Rose Simpson's column appears every Tuesday morning on the OttawaStart Blog. She also blogs at Rose's Cantina. You can read her previous columns here.
For the first time in my life, I've actually thought about NOT VOTING in an Ontario election.
In my four decades of voting, it's always been pretty easy to separate the squirrels from the actual eggs. There were clear choices.
In my youth, I veered to the left-ish, liking the NDP but voting Liberal because I believed there were too many wackjobs in the NDP.
I could never stomach the Tories. Even the youngins reminded me of my crazy Uncle Ivan who would rail against the gov-ment while he was chain-smoking roll-your-owns.
Like most women, the Liberal party seemed reasonable and progressive. So like a reasonably well-educated fembot, I've put the Liberal tramp stamp on my ballot each and every election.
Hell, I voted for Dalton McGuinty three times, even though he looked like a psycho killer.
Maybe it's because I'm tumbling into the geezerhood vortex, that awesome time in a person'slife when television tells us we need more life insurance, a walk-in-tub and a stairlift (just don't fall!), but I'm starting to care about other things than I used to. Maybe it's because of the changing nature of the economy, maybe because I'm a poor life planner, but I'm only now starting to worry about the potential I could end up living in squalor and eating beans and half-priced stale bread and rotting fruit. Maybe because I'm paranoid...is there a correlation between the dive in the economy and the end of the penny?
In any event, I'm a little scared for our future.
So I felt the sudden urge to read the political platforms of the three parties. And I'm sharing them now with you. Read them and weep, dear taxpayers. None of the above seems to be a pretty attractive option.
Here is the Liberal plan.
Here is the Tory plan.
Here is the NDP plan.
The choice, as my hero Paul Calandra might say, is clear.
We could continue to trust the Liberals to run things, business as usual. There isn't much in their platform other than to continue with the status quo. And in some cases -- when they weren't being Big P Political and cancelling gas plants, they've done a pretty good job reducing wait times, getting folks family doctors and so on. Their record on finding people jobs sucks the big one, but I wouldn't say the Liberals offered up anything better or worse than politicians anywhere in North America, aside from Alberta, but then you'd have to live in Alberta.
The Liberals have a pension plan idea but that doesn't appeal to me, seeing as I've only made $650 so far this year and I don't have any personal plans or the ability to invest in a new pension scheme. That idea was great in Saskatchewan in the 1980s when the Devine government invented the Homemakers and Farmers Pension Plan (the title is mine), but it sucks as an idea in an economy where thousands and thousands of people are either out of work or are working part-time.
As we've heard in those screaming Kathleen Wynne ads (stop scaring voters, Kathleen, you are a better person than that!) Tim Hudak would give 100,000 teachers and other public servants pink slips. and then somehow create a million jobs. The cutting of public employees is not a new idea; it's a gold-plated Conservative commitment at all levels. Trouble is, at the provincial level at least, most public servants aren't sitting on their arses playing Candy Crush Saga, they are actually delivering services. So no public servants, no service. And I simply do not believe Hudak can create a million jobs. Where did he get the million job target anyway? Were he and the boys sitting around the Legion in Fort Erie playing darts and Lloyd piped up, "hey we should create a million jobs! A round for everyone!"
As a voter, I'd feel better if he said he'd create 842,356 jobs. It would actually show his bean counters and eggheads have identified places where those jobs can be created. Meh.
So then there's the NDP. The good old NDP. Perhaps I should vote for Blair from theFacts of Life and Tootie and the gang simply because she is hated by the aforementioned silver spoon wackjobs who have accused her of abandoning all principles, but again, it's still the NDP. Common sense left this place a looong time ago.
Her platform states the NDP would plan action on wait times and education, but I think the Liberals have actually done a good job in those areas. The only thing in Horwath's plan that speaks to me is that she would take the HST off my Hydro bills. But as I said to Scott last night, when you're paying nearly a thousand bucks on a two month Hydro bill, eighty bucks will barely pay for the pills you use to kill yourself.
So it comes down to this.
Who do you trust?
Kathleen Wynne seems alright, if you'd like Sue Sylvester running the place but she still reigns over the same old gang, missing only Dueling Dalton and The Price is Dwight Duncan and those political operatives who are going to jail for deleting emails.
Hudak is a Mike Harris protégé sorely in need of an esthetician. He seems a bit too bat crazy for my liking, and I simply hate his platform.
Horwath is not Bob Rae. But she doesn't seem to have any kind of real plan for this place to live, this place to grow. And she looks like she's in serious need of a cholesterol check. It is, alas, an occupational hazard for female politicians that instead of their noses growing, their butts expand when they're lying to us.
Pardon the personal remarks, but I am shallow and I have a big screen, High Definition television.
All I can say is, after examining the platforms, it comes down to three people too ugly for show business. Fifty seven channels and nothing on.
So I'm still on the fence.
If you want an analysis of what each party has offered, there's a good one here: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/ontario-votes-election-issues-cheat-sheet
-- Rose Simpson
See also: Ontario Election Guide
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