Immersed in a foreign election


in Canada, Daily updates, Ottawa, Politics

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.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike Kushnir September 13, 2007 at 3:58 am

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.

Mike Kushnir September 13, 2007 at 4:13 am

on a side note, i evidently don’t know how to close my brackets.

sasha September 13, 2007 at 12:10 pm

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!!

R.K. September 13, 2007 at 12:53 pm

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.

Scott September 13, 2007 at 5:43 pm

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

Anon September 14, 2007 at 10:00 am

Support for Green Party highest between elections
Globe and Mail

One of the great mysteries of Ontario politics is that the Green Party looks strong between elections and then ends up sucking the exhaust fumes of the main parties when the ballots are counted.

Anon October 10, 2007 at 9:50 am

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.

Anon October 10, 2007 at 9:55 am

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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