Good Morning to my readers!!! Today is September 6, 2011 and in exactly 1 month we have ourselves a provincial election!!
October 6th 2011: The provincial election that may decide a new leader to direct and govern the struggling province of Ontario as it battles another potential recession and a diminished manufacturing sector. To think...some of you do not even vote, when in fact your vote will make a very big difference to many serious issues out there!
The contenders remain the same with the NDP -=- Liberals -=- Progressive Conservatives and the Green Party fighting it out for as much power as possible.
So far, many people foresee a duplication of our federal election coming down to the provincial level with the orange crush created by the NDP weakening the Liberals and allowing the Conservatives a better chance at seats.
While this may be a probable possibility, I still want to keep a clear mind about it and break down each party and their chances of success based on what they have to offer.
The Liberals -=- Dalton Mcguinty
Dalton Mcguinty has been in power for 8 years as the Premier of Ontario.
The Cons (Because listing these first makes the pain easier to bear):
-Has managed and governed true to the Liberal legacy of over spending. Dalton Mcguinty has taken many successful projects and gone over budget.
-Contracts out to consultants, who in turn charge millions of dollars of tax payer money and legitimize it as "fees" = Example: E-health scandal: Over budget by millions of dollars due to consultant fees that were also close friends of the party.
-Mismanagement of government affairs and spending: Overall party has had issues listening to Ontarians and as a result has brought in many new taxes that have not only increased the cost of living, but has also increased the burden on the provinces poor and newly unemployed. For this reason, you will hear a lot of attack ads calling Dalton the "Taxman."
-Taxes introduced: Health tax, Eco Fee tax on electronic goods, HST on hydro and heating, HST on sale goods (excluding a certain few items), An increase to property taxes on the municipal level, all the while decreasing many economic taxes for corporations.
-Cuts to many social assistance programs have led to an increase in strain added to the low income sector of our province. Example: Recent cuts to welfare have removed the special diet allowance: An allowance given to families on assistance who have medical conditions that require wholesome and fresh foods.
-Dalton's Liberals have spent a lot of money, however many programs have been created that have brought with them many benefits. For example, wait times at hospitals have decreased in many sectors due to an increase of doctors/reorganization within the system.
-Deal with Samsung has given 7 Billion dollars to a foreign corporation, but promises to create full time jobs even if the realistic numbers might not be very close to the current projected numbers.
-Eco incentives on green goods have made Ontario recognized by the world as a successful attempt to not only introduce the idea of green power, but realistically and sustainably implement it.
-Early education: Dalton Mcguinty has put a lot of money and focus into providing better education for young children in an attempt to ensure a more educated future workforce. Improvements to this sector have allowed for better direction and funding to focus on more education and full day kindergarten classes.
The Progressive Conservative Party -=- Tim Hudak
-Tim Hudak has been identified as a Blue very to the right Conservative, however this has not stopped him from gaining support from moderates across the spectrum. The downside to this however is that his policies are very right wing.
-Serving under Mike Harris, Tim carries with him many beliefs and policies that shadow the common sense revolution Harris implemented when in control. Many of these policies did exactly what they said they did and resulted in tax and program cuts as well as the sale of different public goods to the private sector, one of the most famous being the 407 Highway (built with tax dollars and sold for "pennies" to the now fee for use private company that controls it).
-Tim is married to Deb Hutton (Was a strategist under Mike Harris). Searching for Deb Hutton on the internet will bring you to a series of deleted pages, but her political career resulted in some devastating consequences especially when you research The Ipperwash Crisis in Ontario. I respectfully wish to end this point here, but strongly suggest you look into this issue further and as a result understand why her name is a negative political issue for Tim's attempt to maintain a clean image.
-The Progressive Conservative Party is planning to do away with many of the eco incentive programs that the Liberals have made Ontario recognized for. The legitimacy behind this decision is in support of lowering taxes and cutting programs seen as financially wasteful regardless of the economic and environmental benefits it may have.
-So far the Conservatives can be given credit for doing their job as the main opposition to the government. They have often disregarded the low income and poor within the province as they focus on bringing relief to Ontario families. However, they have done their research and focused on issues the Liberal party allowed to continue, for example: Expense Fraud within the Ontario Lottery Corporation and the financial effects the HST has been having on Ontario families. These two topics along with the e health scandal have made media headlines and support the notion that the opposition was well....doing what the opposition is supposed to do. Aside from that Tim Hudak has individually worked to raise money for various community initiatives and even worked to raise millions for the tourist sector after the 9/11 attacks shook consumers.
The NDP -=- Andrea Horwath
The NDP have remained in third place when it comes to the division of power we call our government. Now, I was strained with the idea of adding the pros and cons of this party in being that they do hold a minority position within the opposition, but considering how much success they have received federally, I have decided to dedicate some thoughts with regards to their structure, ideals and chances in the upcoming election.
The NDP has spent the past couple of years under the guidance of Jack Layton trying to tune their image and apply ideas that will make them appear more moderate. As their party still remains one leaning farther to the left then the Liberals, the current state of affairs within the party has been catering toward younger voters and their opinions on the current problems Ontario and Canada as a whole are facing.
You may be wondering why I mentioned under the guidance of Jack Layton, the answer to this is quite simple. The NDP believe that regardless of provincial support or federal, party members will stand in solidarity on both levels and thus support each other. This has often scared many moderates and undecided voters as the party likes to ask for a commitment upfront.
The success of the NDP in the upcoming election is special because the party now stands at a fork in the road. Rely on the image and legacy of Jack Layton and hope for a sympathy vote to continue the Orange Tide or redefine further and push important issues that affect the average person. Either way the party is going to have trouble finding a spot in the leadership chair.
Much like the Green party who might gain a seat, the NDP most likely will not win the election on their own, but with some crafty political moves could find themselves in a minority position with the help of the Liberals.
I predict that Tim Hudak is going to sweep in many reformed areas that believe the Liberals have been here to long, in other areas however there will be a sweep for the NDP as many families in the manufacturing sector have continued to be affected by changing policies, taxes and an overall lack of sustainable work. Not to mention that if the NDP do gain seats, this can only aid the PC party in their overall attempt for power, much like it helped Harper federally.
I know I have been talking for quite some time now, but I know this information can hopefully give you some guidance on which party will support you and which might still require some time to think about it.
Overall, the Liberals have been in power for quite some time and that is always something to be worried about as power corrupts anything that wields it long enough. The PC party has a history of defunct policies that did more long term damage than good and their shadow seems present in current party members also. The NDP are still quite young compared to the other parties, but their fiscal policies will include more spending for programs and family support, something the province could use to lighten the burden of working people, but overall will not help with the current deficit. The green party still exists and will still exist after the election, but poses no real bid for the top.
Just remember my key philosophy when it comes to politics: "If you put your full trust in a politician, then that is your first problem. "
The provincial election will affect your daily life more than the federal one has and this is why it is very important you stay active, educated and organized to respond to what happens. The winds of change are coming, but with your support they can be directed to aid the party that will do the most good or at least choose the party that is the "lesser of evils."
Tell me who your voting for and why? Also, remember as time counts down where to look for when you need an outside look at parties that many people might not know much about.
Stay informed, stay strong and don't fear the government...they are here to work for you not the other way around.
PS: Sorry for the lack of photos...more to come as I continue my election coverage.