Election Thing

I opened my door to accept some food delivery and discovered that a PC flyer was hanging from my doorknob. I have no idea when the PCs came by, and I don’t remember hearing any knocks at the door. But it wasn’t there the last time I opened the door, but it’s there now.

I’m not going to vote for the PCs, for three reasons:

  1. First, and most obviously, because Doug Ford is human garbage monster, and will bring shame on the province;
  2. second, the PC platform (if such a thing can be said to exist) is pretty far from my own political bent, especially when we have candidates talking about debating whether or not the Holocaust happened or rolling back abortion rights; and
  3. thirdly, the PC candidate has no chance of winning my riding — one that’s been NDP or Liberal for 20 years (although strictly speaking, my riding is only a few years old, it was spun out of Trinity-Spadina with a bit of Toronto Centre thrown in).

Currently, my riding’s MPP is Liberal Han Dong who displaced our long-standing NDP MPP Rosario Marchese in the last election. I don’t feel like I’ve really seen much community engagement from Mr. Dong, so that’s a bit disappointing. This year, the NDP is running a white guy named Chris Glover, who I don’t know and haven’t met. He’s not my ideal candidate, both because I wish the NDP had found a person of colour to run in the riding, and because I feel like all of his experience is outside of our riding. But otherwise, his bona fides seem solid.

I am a bit critical of Han Dong, although my criticisms would probably be the same with any Liberal backbencher. He’s part of the majority party, and I therefore expect him to represent our riding in important provincial issues. For me, the most important work I wanted him to be vocal about is pressuring Bombardier about meeting its delivery commitments to the TTC. The Liberals were happy to hand Bombardier tons of bail-out money, and Wynne kept going on about how important Bombardier was to the Ontario economy. But as my MPP, I expected Han Dong to agitate for Toronto and Spadina-Fort York and ensure that we’re getting our streetcars in a timely fashion. I’ve seen no work on this front.

I also have other, more general criticisms of the Liberals. Part of me wants to like Kathleen Wynne, as she’s our first openly lesbian Premier. Liberal policies are generally too right-wing for me, so I wasn’t likely to vote for her party, but I thought that the representation mattered. I also agree that a lot of the hatred toward Wynne was nasty in a way that reeked of sexism and homophobia. I think that this especially comes through in criticism of the Ontario sex education changes. Most of that criticism just seems to be a form of “how dare you tell the children that gay people exist!” and I… well… I just have no sympathy for that point of view.

I think that the Liberals made the right move in raising the minimum wage, but I also think that they played a common election game that’s backfired. The game is this: they gamble on the fact that, when election time comes around, the public doesn’t remember what the government did in the first few years, and they save all their positive benefit changes for close to election time. I think that backfired on them because businesses grumbled a lot about the sticker-shock of the minimum wage increase. I think they would have been better off raising the minimum wage more gradually, and starting earlier. But, again, that doesn’t have the same “everybody gets ice cream” effect at election time. Me, I think the whole “let’s gamble on the short-term memory of the general public” thing is a destructive force in politics, and I’m kind of happy to see that backfire.

The same could be said about problem of Hydro prices: I get their claim that they inherited a Hydro infrastructure with a shit-ton of problems (but also kind of inherited it from earlier Liberal governments, no?) but the out-of-control hydro price raises were really hurting people. And even though the Liberals now see how much the partial sell-off of Hydro is to the public, Wynne skill claims that it was the right move (she just didn’t explain it well to the people. When did you explain anything to the people?) The Hydro sell-off is probably my biggest bug-a-boo: voting for the Liberals is a non-starter for me as a result.

What I want to see: representation that actually represents our riding, that does more than just fall in line with official party dogma, and that accomplishes some meaningful stuff. I think that the NDPs priorities are good priorities: Pharmacare and Child Care and transit. If Chris Glover wins our riding, but we end up with a PC government, I’m resigned to our riding not getting ice cream, but I expect him to be front-and-centre fighting for Toronto.

But even if Glover wins and we get an NDP government (either majority or minority), I want him to actively represent us. That means community meetings, disagreeing with the party to push forward our priorities and not being afraid to say that Toronto’s needs are being ignored because too much of the province hates the city and complains when Toronto gets the infrastructure projects it desperately needs. That shit needs to stop, and I need my MPP to stop giving in to that noise.

Also, while we’re at it, I’d love to know where our candidates stand on the idea of spinning Toronto out into its own province.

The one things I know for sure: a Doug Ford win will be ruinous for the province.

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