Sadly, another opportunity to change the political reality in Ontario is coming to a close. Tomorrow is Election Day. The jostling for power will be decided "the people will choose and get the government they deserve." The whole cliched charade will come to a crashing end.
Cliched? Of course it is, who says the people will choose, only the politicians say this, and maybe some dimwitted media reporter.
Charade? Again, of course, this election was bought and paid for well before the writ was dropped, we've just been going through the motions for the last month.
Am I being cynical? Not at all, look at this link from where the posted graphic was taken. The National Post printed that graphic in today's paper showing contributions to the three major political parties in Ontario this year, BEFORE the rules changed on Sept 7th, 2011, when the writ was issued. Spending during an election campaign is strictly regulated, spending before the campaign, not so much, not that it needs to regulated, I'm not advocating that. The Post commentary, describes the big donations, including their source, but no reasons for the donations or any explanation or speculation is offered. That is left entirely to the reader.
So, one is left to speculate exactly why would construction industry donations be the largest of all? The construction industry even favoured the Hudak Conservatives with more money, possibly believing the pre-writ polls that gave the Tories an edge. But they are not stupid, they hedged that bet with almost the same dollar amount to McGuinty's Liberals, and less than a fifth of that to the NDP. Clearly they speculated the NDP had virtually no chance of forming a government. Does the construction industry give this money with no strings? Do you believe in the tooth fairy? My answer, no to both questions, and importantly the largest construction industry donors, the unions and Aecon Group must be expecting some sort of favourable treatment from the next government otherwise why donate.
Of most interest to me, were the top donors, the teacher's unions (I was a conscripted member once). Unions in general tended to favour the Liberals first, then the NDP, and far behind were the PC's. But the teacher's unions have a love affair with the Liberals, and why not? The teacher's had labour peace, for the entire eight year Liberal mandate. McGuinty touts himself as the "Education Premier," his wife is a teacher, and he has grown the Ministry of Education and the teaching payroll by instituting all-day kindergarten in Ontario, whether we need it or not. They love him. How much do they love him? During the entire one month election campaign, ETFO a teacher's union, produced and funded a radio and TV campaign called "Refuse to vote against kids." This was a poorly disguised attempt to tell voters to vote for the Liberals, yet the money spent was not registered as part of the Liberal spending limit. How convenient is that? That's not all, as you can see here.
So, why am I going over this now with just hours left before the polls open? Simple. Neither we Libertarians, nor our disenchanted brethren the Freedom Party (FP), had any hope of winning or even making a dent into Ontario politics this time. FP even has 57 candidates (we only have 51), and they boasted that they have a sufficient number to form a majority government. Right. That would mean the tooth fairy does exist. But neither of us will elect even one candidate or come close, that's my bold prediction. Why? Because this election was bought and paid for by the groups listed in the Post graphic above, and the voters are not sophisticated enough to understand that. Here is a more realistic prediction. Don't forget to vote, anyway, we need the numbers.