Election 2011

Today is election day in Ontario.  For Canadian readers, you understand the logistics of voting.  For non-Canadians, we truly have a government that is representative of the parliament.  We don’t vote directly for a Premier; we vote for our local representative and went the counting is done, the party with the most elected seats is asked to form a government.

I’m not a terribly political person although the Christian Science Monitor once called me “snooty” when I did have some blogging thoughts about politics.

This election campaign has had very few opportunities for any of the candidates to talk about their direction for K-12 education.  So, essentially we have to guess by past practice and track records.  It’s probably not fair but those of us who can remember still have the baggage of the Social Contract and the Political Protest that came as a response to Bill 160.  The discussion about EQAO and its costs/benefits never made it to my radar.  We have the current education Premier and some of his government initiatives like full-day kindergarten most fresh in our minds.  There is discussion about moving teacher education to a two  year program instead of the current one year.

But, perhaps I missed a discussion about K-12 education.  I decided to see if it made the news and I wasn’t paying attention.  “The Agenda with Steve Paikin” gave a wrap up of the editorial position of provincial newspapers as we head into the election tomorrow.  You can read it here.  Sadly though, use your literacy skills and CTRL-F or CMD-F and search for the term “education”.  It only makes a single hit when you search the entire document.

There was some discussion during the leaders’ debate but it involved the costs of post-secondary education.

The teacher federations do take a stand and you can read it on their websites.

So, as we head to the polls today, it is with the knowledge that education didn’t make the big headlines this time around although the television ads were entertaining.  Does this mean that the political parties and the province are happy with the way things are?  Or, are massive changes waiting in the reeds?

With all of this in mind, my wife and I rehashed things during a walk yesterday.  If you’re reading this first thing on Thursday morning, you have one last change to influence how we’re voting.  If you’re inclined, take your best shot!

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5 Replies to “Election 2011”

  1. I have conservative values and always look for a reason to vote that way. But the days of teaching four out of four will linger in my mind forever, as well as Tim Hudak’s part of the “common sense revolution” that that brought that ridiculous policy into our school system.

    I think the Globe and Mail summarized things best for the upcoming election here:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/editorials/dalton-mcguintys-liberals-the-best-choice-for-ontarios-challenges/article2188213/

    The Liberals have fared pretty well the past eight years, bringing us less scathed through the past mini-recession than other jurisdictions in North America. Yes, the Liberals have lied to us (“no new taxes!”), but they’re politicians — they all lie!

    Doug, perhaps this article in the Windsor Star yesterday will reinforce (or change) your decision:

    http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Premier+vows+protect+jobs/5505234/story.html

    It sounds like the Windsor Star editorial team likes the Liberals too.

    The Liberal’s policies are the most moderate of the three major parties (the rest don’t count), and I think that’s the way we should continue along the next four years. In my riding, that philosophy makes it easy to decide, as the Lib candidate is the front runner. But in other ridings where the NDP might be more popular, it’s a tougher decision, as a split-left vote may bring the Conservatives up the middle.

    It will be an interesting evening tonight…

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  2. You’ve nailed one of the challenges of a three party system, Peter. There are times when you can’t vote for your first choice because it opens the door for the candidate that you don’t want. So, strategically, you need to vote otherwise to block. It reminds me of Tic-Tac-Toe.

    As for the Star’s editorial board, this area has a good record of strong Liberal representation. Our riding is now wide open with the passing of MPP Bruce Crozier who had announced his intention to retire.

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  3. Of course, the best party for education is the Green Party, as they are the only party advocating for one public school system. They are also against the increasing emphasis on standardized testing.

    I certainly wouldn’t call Ontario’s system a “three party system”, Doug. The Green Party has candidates in every riding in the province. I often have to pick between the three realistically viable parties (Liberals, NDP, and Green), but the answer in this election is clearly Green. Liberals are clearly second, and NDP is a disappointing third.

    And the “Progressive” Conservatives don’t even reach the podium.

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  4. Which is quite sad. The Green Party had a lot of good ideas this time around, but not much attention was paid to them. Partly their own strategy — they were following the same plan as the federal Greens, which was to focus on a few ridings at the expense of all the others — partly the fault of many members of the media who instinctively ignore them.

    Sorry for all the political talk…I appreciate (and make use of) your daily links on a regular basis…I’m not just here for the politics!

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