Tell MPs to dial back the rhetoric

How many elections will we see in the area this year?
Ontario, through legislation, has set Thursday, Oct. 6 as the date for the next provincial election. Currently, the Liberals hold 71 of the 107 seats at Queen’s Park.
Local MPP Howard Hampton once again will carry the New Democrat colours for the Kenora-Rainy River riding, which he has held since 1987.
His 24 years of service make Howard one of the senior legislators in the province, and his commitment to the citizens of this district and Ontario remains unflinching.
On the national scene, however, Finance minister Jim Flaherty now is saying there’s a 50-50 chance of an election this spring.
Over Christmas, local MP John Rafferty was telling everyone there was no chance of an election this year. But I learned from a reputable third party that the Conservatives in the House of Commons have been told to have everything ready to go to the polls after the budget is brought down.
If that is the case, Rafferty, who continues to hold town hall meetings, is in good shape campaigning across this riding. Ken Boshcoff, who lost the seat to Rafferty in the last election, remains the Liberal candidate and will have to make up his mind about staying in municipal politics in Thunder Bay or again going after the brass ring federally.
The Conservatives, meanwhile, have nominated Maureen Comuzzi-Stehmann, who brings a well-known political name back into politics. She is the niece of Joe Comuzzi, who, since 1988, held a seat in Thunder Bay both as a Liberal and more recently as a Conservative.
Last week, the Conservatives unleashed a torrent of political advertising on the major networks across Canada. The savvy New Democrats and Liberals opted to unleash their attack ads on Facebook and Twitter.
From the rhetoric of the political party leaders, one might say the election process already has started.
And political pundits already are announcing the date of the next election as March 29.
It will be interesting to see what the excuse will be that will send Canadians back to the polls less than two-and-a-half years after the last election. Will it be a corporate tax decrease? Will it be the continuing higher rates of unemployment?
Will it be the increasing costs of health care and education?
Will unfunded corporate pensions be the issue to ignite voters. Will “green” energy again be an issue? Or perhaps the purchase of the F-35 fighter jets?
All of these have been tested against focus groups and trial balloons have been lofted to see if they can catch an updraft.
There remains lots of potential for reasons to go to the polls, but in the end will the House of Commons look any different than it does today? I suspect not.
Maybe over the next few days we all should tell our MPs to dial back the rhetoric and get to work instead.

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