I wasn’t flat out called that during a conversation I had with someone on Twitter with regards tomorrow’s election. But sitting here right now, I’m not seeing much in the way for potential for change when the smoke clears. For the purposes of full disclosure, I’m slightly partial to what I’ve heard from Tim Hudak in recent weeks–not partial enough to skip class and go vote for the man, but partial in the sense that we know what we’re getting if Wynne or Horwath end up on top when everything’s settled.
The interesting thing isn’t particularly what will or won’t happen if the right or wrong person ends up elected premier, depending on your perspective. The interesting thing is what an opinion on who might be worth handing a fair shot to will get you if you offer it up to the wrong crowd.
I made the mistake of mentioning in a Twitter conversation that if I were actually inclined to vote tomorrow, I’d give serious thought to letting Hudak have at it. Not because I think he’d be the best fit for governing Ontario, but because I know what I’m getting with Wynne or Horwath–and that’s not the best fit for governing anything. specificly from my perspective, Hudak can’t do any more or less damage to me financially or otherwise than the current setup already has. And yet, saying that gets me a free ride to the unconditional supporters list, from at least one journalist on the “Hudak will ruin your life” bandwagon.
When I mentioned I’d go for Hudak if I went for anyone at all, based on the fact he couldn’t do any worse with things from my perspective, journalist Lorraine Sommerfeld decided I needed an education. when I did the math for her, showing that people on ODSP were pretty much an afterthought by both the liberals and NdP, her response was to shift the conversation to what the Harris conservatives provincially, or the Harper conservatives federally, have historically done–that is to say, she didn’t actually counter what I mentioned at all, but chose to back up her point that I’m significantly in the Hudak camp. The more I tried to disabuse her of that idea, the more convinced she was that she had me pegged spot on. And in so doing, she confirmed what has escentially been my reason for not voting in the first place.
Whether or not we wake up with a conservative government come Friday morning, it’s going to do all kinds of hurting between now and the next election. That’s no secret. Expenses are going to need to be cut. Either that, or taxes are going to need to be raised. That means either things like ODSP are going to get trimmed back (the supposedly guaranteed result if the conservatives win), or more of our limitted–and fixed–income will be going towards taxes, fees etc to cover off what anyone who knows even the basics of math will tell you is a significant gap between funds required and funds available. It doesn’t solely affect people on ODSP, but people on ODSP will feel it more–because if the government (any government) decides it needs to dial back on expenses, the cost of keeping us afloat will easily make the list.
But the fact that it’ll hurt just as much whether we wake up with a liberal, conservative or NDP government is secondary. The problem with the vote, at least insofar as this election goes, is it’s purely a partisan thing, end of story. You’re not, necessarily, picking the best candidate for the job when you’re out to vote. You’re picking the candidate that closest matches your preferred party, for better or worse. Actually looking at the candidates, the platforms, the talking points–that’s apparently the exception rather than the rule. So is, clearly, explaining why you’re at least willing enough to talk about it if not vote for it–that’s a thing you just don’t do, you see.
So rather than get some kind of an explanation as to why in creation Lorraine would vote for the liberals or NDP, I instead get a historic explanation of why I aught not to vote conservative (neverminding that I said I wouldn’t be voting anyway). And a gentle pointer to her Monday column in which I’m treated to more of the same.
At no point did I make mention to the fact she shouldn’t be voting for Wynne or Horwath. It’s her vote, she can park it where she pleases. But where I was looking for an idea why, with everything we now know has gone on with the liberals in charge and the NDP smiling and nodding alongside, she’d be willing to continue to park her vote there, she had no interest in actually talking about it. You either agree with her that Hudak is evil, or she’s got no time for an actual conversation about why the other two are more deserving.
I don’t care enough about politics on a municipal, provincial or federal level to take it to partisan levels. The positives look the same whether a liberal, conservative, NDP or Green candidate’s putting them on display. And so do the negatives. I’ve come up with my own impressions and ideas on the various platforms, for whatever that might be worth later on. But if a majority of the folks who come out to vote tomorrow adopt the attitude Lorraine’s showing here, even if they don’t necessarily adopt her party, voting stops being something we do because it’s our right. It stops being something we do for the good of the city, province, country, what have you. We line up with the party who’s leader we like, and fall in behind him or her all the way to the polling station. And when the dust settles, the numbers are worked out and whoever has managed to get more of their own true believers out to vote wins it all. And for what? For the good of democracy, perhaps. But for the good of the province remains a little questionable. Too bad there are folks who won’t hear the question.