City View: Shawn Star · VIEWS June 18th, 2014

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What a shame Ontarians were put in a position of having to choose

City_View_columnIt’s a shame someone had to win.

For many, going to the voting booth for this election was like having a friend nag you to answer a question where all possible answers are less than satisfactory, but your friend keeps saying, “Okay, but if you had to choose…”

Even the leaders were essentially pitching themselves as the lesser of three evils, as though that were in some way a comfort to the electorate.

None of the three main parties really have a legitimate claim to running this province.

The Liberals were mired in several scandals, which combine for taxpayer money totalling billions of dollars gone to waste. The fact they were ever even a factor in the race is at the very least shameful on the other parties for allowing it to be a contest.

The PCs campaigned on firing and hiring, but failed to get across for weeks that much of the firing would be through attrition and not pink slips, while economists roundly decried the “million jobs” plan as a gross overstatement and potentially a net job loss once the firings are factored in.

How the other two parties could not find a way to make the PCs hang themselves on crucial and unbelievably short-sighted errors in their biggest promise is, again, shameful.

Then there is the NDP, who couldn’t even organize a full slate of candidates until late May — and they were the ones who flipped the switch that triggered the election. Not that they ever got close, but they somehow came away unscathed after inexplicably straying from the party’s core values, leading to some long-time MPPs putting up lawn signs without the NDP logo. That the other two parties didn’t use in-house unrest as a weapon against the NDP is — did you guess it? — shameful.

If you think this dysfunction was limited to the war rooms and the leaders, think again.

At local levels, this election was a joke.

In one riding, the NDP had to settle for a staff member as the candidate after their first choice dropped out.

In another, the Liberal candidate needed two staffers and two days to answer two questions.

And in yet another, the PC candidate — the one meant to pose the biggest threat to the Liberal incumbent — described herself as “just a mother from the neighbourhood” and hinted that she felt she was a long shot.

Ontario deserved better, and our local ridings deserved better. Unfortunately, we had to choose.

And that’s a shame.