The countdown is on and this week Ontarians are set to face their political demons at the polls in the 43rd Ontario General Election.
Premier Doug Ford is facing re-election against fellow Covid enthusiasts Steven Del Duca, Leader of the Liberal Party and Andrea Horwath, Leader of the NDP. Throughout the past two years Ford has faced harsh criticism from all sides on his government’s pandemic response. The Ontario PCs performance will notably be remembered for Olympic caliber flip flops fueled by public outrage and disregard for collateral damage caused by “health” policies. Rather than address the inadequacies of the healthcare system, the onus was placed squarely on the shoulders of citizens through “tough on Covid” optics. As studies on lockdowns and restrictions roll out, it has become increasingly clear that the authoritarian nightmare enacted in the name of health and safety caused extensively more harm than it did help. Sadly, questioning harmful policies and collateral damage got you kicked out of caucus, fired from your job, segregated from society and cancelled.
Here are a few of the Ford Government Covid measures that helped put Ontario on the map:
• Finalists in the world’s longest lockdown competition
• Awarding unprecedented power to police to arbitrarily stop people to ensure compliance
• Limiting purchases to “essential items” (which oddly excluded essentials such as clothing, baby products, hardware and tools)
• Closing schools in the shadow of “School’s will remain open!” announcements, again, and again…
• Small business bankruptcy roulette
• Closing playgrounds, golf and other recreation
…and the most malicious of all measures, vaccine mandates.
**Honorable mention to the MPPs and members of the esteemed Science Table who were caught breaking their own rules and restrictions multiple times yet remained employed.
As bad as life was in Ontario, could it have been worse under a Liberal or NDP Government?
Liberal Leader Steven Del Duca wants to assure us that YES, it could and would have been worse. Del Duca launched his campaign on a promise to make Covid vaccines mandatory for all students. It’s open season on guessing how many times a student would be forced to roll up their sleeve for an emergency use only vaccine with no long term safety data and limited trials. Running on a promise to deny children access to education is malicious and unscientific. The left’s passion for covid zero policies is a testament that a Liberal or NDP Government would force Ontario to continue to play pandemic while the rest of the world has moved on. Ontario experienced science very differently, but liberal science could leave us even more destitute.
Another challenge facing the PC Party is the splintering of conservative votes to alternative conservative parties. The New Blue Party led by axed PC Party member Belinda Karahalios and husband Jim, have a full slate of candidates. Another set of candidates will belong to Ontario First Party captained by former federal Conservative Party Leadership candidate Derek Sloan. Will conservatives migrate away from the mainstream PC’s in exchange for the promise of upholding true conservative values such as freedom?
In swing ridings and tight races, a split conservative vote can and has led to Red and Orange victories, something the blue movement cannot withstand long term. During the 2021 Federal election the combination of a demoralized Conservative base under O’Toole and the popularity of Maxim Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada (PPC), affected the outcome in arguably at least 20 ridings. Momentum among new conservative parties continues to grow. The PPC tripled its vote percentage from 1.5% in 2019 to approximately 5% in 2021. Every single dollar of the millions raised for the Truckers Freedom Convoy was a missed fundraising opportunity for the federal and provincial Conservative parties. Conservatives were begging for a hero, for some leadership, and no one in the big blue tent, besides Roman Baber, answered the call.
Vote to Win
As many jobless, hopeless, second class conservative Ontarians get ready to take to the polls, the ballot question for many comes down to is the devil you know better than the devil you don’t? Can they forgive the abuses suffered under the Ford government and vote their oppressors back in for another term? Or will they take the risk and cast their ballots for a new conservative voice? Recent polling shows Doug Ford with a comfortable lead in the polls, but could an unmotivated base, a split conservative vote coupled with a high turnout for an opposing Covid zero approach make the difference? Ontario cannot afford anything but conservative leadership at this time. Vote wisely, vote strategically and vote to win. Because sometimes, the devil you know is much, much, better than the devil you don’t.