SOON TIME TO VOTE?
This may be true for some of you. It was true for me twice in the past two years. Here is a summary of my experience.
- •October 2014: Toronto civic electionThe incumbent was Rob Ford, who was elected in October 2010. You remember Rob. He was on all those talk shows where he was the fish in the barrel, being shot at by the smarmy talk show host while Rob thought he was making himself even more popular and famous. He deserved everything he got.
- •In the 2010 election when Rob was first elected mayor, I had held my nose and voted for the other candidate, a political back room boy.Obviously didn't work.
- •During his time as mayor, Rob fought against the "war on the car". As a result, we have an aging and inadequate public transport system, and pedestrian injuries and deaths have risen more than in most cities.This was what he did when we wasn't drunk, high, or getting the city to improve the road outside his family business. But enough of him; he died recently and it is not proper to badmouth the dead.
- •During the 2015 election, Rob's cancer became a bigger problem. His brother Doug took his place as the candidate.This didn't matter too much as Doug was basically a Rob clone with a smaller waistline and less of the People's Touch.
- •The main other candidate was John Tory, who had run for various offices previously and was a radio show host.Best described as a centre right politician.
- •There was a third candidate: Olivia Chow, wife of the former head of the left wing federal party, the NDP.Olivia started the election in the lead, but faded as election day approached.
- •What to do?What was more important: 1. stopping a Ford from continuing on as mayor and continuing to wreck our city, or 2. voting for the candidate who best reflected my views?
- •I chose Option 1.I think this is called Strategic Voting. I held my nose and performed my civic duty. I am glad to say that Rob/Doug was defeated, John Tory is the mayor, and it's great to have a boring, well spoken mayor who doesn't make you cringe.
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- •October 2015: federal electionThe incumbent: Stephen Harper and his Conservative party. They had been in power since 2006. Other parties: Justin Trudeau's Liberals, another centrist party, although a bit to the left of the Conservatives; and the left leaning NDP, which had done surprisingly well in the previous election.
- •It was a close race for most of the unreasonably long campaigning period, but as Election Day approached, the NDP faded and it became a two-way race, although still close.The Conservatives ran a nasty campaign, with their "Just not ready" slogan for Justin. Nasty by Canadian standards, that is.
- •What to do?What was more important: 1. stopping Harper from continuing on as Prime Minister and continuing to wreck our country, or 2. voting for the candidate who best reflected my views?
- •I chose Option 1.I think this is called Strategic Voting. I held my nose and performed my civic duty. I am glad to say that Harper was defeated and it is nice to have a PM who I can support, although we should not be selling weapons to the Saudis.
- •It is not for me to tell you who to vote for, or how to vote. Just thought I would share my experience.But I will encourage you to vote. We are so lucky to live in democratic countries. The ballot box is no guarantee of true democracy but it is a good place to start.