Friday, February 25, 2011

Election Fever

"ELECTION!"

Seems to be the most popular and least popular word in Canada right now.

Last year Ontarians had municipal elections to elect local government.  In Toronto Rob Ford took over and has been cleaning house since David Miller has left.  News for Rob though, the campaigns over and you have four years to do whatever you do.  So you can stop campaigning and dropping "Stop the Gravy Train!" antics (sloganeering?) and start looking for some CHACHING (read: money) savings for the 2012 budget because, as of this writing, there is over eight hundred million dollar shortfall that must be made up by this time next year in order to balance the 2012 budget. 

Further in Municipal politics, in Aurora the Phyllis Morris which seems to have restored order to council under new Aurora Mayor Geoff Dawe after the previous fractious term.   So far this term it has been only Wendy Gaertner who has stirred the pot by going on and on with questions to staff ad nauseaum to try, as she puts it, "clarify" her thinking.  Other councillors have pointed out that staff have been ready willing and able to answer questions and provide material to councillors before a council meeting is held.  Councillor Evelyn Buck, who has been previously Aurora Mayor and Councillor, has pointed out the only reason to ask a question of staff at a council meeting is to show information that will further a debate point and not to research out your point.  Bottom line to Wendy, council meetings are for presenting your points, making a collective decision and moving onto the next item.  Time for contemplating which way the wind blows on an issue is at General Committee or various other comittees and doing your homework with staff assistance during office hours at the town hall.  If you cannot understand this concept, please resign right now so someone that does can occupy your chair and the town's business can move forward.

Later this year is an Ontario provincial election.  The main issues in the election are going to be increasing electricity rates and the HST.  Premier Dalton McGuinty has overseen increases in electricity rates of over fifty percent in the past four years plus is promising further increases to electricity rates in the next five years as well.  All of this, McGuinty says, to invest in new green infrastructure like wind mills on the lake and gas powered plants.  Dalton McGuinty also oversaw the imposition of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) which takes the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) and the old Ontario Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and melds them into one tax that is imposed on anything the GST was on before.  This meant the Ontarians saw a further eight percent increase to their electiricity and Natural Gas bills as previously these bills didn't have the old PST imposed on them.  Overall, Dalton McGuinty has a lot of explaining to do for these items and others.  But what does Dalton do?  He asks what the Progressive Conservatives (PCs) are going to do in the future? Where is there plan?  Do the PC's have a plan?  PC leader Tim Hudak says the PC plan will be released in due time once it has been formulated, revised and released. Dalton, the real question here is do you have a plan?  What is that plan? A clear plan for Ontario is what is needed in these troubled economic times.  So put the Liberal party plan out there for the voters to decide on and stop worrying what the other side can do.  The election is when the decision will be made and the election can only be a good thing.

Federally, there is a 2011 Budget coming out soon.  The Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois are refusing to support the budget no matter what.  The Conservative government, in a minority position in the House of Commons, needs another party to the budget to get it passed, if not, as per the Constitution, an election must be called.  With Liberals and Bloc Quebecois out of the picture the only party left is the NDP.  NDP leader Jack Layton has met with Prime Minister Stephen Harper in consulation over what the budget would look like.   The decision is now up to Stephen Harper, does he put some of the items the NDP is hoping for into the budget to get it passed?  Or not.  If not, an election, that most Canadians don't want. will be called.  If Stephen puts some of the items into the budget, will it be enough for the NDP to support the budget and allow Parliament to continue on?  Probably as the NDP, for financial and health reasons doesn't want an election at this time.  Financial?  Canadians have had four federal elections in just over ten years and three of those have resulted in minority parlimaments under either a Liberal or Conservative government with threats of a coalition government mixed in for good measure.  Health?  Jack Layton is currently undergoing cancer treatment and obviously would rather concentrate his time and energy on that instead of criss crossing Canada over a months time in election mode.

So there you have it, us poor saps in Ontario by the end of 2011 may, but not necessarily definately, will have gone through three elections in about a years time.  It almost makes you wonder who the guy at the front door is trying to do...sell you something you don't need or get elected.  If it is the latter then I have a questions before you can start..who are you? and which ballot exactly are you on? Now what are going to do exactly?  Thanks...bye...I got three or four more of you coming by and I still have to cook dinner.

Elections...it is enough to make almost anyone feverish.

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