|Honest Facebook meme making the rounds|
Hopefully you can remember that terrible legacy of tax cuts and deregulation which resulted in dozens of closed hospitals, skyrocketing tuition rates, and skyrocketing deficits. Indeed, the bleeding of the treasury under the PCs caused by massive tax cuts for the rich and big corporations led to a structural deficit in the multi-billions, as the government literally didn't have enough funds to support its basic core responsibilities (let alone anything else.)
We couldn't even count on the safety of the water coming out of our taps after Harris was done with his "revolution." Nor could we count on the basic safety of the food we buy in grocery stores as the Harris government wiped out adequate food safety inspection.
That deregulation and abdication of responsibility by the Progressive Conservatives meant that the Koebel brothers in Walkerton were the only ones charged with ensuring that town had safe drinking water; the province had downloaded that responsibility completely. And the rest is sad history that continues to haunt us to this day.
And now that someone even less intelligent and more thoughtlessly ideological than Mike Harris is running the PCs, we run the risk of returning to those disastrous policies.
We can't let history repeat itself. The Ontario Liberal message that we must have strong public services has resonated deeply for well over 10 years. Ontarians seemed to understand that conservative ideology and tax cuts come with a price too high to pay.
I think that message still resonates, even though the messengers have themselves lost credibility and have now conceded this election.
We have to vote to stop Doug Ford. Our dynamic, diverse province is far better than anything Doug Ford represents, including his cult of crack-smoking-mayor-fans in Ford Nation. If Doug Ford wins, the bigots in that base will cheer with delight just like the white supremacists who supported Donald Trump did when he stole that election in 2016. We can't let that happen, not in our Ontario.
The NDP under Andrea Horwath has emerged in this election campaign as the progressive alternative we need to stop Doug Ford. Her platform is almost identical to the Liberals and even better in many areas (including the NDP pharmacare plan as well as balancing the budget). Horwath is a breath of fresh air and is a credible change candidate. Clearly, she won me over this time, something I didn't think would happen.
As such, I'll be voting NDP in Toronto Centre, one of many ridings where the NDP has a great chance of winning. The NDP needs every seat now it can get to beat the PCs.
But I do have to disagree with many NDP partisans that the only choice is to vote NDP everywhere. I agree in most ridings that now makes sense, but not everywhere. Any seat that doesn't go PC makes it easier for the NDP to win this election.
Based on my longtime studies of Ontario politics, including riding histories and local candidates, as well as current polling trends, I would say that opponents of Doug Ford should vote Liberal, not NDP, in the following ridings:
- Any of the 3 Markham ridings
- Don Valley East
- Don Valley North
- Don Valley West (yes to Kathleen Wynne in her home riding)
- Mississauga-Lakeshore (in all other Mississauga ridings, you should vote NDP.)
- Ottawa South
- Richmond Hill
- St. Paul's
- Scarborough-Agincourt (in all other Scarborough ridings, you should vote NDP.)
- Thunder Bay-Superior North (Michael Gravelle is so loved, voting against him is foolhardy if you want to stop the Tories.)
Except of course in my hometown of Guelph, where Green leader Mike Schreiner is hoping to win his party's first Ontario seat. There, you should give him your support as his stronger campaign seems to have the edge there now over the no-name NDP candidate, and he'll be no friend of the PCs in the legislature.
It's been nice being able to enjoy safe drinking water, cleaner air and better public services these last 15 years. To support that strong legacy and ensure our province doesn't fall backward, I'll be voting NDP.