Fear, loathing, efficiencies
Well, as we all know, in the wake of the Ontario provincial election, we have a new government and GlengarryPrescott-Russell has a new MPP. Time will tell whether anything really new or better will be coming our way as a result of the many new faces at Queen’s Park.
This time around we also had to adjust to some new voting methods. And there were some glitches, obviously. Final GPR results came in early June 8 after voting there had been extended to 10:30 p.m.
In the lead-up to the vote, Elections Ontario had launched an information campaign to encourage all ten million eligible electors to ensure they had their voter information cards, and thus, would not be impeded in exercising their democratic rights.
However, in many cases, the one-person, one-card concept was lost on somebody, or some computer, that was responsible for processing IDs.
Thus, certain electors actually received two VICs, each with a slightly variation in names and addresses.
The dual cards did, of course, illicit much laughter and merriment among the recipients, who saw this as another confirmation that robots are fallible. Some engaged in deep discus- sions about the complexity of the human condition, and the premise that all of us have double personalities, several faces that we present to the world.
Alas, two cards did not entitle a person to cast two ballots, as was made very clear when twoidentity electors approached their polling station. Workers there politely told them that the two-for-one formula did not apply when it came to elections.
What kind of ballots did you get? At certain polls, the conventionanl folding ballot was shoved through a slot in a box. However, at other polls, a file folder method was introduced, ostensibly to improve the process. After making their mark, voters lined up to wait for their ballots to be sucked into a counter doohicky. Hey, nothing is perfect. Did you feel good about the simple act of casting a ballot? Some did, regardless of the outcome of the election.
Certain people relish the shared experience, the collective action, where everyone, a group of individuals from all strata of society, participated in a common activity.
As an added bonus, getting out to vote enables a person to catch up on the news with the neighbours, and in at least one community centre, even get a preview of a garage sale.
Reasons for voting are as varied as voters themselves.
There were many who came out because they absolutely loved one party, hated a candidate, feared a certain policy, loathed one person’s particular position, or simply cast ballots because it seemed to be the right thing to do. And, of course, politics can be personal. For example, as if the Liberal banner was not a heavy enough burden to bear, Pierre Leroux was lambasted by some voters in Champlain Township because as mayor of Russell, and a member of Prescott-Russell united counties council, he voted in favour of a contentious cement plant project near L’Orignal.
Mr. Leroux and GPR’s new Conservative MPP Amanda Simard spent much of the campaign sniping at each other. Strategies to earn votes also vary. You need a good ground game to cultivate grass-roots support.
The Tory representative was absent from debates. In fact, at an Embrun meeting, in front of an empty chair, her image was stuck on a milk carton, under “Missing.”
Avoiding debates is usually not a wise political move.
However, the Conservative candidate concentrated on door-todoor blitzes, which are time-consuming but effective.
Also worthwhile are old-fashioned election signs, which dominated ditches, curbs and weed patches for weeks before Decision Day.
Ironically, while apathy continues to be a problem, future electors are chomping at the bit to make their views known, in mock elections.
More than 280,000 elementary and high school students participated in the Student Vote program. In the make-believe election, the NDP formed the government with 66 seats. However, in area schools, students reflected the real pattern, with Conservatives Jim McDonell and Ms. Simard getting the majority of student ballots. Interestingly, though, in local schools, the NDP was a strong second.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, when all is said and done, we get the government we deserve.
The post-provincial election period will give us a chance to catch our breath and look ahead to the municipal election campaigns, if there are any.
Unless there is a surge of contenders between now and the July 27 nomination deadline, the 2018 municipal and school board elections could be a snorefest.
As Premier Doug Ford has proven, one need not draw up a complex, wide-ranging platform to win the hearts and votes of the masses.
Therefore, if any new council and school board candidates do eventually materialize, they would be advised to make vague references to finding efficiencies, and cutting expenses. No details would be required.
Everyone loves efficiencies, as long as efficiencies do not affect them adversely.
Yet, one, nonpartisan, topic that can be safely discussed is the need to make our waste disposal sys- tems more efficient.
Plastic bottles are killing seabirds, clogging our waterways and using up valuable landfill capacity.
Plus, the provincial government,
Local elections threaten be a snorefest.
prior to the Ford Nation Victory, had been warning consumers about the preponderance of leftovers.
“Addressing food and organic waste is a big part of the story. In a linear economy, large volumes of food and organic resources are wasted, with few opportunities or incentives to prevent waste before it occurs,” the province posted on one of its web pages.
In 2015, Ontarians generated about 3.7 million tonnes of food and organic waste, which includes food that could have been eaten or repurposed, as well as unavoidable waste, such as food scraps and vegetable peelings. About 60 per cent of this was sent to landfill.
The amount of food wasted each year is particularly staggering. In Canada, about $31 billion worth of food is wasted annually. This equates to about $868 worth of food wasted per person per year.
Consumers are responsible for the largest share of food waste, at approximately 47 per cent of total food waste. The remaining food waste is generated along the supply chain, where food is grown, processed, transported and sold.
The residential sector generates about 55 per cent of all food and organic waste in the province.
Municipalities have made good progress in keeping food and organic waste from being sent to disposal. In 2015, Ontario’s municipalities recovered over one million tonnes of food and organic waste from the residential sector, including about 480,000 tonnes of green bin waste and 540,000 tonnes of leaf and yard waste. This translates to a recovery rate of nearly 50 per cent.
We could always do better.