The blogger’s quandary: for whom should I vote?
October 5, 2011
This should be easy. Each of the candidates has dutifully presented himself at my door, sat down on my sofa, and given me an uninterrupted hour of his time while I asked whatever questions came into my head.
But it’s not.
Progressive Conservative MPP Steve Clark greeted me like an old friend, and I suppose he is. I worked with Steve during the planning for the International Plowing Match on our property in 2007. But Steve quit halfway through the three-year-process, leaving everyone in the lurch. Bob Runciman called from Toronto, and Steve was off to greener pastures. No doubt Steve Clark is an enthusiastic advocate at Queen’s Park, and I wish him well, but that initial abandonment sticks in my mind.
Green Party Candidate Charlie Taylor is no politician, and I mean that in the best possible way. The guy is very bright, candid, energetic. I greatly enjoyed our interview because the educator in me saw the potential this guy has in just about any field. Charlie’s the one who would best fit in to the annual maple syrup team at the farm. The Green Party is the perfect place to lodge a protest vote, and I have kicked myself ever since the last election for not voting for Neil Kudrinko, who in my mind was the best candidate. Instead I continued to grit my teeth and vote Liberal, for a candidate who barely gave me the time of day.
Liberal Candidate Ray Heffernan’s a nice guy, but running for MPP is no way to while away a long convalescence after a car crash. He’s out of his league. But I greatly respect Dalton McGuinty and want him to continue as our premier. I like the guy’s vision, his integrity. This may fly in the face of the Tory bloggers who call him a liar. So be it. Dalton McGuinty has a history of doing what he thinks needs to be done and taking the heat politically for doing the right thing. Like a good parent. His kids like him. So does his wife. The McGuinty campaign doesn’t have to harp about family values. They’re so obvious they don’t need mentioning.
Dalton McGuinty is the antithesis of Mike Harris, and this has caused me to vote for a number of local pylons over the last few elections.
Then we come to NDP Candidate David Lundy, whose name I originally misspelled as “Lamb” after our interview. He turned up an hour late for our interview. Apparently “noon” means something different to an NDP staffer than it does to a Leeds County farmer.
But Lundy was worth the wait. He’s a public service union executive, a boardroom type. For the first time in an interview (apart from the one last year with Michael Ignatieff) I felt as though I was above my pay grade here. Lundy controlled the interview, giving me precise and well-thought-out answers.
At one point he launched into a bit of dialectic about voter apathy I had heard from Heffernan and again from Taylor, so I called him on it. “Those guys have been stealing my ideas ever since the first all-candidates meeting. By the time my turn comes all of my best arguments have been said by the other two.” Come to think of it, Ray Heffernan had mangled the dialectic as though he didn’t really understand what he was saying, though Charlie Taylor had nailed it. Points to Lundy.
Lundy evaded questions about Bob Rae’s legacy with the elegance of a figure skater. His initial anecdote about Stephen Harper’s arrogance resonated with me. The only time he was off guard was when I wheeled out a quote from a Sun Energy executive naming Crosby the solar-panel capital of Canada. “Where was that reported?” he asked urgently.
“I haven’t written it yet. It’s still in my notes.”
So who should get my vote in a race where the only real question is whether Steve Clark will get more than two-thirds of the votes, or less?
David Lundy won it with his comment, “The Liberals are not a factor in Leeds-Grenville.” But I’m still cheering for Dalton, and hoping for a Liberal majority.