Thursday, June 5, 2014



This provincial affair has been the most relaxing election I have ever witnessed, and that goes back all the way to the 1957 federal election in the Yukon when mine was one of the 10% of the votes thrown out by the Supreme Court.
No matter what else I was doing in the newspaper business since then, back I went to riding the leaders' buses and grinding out stories and columns, or supervising the paper's election coverage, or thundering out our choices in special "slate" editorials, or appearing on TV and radio on election night as a supposed political oracle.
This time I spent most of my time at the cottage. After all, the choice is so bloody obvious, I wince when I see Liberal signs on lawns because I worry about those families being so out-of-touch with the real world that they would actually chain themselves again to a party that is setting a modern record for hypocrisy and wasted billions.
I wrote a blog recently recommending the Conservatives scrap their ad campaigns in favour of the simple line: "It would be hard to do worse."
As I've often pointed out, the most compelling theme in any campaign has always been "time for a change." Well, in June, 2014, it's certainly time for a change because I can't imagine any collection of politicians doing worse than what the Grits have inflicted on us..
It is so bad, I can't be bothered to argue about it. If you want to call me an idiot in emails, or phone to whisper anonymous crap, or tell your neighbours that silly Downing has gone overboard, you will not get a rise out of me. I would prefer to spend my time thinking why I haven't caught a nice pickerel at the Point.
Mary and I have already voted. Of course we Xed for Doug Holyday, the incumbent Conservative MPP in Etobicoke Lakeshore since he won the by-election.
I have known Doug for many years in many roles. He wears well. I know of no politician who gets more favourable comment from my friends and neighbours. He is calm common sense in the face of crazed spending, a pleasant but firm conservative.
When I was CNE president, Doug was a vice-president. Just the other day, we sat together at a CNE directors' meeting fighting a silly manoeuvre by councillor  Gord Perks that is costing the fair tens of thousands.
His Liberal opponent is Peter Milczyn who has been the councillor for half the riding. There has been plenty of opportunity to compare since both were veteran members of Toronto council.  It is significant Doug ended up as deputy mayor because only a fervent Grit would pretend Peter is his equal.
If the two worked at a school, Doug would be principal and Peter would be the secretary.
I was looking at one of those squinty-eyed ads of Kathleen Wynne the other day and thinking it is  quite striking how far she has come.  It really isn't that long ago that she couldn't get elected as a school trustee after her crusade to block Toronto amalgamation was noticed by no one.
She was just another person on the fringe of civic politics. She only stood out from the mediocre mass because she was openly gay.
She didn't do much as a cabinet minister but by golly she ended up as premier, which unfortunately said more about the quality of her opponents than it did hers.
Isn't it about time voters got back to reality and stopped demonstrating how broad minded they are. They've proven they don't discriminate, so let's get on with electing real politicians, not social experiments.
A good start would be electing Holyday and more Conseratives in Toronto, the heart of the province even if the rest of Ontario wants to moan about that. After the Liberals flopped around at Queen's Park like a beached carp for the last decade, the quality of our daily life has been strangled by our traffic, which has only been exacerbated by the games at the Legislature and council.
I was at the 45th press preview for the CHIN picnic the other day. In between the talk about how successful the bikini competition has been over the years because it was an ethnic excuse allowing the media to run shots of scantily-clad girls without the normal kerfuffle from the exceedingly correct folk,  everyone was complaining about how difficult it had been just to drive to the party. Later that day, a consultant doing a study in that area told me of people fleeing the city because of the commuting.
The other day it took me 70 minutes to drive from Royal York and Bloor to Bay and Bloor (circumstances meant I couldn't use the TTC.)  I had too much time to survey Liberal election signs and wonder just what possesses people to advertise that they haven't been paying attention.

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