Fool’s Errand: Finding the Way Forward, and the Right Candidate, in the Ontario Election

This is the final installment in my take on the platforms of the major contenders for Ontario provincial leadership. You can see the first here, the second here, and the third here.

The choices are between a candidate who touts a feel-good plan unsupported by evidence and flawed by faulty calculations, an incumbent so overburdened by the baggage of the previous leader that no message is likely to get through, even if that message were not as questionable as her’s already is, and a candidate who seems to be unsure of which party she is leading into this election, but is sure she doesn’t know how to lead them to victory anyways. After a superficial analysis of the platforms of Tim Hudak, Kathleen Wynne and Andrea Horwath, the only thing that can be concluded with any degree of confidence is that the beleaguered Ontario voter is faced with a decision akin to which kind of poison pill they’d like to die from.

I’ve never believed that refusing to vote is a valid protest of the quality of politics you have to choose from. I won’t say that you don’t have any right to complain if you don’t vote, because I think the right to complain is sacrosanct and unalienable. But, it’s in moments like this, when the choice between candidates is so poor, that a sort of paralysis sets in that makes that impulse to simply abstain from choice understandable. Since I still don’t believe that abstaining from our duties as voters is right, the only thing that we’re left with is a choice between evils, whichever we feel is the least also likely the most likely to win our vote. What is a voter to do? And, what do these candidates seem to want us to do?

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Identity Crisis: The Horwath NDP Election Platform

This is the third installment in my take on the platforms of the major contenders for Ontario provincial leadership. You can see the first here and the second here.

Andrea Horwath is why we’re all here. When the Liberals crafted their budget, it was with enough leftist goodies wrapped up in it that you could almost ask if the NDP had written it for them, and that was the whole point; they were forcing Andrea Horwath into the difficult predicament of supporting the Liberal government, or voting down the government by rejecting a budget that they should love. If they rejected the budget, they would be saddled with the task of explaining why they were, seemingly, rejecting ideas that were in lock-step with their own.

And, it hasn’t gotten any easier. The NDP has been the slowest to release their campaign platform, and, now that they have, they are being criticized for it being un-NDP. They’ve also started sounding a lot like the Progressive Conservatives, in some ways, and the change in stance has sent some NDP supporters looking for answers elsewhere. But, if Andrea Horwath called this election, she must have had a plan for winning it, hadn’t she? Or, at least a good reason for it in the first place? More to the point, those things should be evident in any platform the NDP releases, and should be distinct enough from the other two parties that you can get a sense for the identity the NDP are projecting. Is that the case, though?
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Robin Hoodwinked: The Kathleen Wynne Liberal Platform

This is the second installment in my take on the platforms of the major contenders for Ontario provincial leadership. You can see the first here.

I’ve already alluded to my natural, human inclination towards bias. In the interest of full disclosure, for those who aren’t already aware, I tend towards being a Liberal supporter. In some circles, that’s almost like saying I like to torture small fuzzy animals, or I eat babies for breakfast and carve up the elderly for dinner. Really, it’s not even fair to say I am a Liberal, since my personal take on things is to look at the issues, measure and weigh the ideas, then choose who I will back based on my best assessment of their relative strength compared to the others. It just happens that the better ideas and policies, certainly the ones that I think have the most value, tend to come from the Liberal Party.

Which brings us to Kathleen Wynne’s election platform, also known as “The May 1st Liberal Budget that was really failed attempt at pandering to the NDP.” Political survival instincts are strong, and with a foul wind blowing Kathleen Wynne crafted a budget that should have surely pleased the NDP enough to earn their support. But, that backfired and the failed budget proposal has now become the backbone of a re-election campaign instead. So, this should be an easy one, really: if the budget makes sense, and benefits Ontarians, then Wynne has a strong case. If it doesn’t, that foul wind just became a true stench.
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