Crossposted to tvo.org. Final question before election day: “Over the Thanksgiving weekend, as voters try to decide who they will choose at the ballot box, what should they think about as they make up their mind?” (400 word limit)
What do you really value? What kinds of politicians and polices do you want to reward?
In terms of what specific issues are important, I haven’t really changed my mind since day one of this TVO blog. The decisions that the next government makes over the next four years on environmental and energy policy will have an extremely long-lasting impact, so we absolutely have to get them right.
I strongly urge people to vote for the party or candidate they most believe in, just as they’d expect their MPP to always vote for what they believe is right. The real danger in “voting for someone you don’t want to keep someone even worse out” is that you can never be sure if you’re getting the results you want. For example, we now know that Shane Jolley, the Green candidate in Bruce Grey Owen Sound, is polling ahead of the Liberal and NDP candidates and has a shot at overtaking the incumbent Conservative. I bet there are at least a few Green voters in that riding who are thinking of voting for another party to avoid “wasting their vote,” not realizing that the Green candidate actually has the best chance. That happened in Elizabeth May’s by-election in London North Centre as well. When you vote strategically, the results are uncertain. When you vote your conscience, however, you can be sure of two things: 1) you’ll send the strongest message possible to whoever wins about what you value and what solutions you want to see implemented, and 2) you’ll feel good about your vote, for once.
It’s also critical that families and friends talk to each other about MMP this weekend. Go straight to the source, and find out what the Citizens’ Assembly is recommending and why. While I can find flaws with MMP, I can find none with the democratic and open process that was used to create it. People on both sides of the debate have loved to nitpick at details, but when we look at the big picture, it’s clear that MMP is a needed improvement over our current system. If we believe that Ontarians know what’s best for Ontario, then we must support this recommendation that came from the people. If we don’t believe that citizens know best, then we should maybe rethink this whole democracy thing.