Hold your nose if you have to, but vote!
Potential low voter turnout makes every vote matter even more by Ron Johnson
It’s funny: in most elections I’ve rarely voted for one of the big three parties. As someone who considers climate change to be the defining issue of my generation, I tend to side with the Green Party even though to many that amounts to a wasted vote. I’m used to losing and consider it as playing the long game. That being said, this election does seem different, and as a result, I think — like a lot of people — I’m retooling my strategy.
There is a stark choice before Ontarians this month. The province has never been more polarized, and that is not a good thing.
It seems as though there is little common ground upon which we can all stand.
If you are in favour of environmental protections and working toward homegrown solutions to climate change and the shrinking middle class, you are deemed an extremist and a downtown elite.
Being pro-business and trade doesn’t have to mean that you want Donald Trump–style populism and rhetoric, and that we should start tearing up the Greenbelt for development. But doesn’t it seem that way based on the campaign rhetoric?
Yes, a mushy middle does exist, and yes, I believe it is much larger than most admit, especially in this election when many would like a change in government but have real and longstanding issues with the current crop of provincial party leaders.
There are so many conflicted voters that it is hard to imagine polls being in any way accurate.
So far, although there has been an escalation in fact-deficient campaign promises and personal attacks, we have yet to approach the zany and offensive behaviour that characterizes American electioneering.
But we are getting there. And all that does is turn people off of the process and away from the actual issues by which we should be measuring our candidates. Perhaps that benefits those who are light on substance but heavy on slogans.
Hopefully enough people will see beyond the bafflegab and take a long, hard look at the platforms as well as the past experience of the leaders.
During the last couple of elections Ontario has hovered around the 50 per cent mark in voter turnout, and that just isn’t good enough this time around. We need to do better. Perhaps we should consider a system such as Australia’s where residents are actually fined if they don’t vote.
I think that people are having a hard time with this one because of how important it really is and how important the issues really are. But that’s democracy for you. Nobody ever said it was easy. So get out and vote!
Kathleen Wynne and Doug Ford, not too popular with voters