Ontario Election 2018

A Sanity Check for the Upcoming Ontario Election

Above all, please stop being ugly.

By Laura Cattari
Published March 23, 2018

Do you have a moment?

I am not certain how you feel about elections. I hate elections.

I hate the partisan rhetoric that makes usually intelligent rational people sound like raving fundamentalists (my apologies to fundamentalists), spouting party line through endless memes. Whether people understand that their sources are biased, if not outright fabrications, I am not always certain.

In an effort to keep my sanity this year, I decided to write this instead of commenting endlessly on social media. I offer you a few things to dwell on.

1. The economy is doing better, unemployment is down and full-time employment finally starting to rise again.

Your taxes have not risen dramatically. If they have risen, you are making more money than most people on my Facebook friends list.

2. Hopefully in selecting your government, change for the sake of change won't be your main determining factor.

I have impulsively gone for haircuts because I needed a change and have regretted it deeply. I'm not saying don't get the haircut. Just make sure it is one that will suit you.

3. I don't care what a former premier did. Look at the now: the current government and the aspiring premiers to be. If you call out the decisions of McGuinty, I will up you a Harris story. At some point, someone will bring up John Sandfield Macdonald and things will really get bad. Don't bother.

Stick with the here and now. Some current popular policy in progress:

These are not bleeding-heart policies. They are policies for a radically changing labour market.

We still need to do more:

Will your party keep, cut, or expand on these? Will they address what is missing too? That is what we are deciding on June 7, 2018.

4. Yes, those were a list of familiar ideas but let's get something straight right now: No one steals ideas.

If anyone should get credit for ideas it is people like me. Okay, not me, specifically, but definitely those of us who have been social advocates for decades longer than I have.

It's about time parties woke up to these ideas. No one gets a pass on this.

If inspiration for platforms is needed, there is a model National Anti-Poverty Plan [PDF] put out by Dignity for All and Income Security: A Roadmap for Change. There are lots of ideas to keep us all secure and healthy. And if they don't credit us for pointing it out, we will be fine.

And while we are on the topic of ideas, don't forget about affordable housing. And singles. Ok, affordable housing, and singles, and persons with disabilities, and affordable child minding, and racism, and Reconcili-Action.

Now go tell your parties to out social justice themselves and each other.

5. Comments and complaints about the inadequacy of seniors' incomes should target our federal government. It is their obligation. Go find your MP and discuss it with them. The provincial government does not have that mandate.

And for the love of gawd, don't pit yourself against children and families and what they get. Seniors already get the lion's share of our social tax dollars spent on them and their needs [PDF, page 56], and most people know it. Besides, it makes you look like a jerk fighting children.

6. You can't have environmentalism, low hydro rates and no new taxes. You can't.

7. We need a reasonable increase in taxes.

8. Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne and NDP leader Andrea Horwath are powerful women, don't-suffer-fools-gladly kind of women. Being that kind of woman is not popular. In time, if premier, many will come to hate Horwath too, and for the same reason they hate Wynne. That's misogyny. Stop it now.

9. Polls are a waste of our time. Comment on every newspaper posting you can find. Tell publishers that they sound ridiculous with their "prophetic" pronouncements before the writ is even dropped (May 9th, 2018). While you're at it, ask them to start acting like the fifth estate again.

10. Please stop being ugly. I need to be able to respect you on June 8.

Overall, if you aren't living in poverty, your life is pretty good. Really, it is. Please stop acting like your entire world is collapsing. It leads to populist fervour and electing... well, it doesn't lead to good decision making.

Laura Cattari is a Hamiltonian by choice for 24 years, and an advocate specializing in social policy, human rights and poverty. These are her personal thoughts which she is certain will anger everyone, please no one, which suits her just fine.


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By rednic (registered) | Posted March 23, 2018 at 08:51:05

Sanity? Ontario Election? These terms would seem to be mutually exclusive at this point.

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By AP (registered) | Posted March 24, 2018 at 05:27:31

Awesome. Thanks for sharing!

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