As many of you know, my main area of interest is US politics and foreign policy, so this post will be a bit of a stretch for me, but I think it's important to post on the upcoming Provincial election and referendum.
Oh yeah.... did you know we have an election fast approaching in Ontario? Do you care? I ask because most people I come into contact with don't give a flying fig about politics, and ignore anything to do with it. All I can say to those people is, PLEASE: vote. It's so important. We as Canadians need to be less complacent and stop letting the politicians make decisions for us. Stand up and let your voice be heard. Voter turn out is astonishingly awful, and I'd like to see that turn around.
This election really has me thinking, and I am torn on who to vote for. Are any of them worthy candidates, and would I really like to see one of the four primary contenders run our province? Honestly, I don't know, because I really don't know much about them or what they stand for, aside from their "traditional" policy ideologies based on their political affiliation. I have received no literature from any candidate - local or provincial - and have only seen half of the televised leader debate.
*snort* If you watched it, you'll know that there wasn't much debating of issues going on, just debate on Dalton McSquinty's track record and lack of progress in the last four years. *yawn* I didn't want to hear what Dalton didn't do rehashed over and over again. I wanted to hear more about the issues, and what each party planned to do about those issues.
Which leads me to a small rant. WHY is the Green Party not included in the debates? Time constraints they say. Then make MORE time. I personally think it's fear. Fear that the Greens will saying something that actually makes sense (rather than the mudslinging attacks the major 3 throw at each other), and people will be swayed to vote for them. Perhaps? Who knows.
I like the Green platform for the most part, and I think my leaning is more in their direction. However, I'm having trouble in this election committing myself to voting for them or any other party. With only 8% "popularity" in the polls (which I don't put too much stock in to begin with), it is pretty certain they will not win. I fear that "throwing" my vote to them just leaves that much more of a window for Dalton McSquinty and the Liberals to retain power, and after the term we've had with him of broken promises, increased taxes and "promises" set for the distant future - no thanks. Let's see if someone else can get the job done. It's doubtful, but why give him a second shot? He blew it the first time.
I've become jaded and cynical towards all Ontario politicians it seems. Since Bob Rae (who I liked as a person, but not his policies), Ontario has seemed to have a dark cloud over her head that no leader can seem to shake. We need action in this province. We need more doctors, less wait times for important medical tests, and more money injected into the education system. And let's not ignore the environment. We need to take action on these issues, NOW. Not in 2011.
So who to vote for? Or maybe you non-voters have it right. Screw it. Whatever I do isn't going to matter one way or another, is it? No party will win the majority of votes in the province, and promises won't be kept because they never are. So why bother?
We have to "bother". Our votes can send a message. Yes, the Green party may only have 8% in the polls, but if your gut says "Go Green", then vote for them! Send a message to the other parties saying that the Greens ARE a viable party, that they DO have a sound platform, and that we - as Ontarians/Canadians - would like to hear more of that platform and ideology at election time.
Do your homework, watch the news, read the papers - educate yourself! The WWW has a plethora of information on the election, with great debates to be found with a quick Google search. Don't be apathetic though, please. We have this right - this duty! - to vote. Take advantage of it. It's one of the only *true* freedoms we really do have in this democracy. Use it.
That's my PSA for the day. Vote! And if you don't plan on voting, please drop me a note and let me know why. I'd love to hear reasons for people not voting. Maybe I can do something to change your mind.... ;o)
Peace (and vote!)