I really wanted to write an article today espousing the wonderful future an NDP-led Ontario would bring. I desperately wanted to put my support behind Andrea Horwath, of whom I was initially quite skeptical but who has since won me over with her charismatic communication style, honest (or at least convincing) candour, and positive campaign message. I yearned to see the wave of orange that recently swept the country extend to Ontario politics. As the election draws nearer, however, I realize that I have no choice but to hope for a Liberal government residing at Queen’s Park… though I am still voting NDP.
The NDP platform reads like the blueprints for a socialist utopia, one that I would gladly live in, however, one that could never exist in the real world. On social issues I think the ‘dippers’ would bring positive change to Ontario… if only we could give them a limited mandate and leave the management of the economy in the hands of the grown-ups. As a socially liberal Torontonian who spends his days on Bay Street, I have a very good understanding of what would happen to business in Ontario if the NDP platform were to be put into force. Sadly, those policies would leave a stench of government overreach, protectionism, and a far-too generous attitude towards labour (bordering on outright hostility towards employers, save for a tax credit they can’t afford), that would send new business scurrying for greener pastures.
On the other hand we have the Liberal Party, who have actually done a pretty good job with the province over the past several years. They have successfully navigated an extremely difficult economy, worked to develop new green industry (did you know that Ontario is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of solar cells?), expanded our healthcare network, and reversed some of the damage inflicted on our education system by the previous PC government. Dalton McGuinty is not my favourite candidate, I don’t find him to be particularly charismatic, nor do I find him to be particularly candid when compared with Horwath (though he is far better than Soundbite-Tim). The other BIG attribute working for the Liberal Party is that they are not the PC Party… who scare the shit out of me.
Sidenote: I had the misfortune of meeting Tim Hudak at an agricultural conference several months ago, back when I didn’t know who he was. Before I realized he was the leader of the Ontario PC Party, he gave me the creeps in a big way. So I know it’s not just the blue tie.
On election night, I will keep with my tradition of voting for the candidate I feel has the most to offer my community. In this case it is the NDP candidate Rosario Marchese. Even though I want a Liberal Ontario, I can’t bring myself to vote for Sarah Thompson (see Seamus’ article for more on this).