Immersed in a foreign election

Gatineau and Ottawa

Today, mixed in among the advertisements and angry letters to people who used to live in my flat, I got a bunch of documentation about the upcoming election. I think that I am technically permitted to vote in Ottawa, both in the provincial election and on the related referendum. I think I live in the Ottawa Centre provincial riding, where the incumbent is not running for re-election. That said, I know virtually nothing about Ontario provincial politics and it is a toss-up whether I will be here for the bulk of the time for which the next government will be in office.

For reasons of semi-transience and ignorance, it seems best to abstain.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

8 thoughts on “Immersed in a foreign election”

  1. you have 27 days to do a bit of reading.

    here’s the last 20 years in a nutshell:

    peterson formed a liberal minority with the ndp, but voters got disillusioned with the grits and the tories and elected an ndp majority in 1990.

    ontario recession hits. people blame the ndp. whether this is merited or not is debatable. in any case, bob rae’s term was pretty crappy.

    mike harris leads the conservatives to power under the banner of his “common sense revolution” (which is pretty much a neo-conservative plan to gut ontario’s public services with little regard for any consequences. this is a benefit for the 905 (the ring of suburbs around toronto, but for most ontario cities, this is a huge blow (particularly to transit funding), as many provincial costs were downloaded to them.

    more anger, more voting, enter dalton mcguinty and the liberals. he has certainly not been a stellar premier, but compared to harris, i suppose that he can’t be that bad.

    in any case, read up on for some insight into the issues. warning: this magazine is quite toronto-centric.

    in the event that you still can’t make a choice, at the very least, you should go and spoil your ballot.

  2. What? I have a hard time believing that a few hours of clicking and perhaps chatting with a few folk wouldn’t get you up to speed enough to exercise one of your primary responsibilities as a citizen!
    Of all the people I might have pegged as non-voters, you’d certainly not be among them. Don’t disappoint me. We might not have available the most meaningful modes of political participation in this country, but we do at least have some, and that’s what matters most. Have your say!!

  3. If you aren’t going to live in Ottawa for most of the time the next government will be in power, there is a pretty good case for not voting. After all, the mandate of a government is based on the consent of those they govern – not those who happened to drop in when there was an election happening.

  4. Don’t forget about the referendum, MMP or first past the post, worthy of a blog entry unto itself.

  5. Ontarians head to the polls

    The Canadian Press

    October 10, 2007 at 6:37 AM EDT

    With cries of “broken promises” and “faith-based schools” still ringing in their ears, voters are headed to polling stations across Ontario to choose the province’s next government — and to pass judgment on the system that forms the foundation of their democracy.

    Though they have four principal parties to choose from, most will have to decide between the promise-breaker record of incumbent Liberal Leader Dalton McGuinty and the controversial plan to fund religious schools proposed by Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory.

  6. Eberlein and Rupprecht . How MMP works

    The German example shows that the worst fears about Ontario’s proposed mixed-member proportional voting system are ill-founded

    Burkard Eberlein and Klaus Rupprecht, Citizen Special

    Published: Wednesday, October 10, 2007=

    When Ontarians go to cast their ballots today, they will have two important decisions to make: first, to select a candidate in their local riding; second, to cast a vote in a referendum on the provincial voting system. While the decision as to who will take control of Ontario’s legislature is receiving the most attention, it is arguably the referendum on reforming the province’s electoral system which is the more important choice facing Ontarians.

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