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What drives citizens
to exercise their vote

TORONTO – This has to have been one of the sleepiest election campaigns in Ontario’s provincial electoral history. The first clue is the over-dependence on “sloganeering” in lieu of discussions that capture the essence of the province we want to build and how we plan to do it.

Every time I speak to our readers about “getting it done”, “buck a ride” or “they had four/twelve years to resolve…”, they just roll their eyes.

The fact may be that after two and a half years of daily droning on and on about “the science” and “scientific experts”, our MPP wannabees have forgotten what to think and how to express themselves.

It seems that our “pettiness” – never in short supply – has completely displaced any semblance of discussion and debate. A case in point is the embarrassing “big reveal” by former Minister Mitzie Hunter about PC corruption in the last four years. We had reason to respect and like MPP Hunter. She did not need to remind us that 16 of 41 patronage positions went to failed PC candidates. There are hundreds such positions “up for grabs” every year.

Mind you, there is no shortage of material for the research teams/campaign “war rooms” to ferret out in their efforts to paint their rivals as unfit for government. Despite the preceding, government is not all about grand schemes, noble concepts and building economic infrastructure.

Stephen Lecce found himself in one such embarrassing moment when the opposition “war room” revealed he had been a member of Sigma Chi while at the University of Western Ontario. Sigma Chi is notorious for its humiliating and dangerous “hazing” rituals that involve, among other things, public drunkenness, assault, sexual assault, rape (of both males and females). Those who came to his defense pointed that he was young when it happened; but, forgot to mention he partook in a promotional video lauding the merits of Sigma Chi, in 2019, after being sworn in as Minister of Education.

Liberals, still trying to recover from the shellacking the public gave the Wynne administration for its approach to education, dumped three of their candidates in an illustration that they are now beyond reproach. Politics can be a tough business: the NDP also unceremoniously dumped two MPPs for transgressions not yet revealed to the public.

Nonetheless, no defining theme to this campaign has yet to emerge. Maybe the debate last night (this article went to print before the debate took place) began the process of galvanizing attention. For now, it seems voters are more focused on the Liberal-NDP coalition in Ottawa or the Conservative Leadership race to replace them.

Photo from Elections Ontario’s Facebook page

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