North needs ‘hope’

‘Not only is our prov­ince dom­i­nated by Toron­toarea politi­cians, but even our own rep­re­sen­ta­tives sit shack­led, un­will­ing or un­able to help the peo­ple that voted them in,’ NOP can­di­date says

The Sudbury Star - - NEWS - MAT DEL PAPPA GUEST COL­UMN Mat Del Pappa is run­ning for the North­ern On­tario Party in the Nickel Belt rid­ing.

I am a dis­abled Cana­dian. I’ve been in a wheelchair for three-quar­ters of my life. And yet I still hope to walk again … one day. It won’t be to­day or to­mor­row. It might not be for a decade or more but, re­gard­less of the wait, I refuse to give up on the dream. I live on hope.

And so do most north­ern On­tar­i­ans.

Not ev­ery­one up here is hop­ing for a med­i­cal mir­a­cle. Some hope to get out of debt. Oth­ers hope for clean drink­ing wa­ter. There are a lot of frus­trated hopes in the north: a liv­ing wage, quicker ac­cess to health care, driv­able roads, more jobs, bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties for the young peo­ple, the list goes on and on.

Hope is a great thing. It helps us through hard times and lets us fo­cus on a bet­ter to­mor­row. But what if we’re hop­ing for a bet­ter to­mor­row? What if we’ve been given false hope time and again? How are we to keep go­ing when cyn­i­cism is the or­der of the day when we can’t trust the peo­ple who are elected to make things bet­ter?

Pol­i­tics is where hope goes to die. Cater­ing to ev­ery­one means pleas­ing no one. For ev­ery par­ti­san crowd cheer­ing a politi­cian there are hun­dreds of vot­ers at home seething with dis­ap­point­ment.

We at the North­ern On­tario Party know we can’t please ev­ery voter. Even though the north is rel­a­tively small in terms of peo­ple there are still large dif­fer­ences amongst us. While we may share broad re­gional grievances, we’re each unique. One north­erner might stress over our ridicu­lous hy­dro prices while an­other longs for tax cuts; oth­ers want stronger laws to pro­tect the en­vi­ron­ment at the same time as their neigh­bour prefers less gov­ern­ment re­stric­tions.

Re­gard­less of where you sit on the po­lit­i­cal spec­trum — on the right, the left or in the cen­tre — hope keeps you vot­ing. Hope the politi­cians will fi­nally fol­low through on their prom­ises. Hope that your party of choice re­mains true to their prin­ci­ples and doesn’t give in to po­lit­i­cal ex­pe­di­ence.

Un­for­tu­nately, North­ern On­tario has been be­trayed. Time and again we vote and are dis­ap­pointed in the re­sults. Not only is our prov­ince dom­i­nated by Toronto-area politi­cians, but even our own rep­re­sen­ta­tives sit shack­led, un­will­ing or un­able to help the peo­ple that voted them in.

Tra­di­tional par­ties have tried and failed. Vote PC, Lib­eral or NDP. They are all the same – will­ing to say any­thing, prom­ise any­thing, be­lieve any­thing – so long as it gets them elected.

The NOP is dif­fer­ent. Our goal isn’t just to get into power. We want to pro­vide hope to north­ern vot­ers. Win or lose, the North­ern On­tario Party stands for the north: “Of the North, for the North” – that’s us.

Not only are our pol­i­tics dif­fer­ent; we are dif­fer­ent. We op­er­ate in a unique way. Ev­ery other party has “whipped” votes; we don’t. Our elected MPPs will be free to vote their con­science on ev­ery is­sue. The NOP be­lieves that vot­ing in the best in­ter­est of their rid­ing is an MPP’s duty.

Ev­ery other party tells you what they’ll do if elected; we don’t. In­stead we want you to tell us what’s needed. Call, email, send a tele­gram – just get in­volved. We want our cit­i­zens en­gaged, and not just at elec­tion time.

An in­formed and ac­tive elec­torate is North­ern On­tario’s great­est nat­u­ral re­source. We hope to see an end to ap­a­thy in the north; we hope to work with the pub­lic; we hope that come June 7, you’ll con­sider vot­ing NOP. Give hope a chance.

Mat Del Pappa

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