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Ontario Voted
June 13, 2014 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Between 9am and 9pm yesterday, the people of (the province of, not the city) Ontario took to the polls to elect a new government and (possibly) a new premier. Things did not turn out exactly as predicted.

Ontario's government functions on the Westminster model (scroll down for information applying specifically to Ontario) of Parliament, in which if a sitting government is unable to pass a budget bill, an election is automatically triggered.

In this case, the Liberal Party of Ontario (centre-left) had a minority government, with the provincial Progressive Conservative (right/conservative) party (PC) as opposition, and the New Democratic Party of Ontario (left) holding the balance of power. The Liberals were essentially relying on the NDP to assist in passing the bill, as the PCs are generally ideologically opposed to the Liberals and would vote against.

Instead, Andrea Horwath, the leader of the NDP since 2009 (the party with the fewest seats in Queen's Park [PDF], the provincial parliament), had indicated her party would not support the bill on May 2nd, prompting the premier to ask the Lieutenant-Governor to dissolve parliament, triggering yesterday's election.

The election was essentially a two-way fight between Kathleen Wynne (the leader of the Liberal party, the first woman elected premier in Ontario, and the first out QUILTBAG person elected as premier in Canada, and possibly the first to a head of government post in the English-speaking world, according to Uncle George) and Tim Hudak, the (former) leader of the PC party, who announced his retirement as leader (though not as a Member of Provincial Parliament) in his concession speech last night.

A handy cheat sheet on the platforms of the three major parties in the election is available here. The official platform of the PC party is available from its website (unable to make a direct link, sorry); the NDP platform is here; and the Liberal plan is here.

Official results will be available from Elections Ontario, a nonpartisan government agency, on the 18th of June. Unofficial results are available from major news outlets, with varying degrees of analysis, as well as via Election Ontario's website We Make Voting Easy. TL;DR version: out of 107 seats in the provincial legislature, the Liberals won a majority of 59, PCs won 27, and the NDP 21. None of the multitude of Ontario's other parties gained a single seat.

An interesting development in this particular election is the rise of 'declined' (as opposed to spoiled or unmarked) ballots. This seems to have been promulgated by a longtime PC supporter (though he states his idea is non-partisan), and has been denounced as an ineffective way to protest. That said, declining one's ballot is a legal option defined in Ontario's Election Act.

Disclaimer: I worked on the election, for Elections Ontario, as a poll clerk at a polling station. Everything I have posted here is from public sources, as my oath as a poll worker precludes me from revealing details of precisely what happened at my polling station. I can discuss how the election functioned on a general basis, however, and do not believe this post counts as a self-link.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering (128 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
I could watch the Wynne acceptance speech on repeat for hours. What a woman, what a victory. I feel so proud today to be an Ontarian.
posted by sid at 1:05 PM on June 13 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile the, Toronto Sun is taking this about as gracefully as anyone could hope for.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:06 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


TIM HUDAK IS CREEPY AS FUCK. THE MAN DOES NOT BLINK.


I just had to get that off my chest.

Feckless... what about the Green party? Most major news outlets act like they don't exist. The leader of that party is regularly excluded from the televised debates at both the federal & the provincial level despite regularly receiving 5% of the popular vote since at least 2006. Are there any good articles about them?
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:08 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Ontario's government functions on the Westminster model (scroll down for information applying specifically to Ontario) of Parliament, in which if a sitting government is unable to pass a budget bill, an election is automatically triggered.

Yeah, too bad Virginia doesn't work that way...

But man, I miss Canada. Even after a decade of trying to burn away every decent thing about the country under the Harper Government, Canadians are, at the end of the day, just too decent to be snarling American Tea Party sociopaths.

Except Rob Ford, obviously. And Ted Cruz, who has just made Canada a better place by renouncing his citizenship.
posted by Naberius at 1:08 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


For those unsure of QUILTBAG -

Queer/Questioning
Unidentified
Intersex
Lesbian
Trans
Bisexual
Asexual
Gay
posted by Sophie1 at 1:13 PM on June 13 [11 favorites]


For those who tune in to Ontario politics threads for updates on Fordian madness in Toronto: Mayor Rob Ford is still in his mysterious rehab, but brother/campaign manager Doug (who has spoken before of his aims to lead the provincial Progressive Conservative party) declared today “I’ll tell you one thing, I’d give that PC party an enema from top to bottom.” There is no update on whether or not Councillor Ford is aware that enemas are typically given from the bottom, but kudos to him for offering an innovative spin.

In other news, the Toronto Sun's Sue-Ann Levy confidently informed us that she foresaw this months ago: "I suspected all along that Torontonians were prepared to give Wynne a free pass because she’s openly gay. After all, that would suggest she’s far more hip, progressive and compassionate..." Sue-Ann Levy herself is also openly gay, and intends to stand up for the dull, mean-spirited, reactionary lesbian community of Toronto.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:13 PM on June 13 [26 favorites]


Yeah, too bad Virginia doesn't work that way...

I would prefer a fixed-term system though - too often this Westminster model is used for political opportunism at the public expense i.e. "my party is doing well in the polls, and this seems like a good time for an election, let's veto this bill!" I'm so tired of it.

That and proroguing government should not be allowed.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:14 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


I could watch the Wynne acceptance speech on repeat for hours. What a woman, what a victory. I feel so proud today to be an Ontarian.

I promise I won't threadsit, but a friend texted me the news of the election being called for the Liberals literally five minutes after I'd finished at my polling station and was walking home. (NB: we were, for obvious reasons, not allowed at all to use our cellphones while within the polling station itself.)

It's possible that I danced in the street a little. It's also possible that a really sketchy looking dude asked me why I was dancing, and I told him, and he joined me!

St Peepsburg, I didn't include information on the Greens because despite, as you say, the percentage of the vote they have been getting, they have achieved no seats at the Pink Palace. I wanted to focus mainly on the three parties in power, and not delve too far into side issues like proportional representation (which is basically what any discussion about the Greens would turn into), who should and should not be included in debates, etc. I feel that those issues would be better suited in a post of their own, written by someone who is better than me at composing FPPs, as I already digressed from the main issue by including the bit about declining to vote.

Also, Tim Hudak looks like Mr Bean. You will never be able to unsee it.

"my party is doing well in the polls, and this seems like a good time for an election, let's veto this bill!"

I don't think that's what happened this time, tbh, though I agree on general principles. As for proroguing, there are, arguably, situations when it makes sense. Harper's prorogue to avoid having his government defeated over a spending bill is indefensible, however.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:19 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Looking at the electoral map, it's quite striking how Liberal support is so concentrated in Ontario's urban areas.

I hadn't ben following Ontario politics much recently but it seemed all I did hear about when I tuned is was the power plant scandal. Did that pretty much die off with McGuinty stepping down?
posted by Hoopo at 1:20 PM on June 13


Oh, and the problem with fixed-term systems is they inevitably turn into permanent campaigning and fundraising. IMHO. /threadsit mode off
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:21 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Well, may as well answer that: Hoopo, the gas plant scandal didn't really die off (though no doubt it was a huge factor in McGuinty's departure), no. Both Horwath and Hudak used it repeatedly to attack Wynne, both in the major televised debate last week and in campaign advertising.

/threadsit mode off for reals this time sorry
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:23 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


I could watch the Wynne acceptance speech on repeat for hours. What a woman, what a victory. I feel so proud today to be an Ontarian.


One of the nicest things about the speech was Wynne calling out her wife to massive cheers, and indeed that fact that her orientation was never once an issue.

And I want to share a tiny snapshot of how much ground Hudak lost -- this was the opposition leader going into a campaign against a scandal-plagued government that many felt had overstayed its welcome. The riding I live in is the very definition of a safe riding for the PCs -- it had been Tory in every election since 1943, Twenty-one provincial elections had come and gone without a change in our representation at Queen's Park.

My MPP this morning is a Liberal.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:23 PM on June 13 [5 favorites]


Photo of me today with a tshirt I made.

Honestly, I have no fuckin' clue what Horwath was thinking calling this election based on that budget. What possible/realistic outcome could have been better than the situation she was in? No chance of her winning, and a possible PC minority she might have had to support in trade. Now she has zero leverage over the Liberals. Step the fuck down.

Also, this must have been a pretty crazy situation:
Then, in 1990, she fell in love with Jane Rounthwaite, her former Queen’s University dorm-mate and a friend of 18 years, and popped the rivets off her cookie-cutter life. Rounthwaite moved into the master bedroom and Cowperthwaite relocated into the guest suite in the basement, where he stayed for two years.
posted by gman at 1:27 PM on June 13 [8 favorites]


Looking at the electoral map, it's quite striking how Liberal support is so concentrated in Ontario's urban areas.

One pundit described the current conservative party as too white, too old, too male and too rural.

For those not up on this, the conservative candidate chose to run a get-out-the-vote scheme. With his white, old male rural demographic increasingly small, he decided to work hard to get them out to vote. The incumbent libs weren't getting a lot of love, and it was not unlikely that the lib voters might stay home, rather then give the nod. However, it appears he preached so hard and loud to that choir that those libs got itchy, and they went out and voted. Meanwhile some fence sitters also got kinda worried, and jumped on the lib side. Or some side other than conservative. Hudak (the conservative) had failed to account for the reaction to his actions by his opponents; apparently he felt it was an open loop system.

The result is a conservative loss, with popular vote the worst since 1990. And, even worse, they now absolutely must expand their base, but just worked really hard to alienate all the non-current-base voters. In some ways, I'd like them to succeed at that, because a more inclusive, actually progressive 'right' would be good for everyone, but I'm not holding my breath.
posted by Bovine Love at 1:28 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Rounthwaite moved into the master bedroom and Cowperthwaite relocated into the guest suite in the basement, where he stayed for two years

I can't thwaite to see what happens next!
posted by Hoopo at 1:29 PM on June 13 [10 favorites]


Things did not turn out exactly as predicted.

It was exactly what I expected. The stench of Mike Harris and Bob Rae still lingers in the province and nothing is a bigger campaign-killer in this province than the mere suggestion of the word "austerity." I knew people who were huffing and puffing, beating their chests, vowing they would decline their vote (something you can do in a provincial election in Ontario and I have done it in the past). I just laughed and said, "When you get there, you are voting Liberal, and while not quite 40% of the voters did, Wynne had nothing to worry about...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 1:33 PM on June 13


What was most telling was how badly the cons misjudged the voters. This was Wynne's strategy: she ate Horvath's lunch to the left of centre, knowing that the PC's were in full turtle mode. All she had to do was convince enough centre-lefties to vote strategically and she was in. Horvath made this very easy.

I'm very much this kind of voter, but my choice this time was incredibly easy: vote for a reasonable-sounding leader who was trying to make a clean break with a dodgy past, or vote for a loon who didn't seem to know what she or her party stood for.

I bet if a strong NDPer, say Chow, was running the provincial party, the results today, on the red and orange side of the house, might be very, very different. Horvath's day should be done. It's a measure of how bad a politician she is that she can't see that.
posted by bonehead at 1:36 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]


I think if Chow were interested in being in politics above the municipal level, she would have run to take Jack's seat (RIP).

Also my bet is a provincial NDP leadership convention within six months that ends with Horwath having a gigantic bootprint on her ass. That is if the party executive doesn't have a quiet word with her and she resigns for Personal Reasons.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:40 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


As a long time NDP supporter, I voted to re-elect my NDP MPP, but if I could have done that without also presumably casting a vote in favor of the idiotic decision that lead to this election taking place, I sure would have.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:40 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


I use Chow just as an example of an NDPer who really does understand what that party stands for and what an NDP platform looks like. I don't think there was ever any danger of her being in the provincial house.
posted by bonehead at 1:42 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Oh, fair enough. I just have no idea who that person might be other than Chow. The ONDP has been entirely marginalized since the (unfair) fall of Rae. God we need Jack back. Or a new Jack (or Jill, I don't care which.)

Also it disturbs me that I have to respect Hudak for having the grace to step down, immediately.

OTOH Wynne in her speech pretty much explicitly thanked both of them for strengthening our democracy by providing dissenting viewpoints so maybe it's a wash.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:51 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Hudak, is, by all accounts a perfectly respectable human being. I think it also says a lot about his character that he tried as hard as he could to make this about the issues as he saw them, and never really dipped into the muck. I'm sure he would have had lots of support at both other levels of government, had he wanted to.

Unfortunately for him, basic math skills were more important than character.
posted by bonehead at 1:55 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Also, Tim Hudak looks like Mr Bean.

ha ha... also rans include Michael Keaton & Seth MacFarlane

I hear you on the proportional representation / Green party sideline, and someone more politically astute than me will have to write that FPP. I just find it weird that they are consistently excluded from press & debates when the previous Reform party seemed to get a lot of press very quickly, wetsuits aside.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:55 PM on June 13


The stench of Mike Harris and Bob Rae still lingers in the province

Bob Rae? Still? God, I moved away 10 years ago and even then people probably should have been over that already.
posted by Hoopo at 1:56 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


For those who don't know, proroguing is when Stephen Harper starts to worry that his party is in danger of being Westminster'd so he goes crying to the Governor General (i.e. the stand-in for The Queen) and asks for a time out so his party won't get beat up at recess again and steal his lunch money, because the opposition is just sooo mean!!! Then the whaaaambulance comes & picks him up from the hill and he dries his eyes on the constitution.

No wait, St. Peeps, what is your real political opinion, tell me honestly
posted by St. Peepsburg at 1:57 PM on June 13 [18 favorites]


So glad to see Wynne overcome the opposition so easily. Honestly, really didn't think it would happen, and so glad to see Horwath get her rear end hammered so heavily for allowing this election to occur.

Gives me hope to see Rob Ford humiliated in October as well. Wish I was still in Ontario!
posted by northtwilight at 1:57 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Bob Rae? He's still green in many people's memories. People still grimble about Trudeau's dad, for heavens sake.
posted by bonehead at 2:07 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


(An outsider's explanation: rather than having a pre-defined start and end to a legislative session, the Canadian Parliament keeps going indefinitely, until it is "prorogued" at the request of the PM, pending approval by the governor general. Harper has used that power to knock the legislature out of session when they were contemplating a vote of no confidence in his government.)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:08 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


For those who don't know, proroguing is when Stephen Harper starts to worry that his party is in danger of being Westminster'd so he goes crying to the Governor General (i.e. the stand-in for The Queen) and asks for a time out so his party won't get beat up at recess again and steal his lunch money, because the opposition is just sooo mean!!! Then the whaaaambulance comes & picks him up from the hill and he dries his eyes on the constitution.

The provincial Liberals did the exact same thing (proroguation) a year and a half ago, and it was just as cowardly and despicable.

Add in the police investigations of their destroying public records as part of an attempt to cover up their scandals and the fact that they reneged on previous budget agreements with the NDP, and it makes perfect sense for Andrea Horwath to no longer trust or support that goverrnment. I support her decision one hundred percent and don't think she needs to resign.

What do you want in an NDP leader...a spineless lapdog that will happily endure lies and broken agreements?
posted by rocket88 at 2:14 PM on June 13


the Canadian Parliament keeps going indefinitely, until it is "prorogued" at the request of the PM, pending approval by the governor general

Errrr... not exactly.

Parliaments do not go on indefinitely; there may be no more than 5 years between one general election and the next.

Proroguing is putting parliament on pause, not dissolving it. The PM (federally) or premiers (provincially) must go to the GG/LG respectively and ask permission (and theoretically show good cause) why parliament should be paused and for how long.

In Harper's case, the first time he prorogued was when he knew he was going to lose on a spending bill, so bullied (I assume bullied because she's otherwise a brave and intelligent woman who ate a raw fucking seal heart FFS) Michaelle Jean, the then-GG, into proroguing parliament until he could garner enough support for his budget bill that his government wouldn't fall. The second time was for the Vancouver Olympics.

When an election is called, either statutorily by hitting the 5 year limit, defeat of a budget bill, or the whim of the PM/premier, that person then goes to the GG/LG and asks for parliament to be dissolved (the regular work of bureaucracy continues; the House stops sitting), with an election to be held no more than six weeks later (barring special circumstances, such as in this case when the date should have been 5 June, but was determined by the Chief Electoral Officer of Ontario to be a date of religious significance and thus inappropriate).

What do you want in an NDP leader

Someone who doesn't waste $90MM of taxpayer money for a foregone conclusion.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:17 PM on June 13 [5 favorites]


Someone who doesn't waste $90MM of taxpayer money for a foregone conclusion

It's an election one year ahead of schedule. It didn't waste $90MM.
posted by rocket88 at 2:21 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Parliaments do not go on indefinitely; there may be no more than 5 years between one general election and the next.

Yeah, but ending a session doesn't end the Parliament (although you can't end the Parliament without ending the session, I guess). It just means everybody goes home for a bit and no legislative business will be done until the next session starts.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:23 PM on June 13




One thing I'm excited about is the Liberal promise to have ranked ballots as an option in municipal elections. A tiny step towards ending the madness that is the first-past-the-post system?

I like Kathleen Wynne and I'm happy she won. The recent budget (which the NDP turned down, for reasons completely beyond me - it gave so much on issues the NDP supposedly cares about) was, on the balance, a remarkably progressive one, and I'm pleased to her Wynne will reintroduce it immediately. Good.
posted by erlking at 2:26 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


rocket88: It's an election one year ahead of schedule. It didn't waste $90MM.

While I can't give you the exact dollar amount Horwath wasted, of course calling elections early for no good reason with no possibility of the outcome you desire, wastes money. Having more elections than necessary is obviously more expensive.
posted by gman at 2:26 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


It's an election one year ahead of schedule. It didn't waste $90MM

Has anything changed in the province, other than the Liberals now having a majority and being able to completely sideline the PCs and NDP?

No.

Ergo, waste of $90MM of taxpayer funds. A choice that makes sense, indeed.

One thing I'm excited about is the Liberal promise to have ranked ballots as an option in municipal elections. A tiny step towards ending the madness that is the first-past-the-post system?

So far it's only Toronto, AFAIK, pushing them for this. (We'll probably get it though.)
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:28 PM on June 13


If broken agreements and criminal behaviour by a sitting government isn't a good reason, I don't know what is. Would it be a good reason if it was a conservative government that was brought down under similar circumstances?
posted by rocket88 at 2:31 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


TIM HUDAK IS CREEPY AS FUCK. THE MAN DOES NOT BLINK.

On the CBC, I heard somebody (accidentally?) call him Hordak. Twice.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:31 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


@rocket88 if your hypothetical conservative government was a minority, and as a result of the election it was given a majority and free reign to do brutal violence against the centre-left kind of society 2/3 of Canadians want, then no, no, it would not be a good reason.

Oh wait, hey, that hypothetical situation actually happened!
posted by erlking at 2:36 PM on June 13


Someone who doesn't waste $90MM of taxpayer money for a foregone conclusion.

calling elections early for no good reason with no possibility of the outcome you desire, wastes money. Having more elections than necessary is obviously more expensive.

I'd be careful with this; when you're on the other side it sounds like bullshit when you hear "this election is not necessary and a waste of money". The Federal Conservatives were shouting the same rhetoric in the face of the threat of an election. Before they got their fucking majority oh god why please make it stop
posted by Hoopo at 2:42 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


At a minimum there's a difference in wastefulness between calling elections, say, every year versus one year short of the Constitutional deadline for HAVE AN ELECTION RIGHT NOW, YOU JERKS.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:45 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


I said nothing about reasons, rocket88. I was talking about outcomes and foregone conclusions.

The only change in the status quo that Horwath could have reasonably expected would be a PC government. If minority, exactly how often do you think she or the Libs would support Tory bills? (thus inevitably triggering another election once they introduced a spending bill). If a majority, how exactly would that be better for the province?

She knew this election would change nothing. In fact, it made things worse for her because she now has no power or leverage whatsoever. Prior to the election, she at least had the ability to force Wynne to negotiate. Now? There's almost no point in her showing up when the legislature is sitting. In fact she even screwed herself, as listed in one of the articles above, because the NDP was caught flat-footed trying to find candidates for ridings where they didn't have one.

I think she was trying to stare Wynne down over something, and Wynne didn't blink.

And so $90MM of taxpayer money (didn't she campaign on saving taxpayers money?) was spent at Horwath's unilateral whim, leaving her utterly powerless because of Wynne's majority. Over a budget that could have come out of NDP offices.

I am having severe difficulty understanding how that was not a waste.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:48 PM on June 13 [7 favorites]


In fact, a PC minority gov't with NDP in the balance would be a terrible outcome for her. If she voted with the PCs, she'd be turfed from the party and alienate a whole lotta NDP supporters.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:50 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Oh wait, hey, that hypothetical situation actually happened!

Hey, yeah, I'll admit it didn't work out so good for us on the federal level, but it would be false to claim that Liberals and NDP supporters were content to just wait out Harper's minority to save tax dollars. The majority victory came as a surprise to me, frankly, and I don't recall a lot of people predicting that result. In fact I remember hearing it was impossible.
posted by Hoopo at 2:54 PM on June 13


The only change in the status quo that Horwath could have reasonably expected would be a PC government

I disagree. The most likely outcome was a Liberal minority less likely to take NDP support for granted and lie to their face like they did with last year's budget agreements. That would have been worth it.
Unfortunately we got a centrist majority (they aren't really centre-left when they don't need support from the true left) who are unwilling to change the worsening economic status quo.

I'm as relieved as anyone that we didn't get a Hudak government, but last night's result was not a victory for progressive causes.
posted by rocket88 at 2:59 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Despite being politically disinterested, the only thing I heard day in day out was something like "cutting 100,000 jobs to create 1,000,000 jobs." Who in the world are the advisors working for the Conservatives that think this is a winning message, and what electoral reality do they live in? It seemed to me (perhaps I'm in the wrong demographic) a very good get out the vote for people to vote anything but Conservatives.
posted by The arrows are too fast at 3:06 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Hudak, is, by all accounts a perfectly respectable human being. I think it also says a lot about his character that he tried as hard as he could to make this about the issues as he saw them, and never really dipped into the muck.

No issue with the 'respectable guy' part. But he's either a respectable person with bad ideas, or a respectable person who took bad policy advice. In either case... he's misread Ontarians. We're not quite ready to become a right-to-work province. It's entirely appropriate that he step down.

On the character issue, I will still hand it to Wynne. I think she's the real deal, and a good leader. Time will tell.

rocket88 - Horwath had control over when the next election would be. The budget she rejected could have been written by the NDP core. I cannot understand for a minute why she chose to refuse this gift budget, and not wait for a more opportune time to trigger an election. She screwed up in choosing the right time, as this election has proven.
posted by Artful Codger at 3:14 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Few things there, arrows.

1) Hudak's chief economic adviser on the campaign is a Teapublican.
2) Hudak's math. He wasn't actually talking about putting a million people into work. For him, 1 year of employment = one job. Ten years of employment = ten jobs.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:15 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


She's an intellectual?

How do you you do it Canada? Serious question. How do you make this a desirable trait for politicians?
posted by Nanukthedog at 3:20 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


See what I said elsewhere... the preamble (I think it's the preamble) to the Constitution Act 1867 reads, in part: "peace, order, and good government."

You can't get those from stupid people. We value education here. Not enough, not nearly enough, but we do value it as a society. We believe that when our neighbours are smart and healthy, then so are we, and so is society. The USA was founded on that rugged individualism thing, which isn't entirely negative, but we believe that we're all in this together.

If you don't actually want to move to Canada, try Minnesota. It's basically Canada Light--plus guns minus healthcare. But that same level of pulling together exists there, I've seen it in action.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:31 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]


How do you make this a desirable trait for politicians?

ehhhhh, maybe it's best if you don't look into Michael Ignatieff
posted by Hoopo at 3:34 PM on June 13 [12 favorites]


Well the problem with Ignatieff is that he's a piece of wood with multiple degrees. I don't know what farthead in the Liberal party thought he'd make a good leader.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:37 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


How do you you do it Canada? Serious question. How do you make this a desirable trait for politicians?

Start 'em early. Put fluoride in the water, put French programs on the teevees and make 'em watch heritage minutes before movies.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 3:39 PM on June 13 [9 favorites]


"Burnt toast" was actually an exbf's safeword
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:44 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Not threadsitting has reached its natural conclusion then.
posted by sneebler at 3:50 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]


Yeah sorry, the discussion got too interesting and I couldn't resist.

This speaks poorly of me, and not of anyone else, in case I'm not being clear.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:51 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


She's an intellectual?

How do you you do it Canada? Serious question. How do you make this a desirable trait for politicians?


It is not especially so. That said, there is an outgoing Conservative Senator, Hugh Segal, who is nominally stepping down because he is taking a post in academia. In fact, he has widely-known differences with Mr. Harper. And Segal is by anyone's standards, a very very bright guy.

A couple of decades ago, he briefly considered running for party leader but ultimately opted not to. Mordecai Richler wrote something then to the effect if "It is too bad about Hugh Segal's brief flirtation with the leadership race. He is, rara avis, a Tory of wit and insight but he realized he would have to spend too much time explaining his jokes in Big Sky country."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:56 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I'm calling bullshit on the idea that Hudak is a good person. Anyone who is gleeful at the idea of imposing austerity on the downtrodden, while cutting taxes for the rich, is not a good person.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 4:47 PM on June 13 [11 favorites]


Somewhat embarrassingly, I was travelling in the US yesterday all day on short notice and didn't get a chance to vote. I got back at one a.m. and said to my sleeping wife "Please just tell me Hudak isn't the premier."

When she told me it was a lib sweep I was utterly convinced she was hallucinating in her sleep.

I was completely convinced this would be a reboot of McLeod/Harris in 95 and that wynne was going to get freaking SHELLACKED. The fact that Hudak is an android didn't seem to matter much, since after all we seem to keep putting Harper in office.

Locally I am happy to say the candidate I would have voted for had I been around (Fife) was handily elected. I feel compelled to point out that I am not particularly an NDP supporter but generally try to vote the candidate vs the party.
posted by hearthpig at 4:56 PM on June 13


Psst hearthpig, next election, your voter registration card will show you when and where you can go to advance polls.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:10 PM on June 13


fffm, I know it...but this was literally a 6 am to 10 pm run to New Jersey I agreed to two days before...and realised the night before I left that I'd signed away my right to vote.
posted by hearthpig at 5:14 PM on June 13


OKay, that's not something they covered in training. How does one sign away one's right to vote?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:16 PM on June 13


I'm glad for the result but we really need to look into some voting system besides plain FPP. Less than 40% of the vote managed to get 55% of the seats. I know this was rejected in 2007, but maybe giving municipalities the option to use ranked ballots may increase Ontarians comfort for alternative voting systems.

One thing that struck me about this election was the lack of Liberal lawn signs. In my riding anyway the PC candidate easily had the most signs, NDP second and Liberal third. I was worried for my candidate because at the federal level the PCs were able to pull off an upset and take the riding during the last election. But the results from last night show he got over 50% of the votes.

FFFM - Just to pick a nit, but in your description of the election being a two-way fight between Kathleen Wynne and Tim Hudak, you describe Kathleen Wynne as the "the first woman elected premier in Ontario, and the first out QUILTBAG person elected as premier in Canada" when she hadn't actually won an election to be Premier yet (well besides the Liberal leadership election). She is these things now, but she wasn't during the election.

Also, Kathleen is definitely the real deal. My mom does charity work in her riding and Kathleen has always been supportive in whichever ways she could be. This was when she was an MPP, a Minister and after becoming Premier. I'm pleasantly surprised that first the Liberal Party and then Ontarians as a whole would vote for someone who is such a genuine, good person as their leader.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 5:17 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


That's a fair nitpick. I couldn't figure out how to work those relatively monumental achievements in another way though.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:21 PM on June 13


A Passing Grade on Provincial IQ Test.

My co-worker said: "Hudak sounds like Mike Myers as Doctor Evil: I'll just promise all of those suckers... one... million... jobs!"
posted by ovvl at 5:56 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


And that decline your vote thing only makes sense in places like Australia where you are required to vote, and even then it would make more sense to vote for the candidate/party that fits best, or if they are all equally bad then convince someone better to run and then vote for them.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 6:07 PM on June 13


I think actively declining your vote is a somewhat pointless but reasonable symbolic action. If you don't vote at all, rightly or wrongly, people will count you among the lazy or apathetic. Actively declining a ballot is a political statement about dissatisfaction with the options -- a somewhat vague one, but still more meaningful than simply not showing up.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:18 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


the NDP was caught flat-footed trying to find candidates for ridings where they didn't have one

I don't think that any party had 107 candidates ready to go on May 2. But since Horwath knew this election was coming before anyone else, she had the least excuse not to be ready.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:23 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Candidates give literally no fucks about declined votes. Such votes go into an envelope, back to the Returning Office, are counted again to be sure (and the counts are publicly displayed; Elections Ontario accounts for every single ballot that has been printed), and then disappear into storage.

It's one of those political statements that makes you feel like you've done something, when you've actually done nothing at all. It's the equivalent of liking a Facebook page about anti-misogyny and then watching HIMYM.

In fact, IMHO it's even less effective than that; at least when you like a page your name is attached. Ballots are, by definition, anonymous.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:27 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


I'm as relieved as anyone that we didn't get a Hudak government, but last night's result was not a victory for progressive causes.

The party running on the most progressive platform won. The NDP was running on a Hudak-lite platform: all of the populism, none of the crazy.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:31 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


I think declining your vote is powerful. I have an older friend who for the past *fifty* years has voted conservative. Every time.

This time even my friend refused to vote for Hudak, is not the type to switch parties (and even though I like Wynne, the Liberals wasted millions, if not billions in scandal after scandal), and would not dream of not taking time to participate in the electoral process. Declining their vote was extremely empowering in their case.

I'm not loyal to any one party so I wouldn't decline. I just pick who I like or in some cases, who I least dislike.
posted by biggreenplant at 6:36 PM on June 13


I wouldn't expect individual candidates to care about declined votes. It's a tiny number and what would be the point?

But if there were significant percentages of declined votes -- all the people who comment on the internet saying they can't be arsed to vote because all the choices suck -- that would send a message, and the message would be that there's is a politically engaged population out there for whom none of the current options are viable alternatives. Or perhaps that there is a politically engaged population for which the entire system as it exists is broken.

Am I suggesting it's the be all and end all of political statements? Not in the slightest. But I suppose if it's the political equivalent of hitting Like on Facebook, that's a tiny step ahead of not hitting Like on Facebook.

But, of course, most of the people who can't be arsed to vote aren't actually doing so as some big statement of dissatisfaction. They are, in fact, mostly just lazy fucks who can't be bothered to think beyond 'all politicians are liars' rhetoric.

Or so I assume.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:40 PM on June 13


As one who has been employed for the last 10-ish years because of Ontario Liberal energy policy, last night was a tense one. No-one really wanted the election, as has been rehearsed in this thread many times. But Hudak's threat to cancel post-NTP but pre-COD renewable energy projects would have opened the Province up to lawsuits far beyond any numbers in the gas plant faux-scandal. Had it gone ahead, the damage to Ontario's credit rating from a Province defaulting on billions of dollars worth of contracts would have been fierce.
posted by scruss at 7:09 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


I'm glad for the result but we really need to look into some voting system besides plain FPP. Less than 40% of the vote managed to get 55% of the seats. I know this was rejected in 2007, but maybe giving municipalities the option to use ranked ballots may increase Ontarians comfort for alternative voting systems.

I have a friend who bangs the drum for proportional representation and has done so for years. I see his points when he lays them out, but I have trouble envisioning how it would ever happen: to take the present example, the Liberals would have no appetite for it because obviously of this were in play yesterday, they would have 40% of the seats and not 55%, so there is no way they could support that. In the fullness of time the pendulum will swing again and they will wind up with --say -- 37% if the votes but 29% of the seats and will see the appeal but whomever is in power will have no appetite for it for the same obvious reasons.

I was as delighted as any non-Tory fanatic twenty years ago to have seen Mulroney's hubristic era end with the federal Tories go crashing from 154 seats to two overnight. Still seems less than optimum in a democracy that they wound up with under 1% of the seats when 16% of the electorate cast votes for a Tory candidate, while the Bloc Quebecois wound as opposition (with 54 seats) when only 13.5% of the electorate voted for them.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:41 PM on June 13


PR's not the point of this post, but still, I see PR on the same level as the folks who claim Dvorak keyboards are better, or the loons who convinced North America to shift day-light savings time a few years ago. Fundamentally, I'd need to be convinced that it would lead to better outcomes: smaller deficits, better GDP growth, better GINI scores, something.

We have two direct points of comparison with alternate voting schemes: Australia and New Zealand. Closer matches to Canada do not exist in the world. Both experiments have been underway for several election cycles, time enough for a good baseline.

In neither case is either country notably outperforming their Westminster counterparts in Canada or the UK. In fact, since the switch to MMR, NZ has seen participation in voting fall very fast (Austrailia doesn't count---mandatory voting). In that one statistic alone, if MMR should improve anything, it should be sense of fairness in the system, reflected in voter turn out. Turn out is as low or lower than in Canada.

To me: PR is not proven, myth busted, a wacky idea with significant costs to adopt and no clear benefit to the political system in particular or to our economy in the long term. If the proponents want us to go to the trouble of switching, much better arguments need to be made than its results (or complete lack thereof) in NZ and Australia.
posted by bonehead at 7:59 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


To a large extent, I think the results break down into rural ridings (PC), blue-collar ridings (NDP), and all other urban/suburban ridings (Liberal). The biggest chunk of that is the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), which the Liberals have now dominated almost entirely.

Arguably, Wynne making transit a central part of the Liberal platform has a lot to do with their success, especially in the Toronto area - in which transit capacity and gridlock might be the single biggest issue. They promised $15 billion for transit in the GTA over ten years, and to turn the entire GO Transit commuter train system into electrified, frequent rapid transit. Previously, her government had made a big commitment to implement "revenue tools" of various kinds to fund transit (toll lanes, parking fees, etc.), but the NDP made it clear they would support none of them.

The NDP under Horwath has seemed lukewarm to transit and without much vision for it. Hudak has been hostile to anything that's not a subway, and he promised to cancel most other planned transit projects in favour of more highways. He also promised to gut existing anti-sprawl legislation.

So it seems to me that Wynne has earned a very urban- and transit-focused mandate. With a majority, they have the ability to get a lot done in that direction, including some painful things like congestion charges.
posted by parudox at 9:21 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Previously, her government had made a big commitment to implement "revenue tools" of various kinds to fund transit (toll lanes, parking fees, etc.), but the NDP made it clear they would support none of them.

Because user fees tend to be regressive and impact working people disproportionately.
Transit exists for the benefit of businesses to deliver their workforce to them. It seems fair that public transit improvements should be funded by those businesses, maybe by returning corporate tax rates to sane levels.
posted by rocket88 at 9:48 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


I'm glad for the result but we really need to look into some voting system besides plain FPP. Less than 40% of the vote managed to get 55% of the seats. I know this was rejected in 2007, but maybe giving municipalities the option to use ranked ballots may increase Ontarians comfort for alternative voting systems.

The very nice idea of Proportional Representation in Ontario was shot down in a brutal referendumb in 2007, when it was misrepresented to docile publics in a confusing manner. Who knows when this idea will be floated again? Since it tends to tip against the incumbents, maybe never?
posted by ovvl at 9:52 PM on June 13


People who are used to riding-based systems are naturally suspicious of proportional representation since they value the geographic connection to their representatives. Ranked ballots are a much easier sell.
posted by mightygodking at 10:01 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Not Canadian, but you get this "wasting money on elections" malarkey everywhere and that argument doesn't hold water as soon as you realize that government spending on ANYTHING doesn't mean they set a whole pile of cash on fire in the process. That money doesn't vanish, it goes back into circulation. Stop pretending like it doesn't.
posted by axiom at 10:26 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


sigh. If an election costs $90MM and must be held at least every FIVE years and a minority leader triggers an election ONE year early s/he did NOT waste $90MM because BASIC MATH that anyone who made it past grade 5 ought to be able to do instantly in their head.
posted by lastobelus at 11:50 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


I find it hard to believe this is the first time "QUILTBAG" has been used on The Blue.
I really do.

I'm confused about Canadian politics, but only because a chum of mine (on the Internet) is concerned about a Liberal Government. And she's as left as any.

I'm a bit confused by that. I can't see why she'd be down.

But, we sent our (centre-right.... no, righter still) Liberal PM to Canadia last week to pal around with his bestest buddy in the Climate Wars, Harper, and I don't know, I think Australia is hiding its head in shame.

I'm learning a lot about Canadian provincial politics thanks to this thread.
posted by Mezentian at 4:21 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Horwath has ties to the Federal Conservatives and is represented by the same PR firms that Rep former Bond Villan and Chin haver Brian Mulroney. If she doesn't resign as leader of the NDP she'll continue to lose the true left vote in Ontario; she swung to the right, turned her back on SEIU and in confidence told them as much to their faces when they voted to strike (in order to further her own political goals)

Then she forced an election over a budget she admits she didn't read.

Feckless, craven and possibly a quisling, Andrea Howath cost the NDP my vote and the votes of my entire family (I mean them all, we all discussed our votes as a group and individually and after a long consideration we decided to vote for the status quo, in no small part due to Andrea Howath's actions. We're not gonna vote for the Tories (Conservatives) that's just not going to happen, but our natural party has not been so for the tenure of Andrea Horwath's leadership.
posted by NiteMayr at 5:19 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


sigh. If an election costs $90MM and must be held at least every FIVE years and a minority leader triggers an election ONE year early s/he did NOT waste $90MM because BASIC MATH that anyone who made it past grade 5 ought to be able to do instantly in their head.

Please again note that Horwath triggered an election, the outcome of which could only have left her with less power--and, in fact, did. If you don't like the word 'waste,' perhaps you'd prefer 'she gambled with $90MM of taxpayer money, put it all on red orange and lost.'

Like I said, she tried to stare Wynne down, Wynne didn't blink, and Horwath decided to throw an election in a snit. FFS, the budget that Wynne tabled all but had 'NDP' crossed out at the top and replaced with Liberal.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:22 AM on June 14


But that money would have been spent next year if the budget hadn't failed, and now it won't be. How does that factor in?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:47 AM on June 14


Because literally nothing changed. Any election carries the expectation that the status quo may change, but Horwath knew there would be only minimal change to the status quo, if any. She and her party weren't even prepared for an election, which they would have been next year, and would have had an actual chance to upset the applecart.

Instead, the money was spent to change nothing except render her totally irrelevant in Queen's Park and, I strongly suspect, will result in her ouster as leader if not expulsion from politics period.

Just as Rae went to the federal Liberals, I'd be somewhat surprised if Horwath doesn't try to make a jump federally when she gets the boot... except I think she'll be changing from orange to blue, not red.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:53 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I'm confused about Canadian politics, but only because a chum of mine (on the Internet) is concerned about a Liberal Government. And she's as left as any.

I'm a bit confused by that. I can't see why she'd be down.

But, we sent our (centre-right.... no, righter still) Liberal PM to Canadia last week to pal around with his bestest buddy in the Climate Wars, Harper, and I don't know, I think Australia is hiding its head in shame.


In Australia, Liberal means classical liberalism (which in North American political terms tends to be referred to as libertarianism), whereas in Canada, Liberal means liberalism. While the Canadian Liberals are pretty far left by international standards, and certainly far left of the Australian Liberals, up here they're dead centre, with the Cons to the right and the New Democrats to the left.

What that means, as seen in this election, is that the Liberals win elections by attracting votes from both disillusioned Conservatives and frustrated New Democrats. Their actual platform isn't all that important as long as they stay in the middle, and that can make them a bit unpredictable and unreliable and corrupt, which is where a lot of the concern comes from.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:32 AM on June 14 [3 favorites]


If an election costs $90MM and must be held at least every FIVE years and a minority leader triggers an election ONE year early s/he did NOT waste $90MM

...agreed. The 'election $$$ waste' argument is pretty shallow and doesn't stand up to scrutiny.

What Horwath did waste was an opportunity. Instead of accepting the gift budget and letting it and other issues produce a more favourable climate for the NDP, she opted to reject the gift and trigger an election at a time when the budget still had public approval, voter turnout is traditionally lower, and the PCs were still somewhat disorganized therefore not going to draw many votes away from the Liberals.

Of course this is all hindsight, and the pollsters didn't call this election right either, but even at the time, election felt like the wrong call, and attacking a progressive, NDP-friendly budget is not a wise choice for a rallying point.

sys Rq - every (sensible) Canadian party tacks to the center when they're in power. Bob Rae's NDP government was more conservative with financing than Bill Davis' PC government, for example. Yes the Liberals, being centrist, are the most comfortable there, but for me the Ontario Liberals still have the best mix of progressiveness and fiscal prudence.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:43 AM on June 14 [3 favorites]


sigh. If an election costs $90MM and must be held at least every FIVE years and a minority leader triggers an election ONE year early s/he did NOT waste $90MM because BASIC MATH that anyone who made it past grade 5 ought to be able to do instantly in their head.

The last election was in October 2011, a little over two and a half years ago. An election did not have to be called until Fall 2016.
posted by saturday_morning at 7:49 AM on June 14


Frequent elections natural consequence of minority parliaments in our system. Has there been any in living memory which has lasted more than a few years? They are by nature unstable, like thunderheads on a muggy summer's day.
posted by bonehead at 8:01 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


All this talk about supporting this "progressive" budget is forgetting an important fact. One year ago Wynne tabled a budget that specifically included items designed to secure NDP support, like auto insurance rate cuts, financial accountability oversight and home care improvement. None of them were implemented in the subsequent year. They reneged on their deal with the NDP. Was Horwath supposed to shrug that off and just trust Wynne not to do that to her again this time? There's a point where you have to stop believing and supporting a criminally corrupt government, just because you're afraid of the alternative (who never rally had a chance at the majority he would have needed to be dangerous)

Also, fffm...can you point to the items in the NDP platform that are conservative, or that make Horwath "Hudak-lite", as you say? It's a ridiculous claim that you have yet to back up with evidence.

The in-fighting that cropped up during this election stems from the fact that a lot of Toronto New Democrats have never been comfortable with having a leader from Hamilton. They prefer their socialism a little less working-class and have long wanted one of their own in charge.
posted by rocket88 at 8:13 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Also, fffm...can you point to the items in the NDP platform that are conservative, or that make Horwath "Hudak-lite", as you say? It's a ridiculous claim that you have yet to back up with evidence.

It's a ridiculous claim that I have not made. Those are things I have not said. You may be thinking of this comment, which was not made by me.

I see no point in responding to you further.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:24 AM on June 14


rocket88 - understood... but politics is the art of the possible. Do you call an election on principle, regardless of consequences, or do you call one when you have a chance at winning?
Also it wasn't the cocktail socialists that broke with Horwath, it was the unions.

I lived in the Hammer for 8 years, and carried off one of their women when I left. I have alot of respect for Horwath... but she made a misstep this time.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:25 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


can you point to the items in the NDP platform that are conservative, or that make Horwath "Hudak-lite", as you say? It's a ridiculous claim that you have yet to back up with evidence

"Hudak-lite" was my wording.

Pledging to take HST (the provincial portion, at least) off your hydro bill? Disproportionately benefits people in larger houses who use more electricity.

Pledging to give tax cuts to "job creators"? Someone forgot that economic demand creates jobs, and we don't have to bribe beneficent rich people to pluck jobs from the job tree and give them to us.

Pledging to institute a ministry of stopping the gravy train savings? No wonder she lost so many seats in Toronto; we aren't going to get fooled by that empty promise again.

Refusing to allow for road tolls, and demanding that auto insurance cuts be created out of thin air (somehow without either a government subsidy or the refusal of insurers to write policies in Ontario—good luck with that), or anything that might make driving more expensive? Bad urban planning, bad for the environment.

But do go on and tell me how Horwath was more progressive than Wynne.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:38 AM on June 14 [6 favorites]


Pledging to take HST (the provincial portion, at least) off your hydro bill? Disproportionately benefits people in larger houses who use more electricity.

Electricity takes a larger portion of a low-wage person's income than of a rich person's income, even though the rich person uses more, so yes it would have benefited low-income people more (Besides, if you're rich, your accountant is writing everything off anyway).

Refusing to allow for road tolls ...or anything that might make driving more expensive?

Similarly, tolls and penalizing driving punishes low and middle-class workers alot more than the wealthy (again... they can write all that shit off). Do you live in Toronto? If you do, then you must have seen that transit simply doesn't have the capacity to handle more riders. Transit is where we have to start, period.

Canada's federal government provides about the lowest level of funding towards mass transit, compared to other industrialized countries. That's where the money really needs to come from, but the federal Conservatives traditionally hate Toronto, so...
posted by Artful Codger at 8:54 AM on June 14


Electricity takes a larger portion of a low-wage person's income than of a rich person's income, even though the rich person uses more, so yes it would have benefited low-income people more (Besides, if you're rich, your accountant is writing everything off anyway).

The correct way to do this is to increase the amount of, and maximum income for, HST credits, which doesn't benefit the rich at all. Because that benefits me to the tune of $2.50 per month, which is a small double-double and a donut, but it benefits my in-laws, who make significantly more money than I do, much more than that. And if you're renting a basement in someone's house, where you probably don't even have a separate hydro bill, it does not benefit you at all, but your landlord gets to keep more money.

Do you live in Toronto? If you do, then you must have seen that transit simply doesn't have the capacity to handle more riders.

Yes, but the NDP had no plan to provide funding to build more transit, since road tolls were never in consideration. Tolls would mean that drivers come closer to paying for the infrastructure they use; why is this bad?

Transit is where we have to start, period.

And the Liberal plan for transit is the only one that, shall we say, makes sense.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:42 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


I totally forgot to mention that Horwath was in favor of an Ontario pension plan until the Liberals proposed it.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 9:47 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


It's just so exciting to see the social safety net expand for once.
posted by erlking at 9:56 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


I have alot of respect for Horwath... but she made a misstep this time.

Horwath is nice enough as a person, but her policy platform seemed pretty sloppy and thrown-together, compared to say former NDP leader Howard Hampton's. As far as Union support, in Ontario the Unions make fickle allies. They tend to bite at lefty politicians.

Of course, most voters don't seem to care about policy, compared to the reflecting of nebulous values. Horwath and Hudak seemed to just vaguely promise Ontarians lots of cheap free stuff, which in politics usually works reasonably well, except when it doesn't. Most Ontarians (except maybe fortress suburbia) are not really comfortable with the hard-right republican-style bluster, and a decent moderate red-tory opponent for Wynne would have made for really different election story. (Prime Minister Harper is more hard right than most anyone else in the country, but I think he gets away with it (so far) because he's a pretty ruthless strategist. Don't ask me to explain the Rob Ford phenomenon, because I just don't f*cking get it).

I like Auntie Wynne fine as a Premier (even though her skinny knees look kinda funny in those jogging TV adverts). I really like that she's been honest about the costs of moving forward with the future of transportation. You know what would thrill me the most? If she just went totally crazy and dumped tons of cash into TTC/GO Transit. She's already got this nasty Dalton deficit, so just gamble it all on the next throw. If she did, I'd give her a big hug.

Also, I'd agree with Artful Codger's comments.
posted by ovvl at 10:04 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


bonehead: "In neither case is either country notably outperforming their Westminster counterparts in Canada or the UK. In fact, since the switch to MMR, NZ has seen participation in voting fall very fast (Austrailia doesn't count---mandatory voting). In that one statistic alone, if MMR should improve anything, it should be sense of fairness in the system, reflected in voter turn out. Turn out is as low or lower than in Canada."

Does Australia have the regionalization of representation problem that Canada does? It seems unlikely New Zealand does.
posted by Mitheral at 10:42 AM on June 14


I think this election was all about policy actually. Andrew Coyne has it correct (for once): this election was about Ontarians completely rejecting a hard right platform. Even if this was a hold-your-nose-and-vote-liberal election, it was still about saying no to a policy cooked up by a far-right US lobby group.

Make me hopeful for the federal election next year. The CPC has been entirely frozen out of Ontario before. Maybe people are starting to remember why.
posted by bonehead at 10:47 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Note that I'm a particluar expert on the subject, but they both do, sorta.

New Zealand has mixed member proportional (MMP) representation which a double vote system:
Under MMP, New Zealand voters have two votes. The first vote is the electorate vote. It determines the local representative for that electorate (constituency). The electorate vote works on a plurality system whereby whichever candidate gets the greatest number of votes in each electorate wins the seat. The second vote is the party vote. This determines the number of seats each party is entitled to overall – in other words, the proportionality of the House.
The electorate vote is for a geographic candidate, the party vote is for a list-based candidate. They have a hybrid system where the electorate vote winners are seated first, then party votes are counted adding members from the proportional lists to make up that vote proportion. Confusingly, members can both run as riding and list candidates. NZ also has the complication of seats set aside for the Maori population which changes relative representation.

Austraila uses single member ridings with an instant run-off system of preferential voting. They also have manditory voting federally, so it's hard to directly compare turn-outs to Canadian results. Australia has had relative regional representation problems, similar to Canada's or even worse.
posted by bonehead at 10:59 AM on June 14


TIM HUDAK IS CREEPY AS FUCK. THE MAN DOES NOT BLINK.

On the CBC, I heard somebody (accidentally?) call him Hordak. Twice.


That's how I visualize the guy whenever I read his name.

All this election needs now are some magical flying horsies.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:02 AM on June 14


That should be "Not that I'm a particular expert", sorry. I'm just a duffer, with too many opinions on a Saturday.
posted by bonehead at 11:07 AM on June 14


I think this election was all about policy actually. Andrew Coyne has it correct (for once): this election was about Ontarians completely rejecting a hard right platform. Even if this was a hold-your-nose-and-vote-liberal election, it was still about saying no to a policy cooked up by a far-right US lobby group.

And yet, if the PC's had a centre-right platform without magic arithmetic and virtually anyone else as leader, they'd probably be in power.
posted by parudox at 11:45 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


So if they'd had a different platform, they might have won? Isn't that what I wrote?
posted by bonehead at 11:59 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Tolls would mean that drivers come closer to paying for the infrastructure they use; why is this bad?

Do you really think a toll would hit those who benefit from roads, especially in Toronto? Daily driving into Toronto is already expensive misery for most, and has only gotten worse, even though Mayor Ford told us the war on the car is over.

The main beneficiaries of Toronto's road infrastructure are companies and businesses - it's how their employees usually get to work (because transit is inadequate), and it brings their customers to their doors.

Transportation infrastructure needs to come out of general revenue. Tolls are regressive and would mainly hurt those without alternatives.
posted by Artful Codger at 12:14 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


So if they'd had a different platform, they might have won? Isn't that what I wrote?

I'm sort of responding to Andrew Coyne's point that this election is a rejection of fiscal conservatism. I don't think it is, precisely because a fiscally conservative but not "cut and sell off ALL the things" platform could have propelled the PC's to victory.

Transportation infrastructure needs to come out of general revenue.

At the same time, without tolls, congestion charges, or HOV designations, there's no way to get Toronto's highways moving. There's just too much demand and latent demand. I think it's reasonable to charge exactly the amount needed to un-clog a highway at a given point in time, and to use that money to run, e.g., bus service on that same highway. Just the carrots (building better transit with general revenue) won't do enough to decongest the roads so that they're usable.
posted by parudox at 12:33 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]


At the same time, without tolls, congestion charges, or HOV designations, there's no way to get Toronto's highways moving....Just the carrots (building better transit with general revenue) won't do enough to decongest the roads so that they're usable

Moving for whom? Usable for whom? Those for whom the toll is insignificant, or for those for whom commuting is their only option for a decent job. Rush-hour traffic doesn't contain many discretionary drivers, and overcrowded transit couldn't take them anyway.

Do I think something has to be done about Toronto traffic? Of course I do. Some hard decisions need to be made, like actually prohibiting parking on arterial roads during rush hour (tag and tow). Like synchronizing the frigging traffic lights. Like better scheduling of construction. Like actually planning for the future - something that has mostly languished for the last 30 years.

Serious planning and serious funding for mass transit and roads. Something that Europe is decades ahead on, even when density is less than Toronto's. Suggestions like tolls are knee-jerk responses, usually from politicians or activists who don't need to use the Toronto roads like most people do.

(to get back on point, I believe the Ontario Liberals are the most likely to take the transit issue seriously)
posted by Artful Codger at 2:51 PM on June 14


Of course, the big difference with European cities is precisely the policies that make it difficult to drive in the city - and Stockholm and London are great examples of successful congestion charging.

Getting the roads moving benefits everyone who needs to get somewhere in a timely fashion, but it benefits transit users most of all. If a bus can make a trip in 20 minutes instead of in 60 minutes, that's not only 40 minutes gained by the transit user, it also means the route's capacity can be tripled using the same resources. It's beyond ridiculous that endless full GO buses are stuck in single-occupancy vehicle congestion on the Gardiner Expressway.
posted by parudox at 3:12 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]


I think in many ways ways for Torontonian voters this was a single-issue election: transit.

Neither Horwath nor Hudak proclaimed solutions for transit in the city. Had they done so the results would have been different, I think.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:36 PM on June 14


@feckless fecal fear mongering

I don't know anything at all about Ontario's politics, haven't been following it, don't care, and don't have an opinion on whether Hor-what's-her-name should have forced an election or not. I used "one year early" because that had been stated a couple times in the thread.

I just refuse to allow ignorance of basic algebra to go unchallenged. That crap belongs on Reddit.

To whatever degree you decide with the other people in the thread that the word "wasted" applies, she "wasted" (election_cost / normal_electoral_period_length) * years_of_electoral_period_not_utilized.

Grade 5, man. Sheesh.
posted by lastobelus at 8:27 PM on June 14 [1 favorite]


She forcedd an election that did nothing to change the status quo, when another election was less than 18 months away,

Don't insult my math skills. Tell me how what she did--with actual understanding of what happened, not your "I don't know anything about Ontario's politics" (educate yourself) was not a waste of taxpayer money.

Note: I won't pay a jot of attention to you unless you demonstrate an understanding of politics on the ground in Ontario in the past 6-8 weeks at the very least.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:41 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]


when will the next election be? in 18 months or in 5 years?
posted by lastobelus at 8:56 PM on June 14


when will the next election be?

Unless something incredibly unusual happens, it will be on October 4, 2018.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 11:05 PM on June 14


If you prorate it for how much of the term was left (a year and a third), the decision to force an election wasted $30 million.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 11:12 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Suggestions like tolls are knee-jerk responses, usually from politicians or activists who don't need to use the Toronto roads like most people do.

Torontonians seem to have less say about things like road tolls and transit in Toronto than people in the 905 do. This is exactly backwards from how it should be, especially since we pay most of the taxes to maintain the infrastructure here.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 11:17 PM on June 14 [2 favorites]


I'm not going to continue beating this horse, but only on MetaFilter will someone waltz into a thread, proudly announce that they know absolutely nothing about the subject in question, and then proceed to tell you that you're wrong.

Torontonians seem to have less say about things like road tolls and transit in Toronto than people in the 905 do. This is exactly backwards from how it should be, especially since we pay most of the taxes to maintain the infrastructure here.

Yeah, that is actually a huge problem. Commuters from Mississauga, Richmond Hill, Thornhill, etc. They come into Toronto, clog up our roads and our subways, and pay virtually nothing at all (except either in a roundabout way in provincial taxes that eventually trickle down to the city, or fares for a desperately underfunded public transit system) for the privilege, while we're left bankrupting the city to try and maintain the infrastructure they're using. I'd be all for two things: make it easier to get to the TTC from the aforementioned places, or put tolls on every damn road that crosses Toronto's borders.

I realize this is an unpopular view.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:21 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


Torontonians seem to have less say about things like road tolls and transit in Toronto than people in the 905 do. This is exactly backwards from how it should be, especially since we pay most of the taxes to maintain the infrastructure here.

This is key - it's what I'm trying to get across, in a different way: more federal funding. The country benefits when Toronto runs efficiently.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:53 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]


more federal funding

That's had eight years to happen under the current government; it's pretty clear that it's not going to happen. The last meaningful expansion of transit in Toronto happened close to thirty years ago. How long can we keep waiting?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 8:11 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


We can't, is the answer. We needed shovels in the ground twenty years ago--and I don't mean Lastman's Stubway.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:13 AM on June 15


The country benefits when Toronto runs efficiently.

Worth pointing out, for those who don't know: the Greater Toronto Area contains approximately 10% of the entire Canadian population. Ontario contains just under a third of Canada's population.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 12:26 PM on June 15


Looked at another way: The GTA accounts for about half of Ontario's GDP. Ontario in turn, accounts for about 37% of the GDP of all of Canada.
posted by Kabanos at 9:35 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Hugh Segal: Hudak’s downfall was abandoning traditional Ontario conservatism
Ontarians also said something clearly to the U.S. Tea Party tactics of wedge, extreme political strategies: “Saddle up and head back to where you‎ come from; we are not buying.”
Segal is one of last progressive conservatives left standing after the Harper years, one of Bill Davis' red Tories.
posted by bonehead at 5:52 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised at the number of Ontario Tories (PC party members) who are so eager to stick the knife into Hudak, even though he's accepted responsibility and is resigning.

Where the fuck were all these same PCs when the PC platform was hammered together? I suspect that the Ontario PCs were too much under the thumb of the Conservative Death-Star that currently governs Canada. Maybe this is the first sign of a crack in the Conservative monolith?
posted by Artful Codger at 6:46 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


Worth pointing out, for those who don't know: the Greater Toronto Area contains approximately 10% of the entire Canadian population. Ontario contains just under a third of Canada's population.

Actually, GTA is 20% of Canada's population. GTA is about 6 million, Canada pop is about 30 million.
posted by Bovine Love at 9:51 AM on June 21


35MM actually.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:07 AM on June 21


Jeez, everytime I turn around, its gone up. I tried to cover with "about" but I guess that shoulda been within 10% or so.
posted by Bovine Love at 12:19 PM on June 21


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