Parties choose own agenda

The provincial election will be held June 12 but the advance polls already are open and voting is underway.
As I watch the campaign unfold, I’m struck by how mean-spirited it has become among the three party leaders.
Integrity and honesty seem to have been forgotten, and many of the mandarins carrying the three main provincial banners are doing no more than uttering the sound bites put forward by the central organizing committees in Toronto.
Tim Hudak, with his “Million Jobs Plan,” can’t find an economist who can verify his numbers. Tim must have flunked addition and subtraction in grade school.
The best anyone can find is that his plan might create 75,000 jobs, which is hardly stimulating.
Now platforms are claims to get the population to vote for you.
Poor Kathleen Wynne—scarred with the billion-dollar boondoggle from Dalton’s McGuinty’s power plant reversal—now finds herself having to bail out (for a cool $317 million) a downtown Toronto tower that couldn’t find enough tenants to fill the vacancies.
One would think a developer would create a well thought-out business plan, but it now appears the plan included the province paying for the building.
Premier Wynne claims it is good business for the province to acquire the building and move civil servants there.
Meanwhile, Andrea Horwath is explaining why she defeated the best New Democratic budget ever presented at Queen’s Park. Her quick answer has been that you can’t trust the Liberals to govern the province.
Apparently, she has forgotten that since the last election, she had trusted the Liberals and supported their legislation. So who is telling the truth?
In this election, some of the questions that are not being asked include:
•How can we attract manufacturing jobs with the highest energy costs in North America and encourage people to locate to Ontario?
•How can education be improved in Ontario? Should two publicly funded education systems be combined to reduce duplication of costs?
•In this technological age, what improvements is the government prepared to make to deliver real high-speed Internet across the province, as well as open wi-fi services in every community and continuous cellphone service across the province?
•Is any party ready to give a tax credit covering room and board to students to attend college or university when those institutions are more than 300 km from their home, giving every Ontario student an equal affordable opportunity for a post-secondary education?
•Would any party, instead of giving grants to industries, ask that those grants be given for share equity in the corporations so that the money could be recouped in the future?
There are many more questions that should be responded to across the province, but the parties each have chosen their own agendas to be elected.
Some day, citizens will get to choose the agenda for debate at election time and choose the individuals—not the party—who will best represent them in Toronto.

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