(My endorsement this time: PC by default)
Well, there it is. We’ve been inundated with stuff-political for 44 days and counting. Heck, it’s even crept into Canada’s sanctum sanctorum – Hockey Night in Canada. The three major parties have pumped millions into national advertising campaigns and small armies of local candidates have been purchasing signs and brochures in the hope of grasping t his/her own key to prestigious employment until the next election.
When it is all said and done, less than half of us will bother to vote and some lucky local individual will shuffle off to Queen’s Park. Which side of the Legislature the “fortunate” winner seats him/herself will be determined after the vote count is tallied. It’s called democracy.
It will likely pan-out the way it always has. Sixty percent of us simply won’t bother to cast a ballot. Given that there are actually two-and-one-half significant parties (including the NDP), the simple arithmetic of things says that (in a perfect storm) each of the parties should have created a policy/platform that would appeal to one-third of the voters. Since only 40% of the voters will take time to vote, it follows that some “lucky” candidate in each of Ontario’s 107 ridings will win. Do the arithmetic yourself: one third of 40% (actual voters) equates to about 12 to 15% of the eligible voters will choose who governs and how our tax money is spent.
I had already made up my mind how I would vote shortly after the writ for a general election was signed by the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. As an Aboriginal person, I concluded that “none-of-the above” was the best choice IF we were expecting help with abject poverty, none-existent health care and poorly funded education in Ontario’s Aboriginal communities. That should have been enough to dissuade me from bothering to cast a ballot. It does weigh heavily that each of the two and one half major parties resemble the Roman soldiers casting lots beneath the cross when it does come to the immense wealth waiting in the Cree region (the Ring of Fire) of Ontario. Little thought or conscience was heard throughout the 45 day campaign. Instead, most of the intrepid aspirants to political greatness were busy telling voters how they intended to spend money; including the fortunes derived from harvesting such things as chromite from traditional Cree lands in north-west Ontario.
Alas, there is a second group that I also belong. Each morning and night, I am painfully reminded that I am a senior citizen. Painful arthritic aches and pains are a better proof of age than any official government issued card in my wallet. At my age, I have pretty much heard all the political lies that have ever been concocted. Hearing them again simply bores me.
There is this “other” thing about us senior citizens: by and large, we live (rather exist) on fixed incomes. The electricity costs in my residence have increased 300% under the McGuinty/Wynne reign. Things like that create difficult choices for persons such as me. Paying the bills – especially bills for essentials (hydro, car insurance etc) actually simplifies my weekly trip to the supermarket. For sure, I no longer require a shopping cart. My budget restricts my purchases to a hand held basket and I have found the discounted food sections in most the big stores.
I am still a bit more fortunate than too many others. I am not YET at the point where I must find sustenance from the local “food bank’; although the current government has pushed many others that far.
My choice in voting was made easier. As a senior, living on a fixed income and as a long-neglected segment (Aboriginal) part of Ontario’s population, I have not been “conned” into voting for either the Liberals or the NDP. The record of those two parties is self evident and I will not be swayed by grandiose spending schemes. I condemn the Liberals for the wastage and the scandals and likewise, I condemn the NDP for acting as the enablers and supporting the Liberals for three miserable years. I will not be too impressed, either by the various self-serving endorsements of special interest groups such as teachers’ unions. Mind you, if those union types would care to accompany me on my next grocery shopping trip and pick up the tab, my mind may change. Similarly, if Horwath and Wynne care to take a long overdue stand on Aboriginal rights and fairness in health care, housing and education in Ontario’s far flung Aboriginal communities, my vote may change.
You see, I have come not to expect anything (in terms of improvement for the plight of Aboriginal people) form Tim Hudak and his Progressive Conservatives. So I have absolutely no false illusions in that area. Hudak and his local candidate will get my vote this time simply because they will be taking less out of my wallet.
I really care little about the one hundred thousand civil servants that may be getting a pink slip. I have much more concern for the million or so, hard working honest families who have no pay cheques again this Friday.