There was a time, not too long ago, that this city was brimming with optimistic dialogue about social democracy. The death of Jack Layton had sparked a fire under the left-leaning majority of the downtown core and we were more than willing to speak up and out about the kind of politics that we as residents of this country’s cultural and economic centre have envisioned for our future. The sweeping pseudo-populism that brought to power the most distressing municipal administrations since Bad-Boy Lastman took over the newly amalgamated megacity under the watchful eye of the Harris conservatives has left us feeling boxed in by suburban conservative values. Yet as we lost favorite resident and national representative so tragically, the grief that spilled out of every corner of the country let us know that we were not the dwindling socially minded idealists that we were beginning to think that we were. Now as the provincial election looms and the threat of a conservative triple play is starting to look like a real possibility, an all too familiar topic is creeping into the political conversations in this city’s bars, coffee shops, grocery store line-ups and provocateur community culture and commentary blogs: Strategic voting.
“Anyone but Ford.” “Anyone but Harper.” “Anyone but Hudak…”
I’ll admit, the race is tight, and the prospect for a provincial government that would make Harris’s administration seem like they actually possessed the common sense that they so eagerly professed they did, could be enough to make me second guess my pen stroke at the voting booth on Thursday. The truth of the matter is though, that I do not get a say in who the next Premier of Ontario will be; I can only vote for my MPP.
I live in a riding where the streets are lined with orange. Peter Tabuns has held office here since 2006 and prior to that NDP MPP Marilyn Churley held the position. The area has been left-leaning for decades and we will undoubtedly keep it that way. I will be voting for NDP, not just because it’s what we’ve always done here in Toronto-Danforth, but because I know that putting my X beside the NDP candidate ensures that when all the votes are in, and we have either another steady Liberal government or a nightmare of neo-conservative lunacy across all three levels of government, that one of the core ridings in this province’s greatest city remains unshakably socially democratic.
The Liberals are counting on you to vote strategically. They know that your socialist leanings will wrench you towards electing the best possible option that is not a neo-con. For those of us in the downtown core I urge you to come out in droves on Thursday and cast your vote for your NDP incumbent. Let the polls show to all levels of government, that the core of this city, the heart of this country’s economic and cultural body, will always bleed orange.
You can read Nick’s other posts on PP [here]