Sunday, January 30, 2011

If Only Politicians Could See Their Shadows

While many people will be waiting and watching Tuesday morning to see if any number of affectionately-named groundhogs see their shadows - or not - to determine whether they can start pulling out their beachwear, it occurred to me, how great would it be if politicians in an election year could see their shadows?
While the federal Conservatives,  Liberals, and NDP are busy trying to prove who wants an election less (anyone want to buy some swamp land in Florida?), the provincial Liberals, Conservatives and NDP in Ontario are busy in their own right campaigning for a vote that won't take place for another 9 months. NINE MONTHS!
How nice would it be if Tuesday morning instead of furry rodent-type animals testing the length of the remaining winter days, if politicians across Ontario decided they'd be further ahead to continuing governing rather than muddying the waters with election rhetoric.
One need only look at headlines in papers across the province to keep tabs on Dalton McGuinty visiting would-be voters in Windsor, while Tim Hudak has been busy attacking the Liberals on their Hydro debt issues, a column by the Niagara Falls Review's Corey Larocque points out the tactics already being employed by the parties asking for our trust, support and votes.
When did a four-year term become a three year term with a year or so of campaigning? And when did campaigning go from what a party is going to do for their constituents to how bad their opposition is for the constituents?
I'd like to know what the parties are going to do to attract jobs, real jobs, long-term jobs in this province and in the communities hardest hit by blue-collar job loss over the last decade.
I'd like politicians to recognize and admit that not everyone that has lost their job after 30 years can be retrained in an entirely different field - or even have to be for that matter.
I'd like to know what the parties are going to do to ensure that the next four years will improve for every person in Ontario - students in schools, parents struggling to raise their children, seniors trying to make ends meet.
Stop telling me why the Conservatives are the wrong choice; stop telling me why the NDP can't lead Ontario in the direction they need to go; stop telling me why the Liberals need to go.
Start treating the electorate like they aren't a child that needs to be protected from the truth, and start coming up with real answers to real questions.
Oh how nice it would be if on Tuesday morning I could wake up to find that in fact a groundhog somewhere did not see its shadow (and I could get my beachwear ready), and politicians in Ontario saw their shadows and decided to go back to bed for a few months. Wishful thinking. Sighhhh

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