Election Diaries: A plea…

The election campaign is almost over. Opinion polls have the Conservatives easily in the lead. In the last week they have consistently polled between 37% and 38.5%.
The only issue is whether the Conservative can get a majority. They only need to win 12 seats more than  last election to achieve a majority. This election they have targeted a small number of ‘vulnerable’ seats. That is why they could get a majority with as little as 35% of the vote.

.In 1990 the Ontario NDP got a significant majority with 37% of the vote. Voting analyses suggest that the Conservatives may be in majority territory–if their vote holds and comes out to tick off that ballot.

With a minority government, Stephen Harper has ‘ruled’ as if he had a majority. What would a majority mean to this man whose respect of Parliament, democracy and Canadian values are tenuous at best? He has proclaimed that a coalition representing 62% of Canadians would be illegitimate. What would he do with a majority based on less than 40% of the vote? Why anything he likes.

Most governments while following their agendas at least acknowledge that they represent all Canadians to some extent—even those who did not vote for them. No such pleasantries for the Stephen Harpers and Rob Fords of the world. It is the American Republican style of government and it may be coming to a country near you.

I hope voters can put aside partisanship and look honestly at the likelihood of their preferred candidate winning and assess whether they are better off voting for another centre-left contender to stop a Conservative. That candidate does not have to be perfect. Sometimes it may require holding your nose.

The alternative is a crippling debt and/or slashed services brought on by massive spending on a penal system out of control and more military toys.

For help in deciding who that should be, go to Project Democracy (http://www.projectdemocracy.ca/). This site had the Conservatives winning 154 seats a couple of days ago. One hundred and fifty-five seats are needed for a majority.

No one knows what will be the effect of the NDP surge. Will those voters show up and will they vote for the NDP or change their minds last minute. Will a surging NDP simply take votes from the Liberals and allow some Conservative to squeak by in close ridings?

The choice is ours. Not voting is to choose to allow others to decide.

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