With the 2011 Ontario provincial election mere weeks away, all the major parties are honing their focus on the most competitive ridings in the province. While some of these battleground ridings are attracting attention from politicians and commentators alike, the following ridings are somehow slipping under radar, despite their potential Election Day interest.
Are we fed up yet? Between a seemingly interminable campaign season and a record 64 per cent voter turnout, election-weary Torontonians might be forgiven for being a bit bleary-eyed in the days following, while the reality of an end to the Ford era sinks. But what have we woken up to?
We've woken up to the disappointing reality of a polarized city that is the mirror image of those neighbourhoods that are plagued by social inequity. And the blame for this doesn't necessarily fall entirely on every downtown voter's favourite punching bag -- the Ford brothers.
Purists in the Ontario NDP who expected their party to run in an ideological straightjacket, and then punished them for it with calls for strategic voting, should not now be surprised that their former party has stopped listening to them.
In a prescient Facebook post a few weeks ago, a long-time observer of the NDP, political scientist Chanchal Bhattacharya, distilled this insight in response to Rick Salutin’s grumbling column in the Toronto Star about Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath’s new direction.
The act of voting is less simple than it seems. It looks straightforward. Mark paper, stuff in box. But precisely because it's so simple, it's susceptible to multiple interpretations. It's like communion: person kneeling takes cracker in mouth. Ya, right. Try explaining what that's about. Sheer mystery.