No one to vote for in Ontario election?

I’ve seen several people – on my facebook wall, on twitter, and in a whole bunch of comment threads on various news articles complain that we can’t have an election, there’s no one to vote for.

In my mind, that’s a vote for the status quo – and that is a scary thought!

Sorry, but I haven’t seen a damn thing change under Wynne’s leadership in Ontario. She had an opportunity to really differentiate herself from McGinty – but that would have required fixing the incompetencies, and instituting positive changes to ensure that they were less likely to happen again. Didn’t happen.

If you can’t run anything else you’re already responsible for competently, you’ve got no business at all jumping into new stuff, for starters. Gas plants, hydro, ORNG, pretty much every area of health care and social services, the landlord & tenant board, prisons, etc etc etc –  and you think you’re anywhere near competent enough or ready enough to decide to focus on an Ontario pension plan?! Get a grip!

People are suffering and dying under the Ontario Liberal government’s (lack of) leadership! And the people of Ontario are paying all sorts of money we shouldn’t have to pay for the Ontario Liberal government’s scandals and boondoggles. And instead of attending to any of that, they’ve now decided to throw around all sorts of new promises (we can’t afford) and create this whole new pension thing.

Sorry, honey … your (so-called) government has cost my family in excess of $20k just in landlord & tenant nonsense over the last 2 years…. plus now y’all want ridiculous increases to cover your generosity in the gas plants, hydro and ORNG messes….. ? AND you think I’ll buy into your Ontario pension idea? Why? Because you’re promising my kid a raise that will basically just cover the cost of the ridiculously useless College of ECEs that you make her pay into to get little/nothing in return. I think not.

NO NO NO! The status quo will not do.

So no… no, I won’t be voting Liberal, no matter how personable our local candidate happens to be.

And I sure as **** won’t be voting Conservative – if anyone EVER catches me thinking about voting Conservative at any level, feel free to drop me off at the nearest nursing home or mental health facility – I’m clearly ready.

Doris, Gladys & Andrea

Doris Middleon, Simcoe North NDP candidate; Gladys Radek; and Andrea Horwath at 12-April Afternoon with Andrea event in Orillia, ON.

People come first in my mind. I value PEOPLE. All of them. Not stuff, and not the economy. PEOPLE.

Deliberately writing off huge swaths of our population because we only care about stuff? Nope, can’t support that. Not now, not ever, not at any level.

Which is not to say that I think that all Conservative policies & practices are bad – once in awhile they get things right, more or less (although honestly, I can’t think of an example in which Hudak has managed to come up with anything I could support… but I suppose it could happen) – but even when they do, it’s largely accidental….  grows out of their concern for stuff, not people but comes up with an okay idea in spite of their sickening priorities.

So – realistically – that leaves the NDP.

I understand that lots of Ontarians have long memories and think that Bob Rae’s NDPs were horrible for Ontario. I actually don’t agree –  I think they sucked at explaining what they were doing and why – but that in many cases, what they were doing and why was actually for the right reasons.

Let me give you one example – the Ontario Advocacy Commission.

The cons, and the media, framed that as a huge waste of money …a luxury we couldn’t afford, blah blah blah.

And yeah, it did cost some money.

BUT what they didn’t bother to make clear was that it actually cost LESS money to provide the rights advise that we are legally obligated to provide through the Advocacy Commission than it did before (or after).

Before the NDP’s Advocacy Commission, the process was that when someone was committed to a mental health facility against their will (or otherwise required rights advice), a LAWYER was called to provide the rights advice, and this was also paid for by the taxpayers of Ontario. Lawyers cost considerably more than the rights advisors the OAC hired & trained (almost all of whom had a disability, by the way).

We were providing round-the-clock service to everyone that needed it within tight timelines set out by the legislation throughout the entire Province of Ontario for about $1.4 million/year – a lot less than we were paying the lawyers.

The mistake wasn’t spending the money to do it right – the mistake was in not making the SAVINGS clear. Better service for less money – how the hell did that get twisted into a huge waste of taxpayers’ money?  I didn’t understand it then, and I still don’t.

And did you know that getting rid of the Commission didn’t actually save you a blessed cent? People still have the right to independent rights advice, you see… what happened was that in the absence of the rights advisors, they decided to try having someone in the hospital (often right in the mental health ward) offer the rights advice. Pretty hard to defend that as independent, eh? Worked okay for some though – mentally ill people without resources – but unfortunately for the cons, not all mentally ill people stay mentally ill, nor are they all poor. Some got better and hired lawyers and just from the few cases I heard about, it was pretty clear that the $1.4 million we saved was paid out instead in quiet settlements. Of course, the poor & ill people still got royally screwed and had their rights trampled all over, but hey …cons don’t much care about that, do they?

And then they wound up having to come up with a better approach – hire contractors (and even, I hear, in some areas) go back to paying for lawyers to do the rights advice gig. Between settlements and hiring people all over the Province again, no way they saved any money. Not one cent.

Anyway …. because I was so very involved in that whole thing, it caused me to pay a lot more (and a lot more cynical) attention to messaging – both in the media, and from the parties and politicians directly. And since then, I’ve gone on to get a Masters degree in English, Public Texts, by the way … which no doubt informs my current focus on messaging.

The NDP still has issues – both with messaging, and, IMHO, in some policy areas. I’m irked that they have been sucked in, for example, by some of the housing/tenants advocacy groups, and that they refuse to listen to MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!  When I offer low/no cost solutions to really big problems I bluddy well expect that the political party I volunteer and contribute money to should LISTEN…and sad to say, they do not.

BUT they are the only political party in Ontario that DO share my values – specifically, that people come before stuff.

I – and the NDP – see people – all people, even those without stuff – as having value, as being deserving of being treated with respect.

That, for me, is the key.

I want a government that knows that putting people first is good business.

I want a government that considers women, people with disabilities or illnesses, Aboriginal people in Canada, young/old/rich/poor as worthy of being treated with respect & dignity, of being heard, of being supported to reach their potential.

I want a government that has a  modicum of common sense – not the sort of ~common sense~ as re-defined by the Harris government but REAL common sense – enough to know that solving problems when they are small is a heck of a lot cheaper than waiting until they’re big.

That, really, is what the NDP is about, you know…. investing early & investing wisely – in people… not stuff.

Which is why, even though they irk me pretty regularly, I support and volunteer with the NDP in my area, and will continue to do so.




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One Response to No one to vote for in Ontario election?

  1. francyne dufault-Dick says:

    I agree whole heartedly with you. Voter apathy is the worst. Inform yourself and lobby your govt. Make them accountable.

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