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.
3 responses to “Ontario votes tomorrow, for what it’s worth.”
You and I disagree on the importance of voting, but I do respect your point. Our choices this time round and many times round really aren’t way up there on the inspiration scale, are they? But I do think there’s some value in voting for the lesser of evils. I know what I’m getting with Hudak, for example, which is why I feel it important to get the hell out there and vote for somebody else. The history as it relates to what the PC’s were allowed to do to this province last time they got their kick at the can is important, too. Personally I’d rather not go back there, because wreckless cuts aren’t good for anybody., at least not anybody who has a job, would like to keep a job, needs a job, is sick, might become sick, needs a hospital, is otherwise vulnerable/disadvantaged…you see where I’m going with this. To Hudak and those like him, every single thing is little more than a number on a balance sheet. There’s no human element. It exists, therefore we shall gut it is a stupid as all fuck way to do business. I get that things need to be trimmed in certain areas, but I’d prefer somebody in power who takes into consideration the longterm impact of that trimming rather than a cut first, ask questions and bang your head on the desk later type. I also fully endorse voting for a fringe candidate with little to no chance of actually winning anything as a form of protest. Makes the statement that the major parties just aren’t cutting it anymore and we need some new blood and some change around here.
See, and this is what gets me. You’re voting escentially to keep someone out, not to put someone in. And at the end of the day, like it or not, somebody somewhere’s gonna be cut–it’s either that or we take a cut to our credit rating, which has the potential to be worse than any Hudak cut on record.
That aside, though, talking of your disadvantaged, your vulnerable, your education personnel, your what have you, they’d be no safer under the liberals than they would under Hudak if we’re being honest. Take the ODSP thing as an example. The biggest boogyman people are out to hang on Hudak is that’ll be one of the first things on the chopping block. But when you factor in the increases to minimum wage under the liberals, and the not really increases to ODSP under the same, I mean I may not be a wiz kid at math or anything but things like that look kind of identical from where I’m sitting. And let’s don’t we talk about McGuinty’s solution to the spending problem in the education sphere. And whatever progress you can logically hang on McGuinty for keeping spending there under control, Wynne just came along and smacked the undo button anyway.
I’d argue we know what we’re getting with Wynne and/or Horwath at least as well if not more than we know with Hudak. Just look at the last year or so as your baseline. Wynne was ready, willing and able to toss money we don’t have at programs we don’t need just to avoid an election. We couldn’t afford it before the election, we can’t afford it after. And if as they’re forecasting we’re headed for another minority gov with Wynne at its head, that won’t make a lick of difference. She’s already said the budget she brought down before the vote will be the budget she brings down after. Which is escentially the budget the NDP would have brought down if they’d won and if Wynne hadn’t punked half of it from them already.
I’m not saying Hudak’s a saint or anything. Hell, if it were a thing I’d say all 3 of them could use a good solid firing. But this is entirely my thing. Whether we cut expenses now or put it off until we have to, it’s going to hurt like a mofo when it’s done with. If it doesn’t hurt like hell coming in, it’ll hurt like hell going out. Unless we get real lucky and it ends up hurting like hell both ways–which is always fun to dance around on a shoestring. Hudak could have probably done with a few less specific numbers, but at least he’s saying there’ll be cuts. If Wynne could be that honest she might get somewhere useful.
An interesting take on last night’s vote. One I kind of agree with. Ontario voted for this. Now all that’s left is to watch it happen–unless Wynne’s new majority flips.