Ontario Votes

We take a break from our Black Forest series today because….
…it is voting day in Ontario. Voters are set to choose which of the three major parties will form the government. I will admit to not being all that excited.
If we were still living in the province, I would probably have written extensively about the campaign. I might even have acted as campaign manager for an independent candidate who in the end decided not to run. It’s not the sort of thing I want to ever do again, but sometimes friendship trumps common sense.

However, being temporarily in Germany means I wasn’t asked, and my friend decided this was not the time for an independent candidate in his chosen riding. Counsel he received said he would not win, but he would garner enough support to perhaps allow an unworthy candidate to squeak through. Maybe next time.

Mind you, my idea of a worthy candidate might not match yours. It seems to me that the incumbent Liberal government has been riddled with corruption for years (though 2018 is the first time anyone has been jailed for their misdeeds), but the voters of Ontario kept ignoring the problems and returning them to office.

At the outset of this campaign I expected the Liberals to win again, despite the premier’s personal unpopularity and Liberal fiscal irresponsibility. My guess was that the NDP don’t have much solid support and the Progressive Conservatives would find a way to self destruct, as they seem to have done in every election for the past 15 years. (That self destruction may again be a factor, as last Friday some family members filed a lawsuit against the PC leader. You have to wonder why they didn’t wait another week when the election would have been over.)

The Premier has already conceded defeat, and has suggested voters should make sure they elect a minority government, PC or NDP, leaving the Liberals holding the balance of power. Makes sense for someone who is so far down in the polls she almost has negative numbers. Though no-one has yet figured out how to strategically vote to ensure such an outcome in our current system

I had to wonder though if her appeal was just a smart political move. If the NDP and PC supporters think victory is assured, they might not make that concerted an effort to vote. We saw that with Hillary Clinton supporters in the 2016 US election, and look at how that turned out! This last-ditch Liberal appeal for a minority government may give them a boost in the only poll that counts, Election Day.

Not having followed the campaign all that closely from Germany, I am reluctant to make any predictions. I have no gut feeling that tells me who the victor will be. I do know that polling in recent years has become perhaps more art than science, so I won’t be surprised to wake up Friday morning and discover the Liberals have managed to hold on to power. Voters are an unpredictable bunch.

If you live in Ontario, do yourself a favour. Vote today. If you don’t live in Ontario, it should be fun political drama to watch. I’m sure you will be able to find coverage online (I’ll probably try tvo.org or cbc.ca). The polls close at 9 p.m. EDT, which means results should be becoming interesting about 5 a.m in Germany. I may make an early morning of it.

One comment

  1. Christine Jenkins · · Reply

    Ballots are being counted a new way, as they are deposited in the box, so results should be quicker than usual. Set your alarm. I’m not falling for Wynne’s ploy or Rob Ford’s brother.

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