Thursday, May 26, 2022

If you want a new, progressive government at Queen's Park, vote for the Ontario Liberals

It's pretty simple.  After four years of government at Queen's Park that ranged from chaotic and crazy to barely adequate, I want Doug Ford's Conservatives out.  

A little bit of a bad thing can be overcome with time.  One term of Ford has done a lot of harm, but Ontario can likely bounce back.  But eight years of a bad thing?  That could do serious damage.  I want so much more for Ontario than what Doug Ford has to offer.  I am not alone in that sentiment.

I ask everyone to think back to Doug Ford's chaotic first year in office after 2018.  Because that's probably the sort of stuff he'll have in store for us all should Ford win another majority next week.  I simply don't want to give him that chance to break Ontario more than he already has.  

I dislike how Ford's true instincts had to be massively suppressed by more mature adults in order for Ontario to barely get through the worst of the ongoing COVID pandemic.  I haven't so easily forgotten the bad decisions he made as late as this past winter on that file.  I hate how Ford has no ability to control his words in public unless given a teleprompter script, which he still often fumbles, exposing his lazy mind.  I'm frightened what he'll do in a second term without the maturity of folks like Christine Elliott around him.     

It's clear that Ford doesn't care much about climate change, as evidenced by his obsession with promoting carbon-burning transportation options including throwing at least $10 billion on an unneeded highway.  He'd develop the entire Greenbelt if he could get away with it.      

So much needs to change in Ontario on so many files and Doug Ford is an impediment to all of that change.  He's the wrong person for this time. 

Steven Del Duca isn't a perfect man or leader.  But he's the person for this moment.  He's the best alternative premier in this election.  He's made good platform choices on so many issues including rent control, housing, public transit, public education and health care.  His promises to outlaw private/for-profit long term care, promote better home care, and lower transit fares to $1, are what we need in this province.  If given the choice between the thoughtful Del Duca and the thoughtless Mr. Ford, I'll take Del Duca.  

Progressives have too much choice this election.  And the progressive majority seems to be currently splintering between those choices, while Doug Ford's PCs cruise along in the mid-30s.  It would be disgusting for them to win a majority with so little support from voters.  

In certain NDP strongholds and the one Green stronghold of Guelph, it's understandable some progressive voters would feel tempted to stick with their incumbents in order to keep the Tories out.  However, there are many such ridings where the Liberals on the ballot are awesome and deserve support, including Karim Bardeesy in Parkdale-High Park, Chi Nguyen in Spadina-Fort York, Andrea Barrack in University-Rosedale, Mary Margaret-McMahon in Beaches-East York, Mary Fragedakis in Toronto-Danforth, Jennifer Tuck in Waterloo, Raechelle Devereux in Guelph, and Kate Graham in London North-Centre.  I look forward to Dr. Nathan Stall's contributions to provincial politics, should he win St. Paul's back for the Liberals, which he's expected to do.

In most other ridings in Ontario, it's clear the Ontario Liberals are the party that should get your support if you want to kick the Tories out.   I live in such a riding: Toronto Centre.  I voted this past weekend in the advanced poll for Liberal candidate David Morris, a local activist and leader who will make a great MPP for this riding if elected.  His approach to local politics is similar to my own: he's interested in working hard at the grassroots level to help the many people in this riding who need it the most.  He'll be a huge asset to local people if elected.   

NDP candidate Kristyn Wong-Tam in Toronto Centre is a well-known local councillor but is running for a party that's not going to beat the PCs anytime soon.  It's perhaps unfair to judge her based on the one big mistake she made, but Wong-Tam's strange sojourn into COVID misinformation last year with a Toronto Sun column still baffles me.  The Toronto Sun?  Really?  Yes, she has an otherwise decent record.  But I think it's time for new leadership in Toronto Centre.  I'd like instead to see what David Morris can do for voters.  

Province-wide, I had hoped that Steven Del Duca's Liberals would start to close the gap with the PCs in the polls after last week's leaders' debate.  Instead, NDP support remains at around 24% while the Greens are up to 6 or 7%.  Support for the Ontario Grits remains between 25% and 30% in public polls.  

The Grits need a boost up over 30% to really start to knock off Tories in key swing ridings where NDP candidates are not competitive.  That would be in most ridings without NDP incumbents.  I hope many progressive voters in those ridings land in the Liberal column by election day.     

Regardless of what happens next Thursday, in the long term, I see the Ontario Liberals as the party that will challenge and eventually replace the Tories.  Thus, if we really want change in this election, we've got to bring back the Liberals in a big way.  

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