On March 19, 2012, residents of the Toronto riding Toronto-Danforth will once again go to the polls to select someone to represent them in Ottawa. This by-election1 was called due to the death of the riding’s MP and Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, Jack Layton.
It was held by NDP Jack Layton since 2004. From 1988-2004, it was held by Liberal Dennis Mills. Between 1965 and 1988, it was also held by NDPers, including the current Liberal Interim Leader Bob Rae (who now represents Toronto Centre).
Yes, I know that these facts are somewhat ambiguous, as the boundaries and names of the riding have changed numerous times.
Either way, Toronto Danforth is my home, and as long as I’ve lived her Jack Layton has been my Member of Parliament.
I don’t subscribe to either party’s mantras, and probably never will. I’m a lone wolf!
I have voted in many elections since turning 18 in 1999. I have voted Liberal, and I have voted New Democrat. There are usually numerous aspects with which I will weigh to get to my decision on which candidate to vote for:
- Party leader
- Party platform
- Local candidate
- Strategic insight
So let’s look at these individual aspects:
Neither of these parties have leaders. Jack Layton is dead2. Interim Leader Nycole Turmel has been doing a piss-poor job at keeping the NDP in the fold, and has been virtually ignored by the media. Not a good sign for a leader. Thomas Mulcair, Peggy Nash, and Brian Topp could all get my suppport, but none of them are leading the party, or will lead the party when I go to the polls.
Bob Rae is the Interim Leader of the Liberal Party, and while he’s a smart, charismatic, and experienced leader, he’s not the permanent leader. Current rules prohibit him from running for leadership, and even if he does, a leadership race is nowhere in the near future.
Winner: No one!
They don’t have party platforms, as this isn’t a general election. Neither of these parties are running to form government, so it doesn’t matter what their platform is any way.
Winner: No one!
In the grand scheme of things, who cares if a Liberal or NDP takes the seat. One extra seat for either party won’t swing any balance of power, nor will it change anything. This is the only seat in the cards, and no matter who takes it, the Conservative Party of Canada will still have a majority government.
Winner: Stephen Fucking Harper.
So this is the only place where it actually matters. Who are the local candidates? Well, there’s the Professor:
And there’s the Ad Man:
That’s about all I know about them. One is a professor, the other is an ad man. I’ve seen some of the ad man’s work, and while I think it’s clever, I don’t think it’s enough to nominate him for a job which pays an annual salary of $157,731 [source]. I also find the ad work somewhat insulting. I won’t deny the facts, but to say that a party which never formed government has done nothing, is a bit ridiculous.
So if this is all I know about the two men, The Professor gets my vote. I’m sorry, but I have more respect for a man whose life-long endeavour is learning, over a man who tries to sell me shit.
However, I don’t think this is the be-all and end-all of these two men, and hardly enough to base my opinions on.
What I would like is just some time to talk with the men, and find out where they stand on issues, what they expect to bring to Toronto Danforth from their service as MP, and why they are qualified and deserve to serve as a member of parliament.
The Professor’s office has told me that he WILL call me. They’ve told me this numerous times.
The Ad Man, who I voted for to receive the nomination, has been rather quiet. Maybe his team figures that since I am a member of the party, that I will vote for him. If they think that, they’re very wrong.