Currently two Ontario electoral ridings are in the grip of By-Elections. In the riding of Vaughan everyone seems to assume the Liberal candidate will be a shoe-in. Although predictions are made in every election, we wouldn’t need to bother with the expense of elections if any poll or prediction’s outcome was guaranteed.
No such assumption has been made in Elizabeth Witmer’s Kitchener-Waterloo riding, where Witmer has reigned under Progressive-Conservative colours for decades. The only reason her staunch conservative seat is up for grabs is because she’s resigned to accept a plum job offered by Premier McGuinty. Nice to see such consensus in government, eh?
Because the Liberal Party of Ontario is one seat short of a majority, this is quite an important election for the Liberals, who have discovered it was much easier to govern when they had a majority.
Governments can do whatever they want when they hold a majority of seats. Which is why it is important to the rest of us as well. After all, minority government is the closest we get to democracy in these parts.
My favorite, multipartisan, grass roots, electoral reform group, Fair Vote Canada, is hoping to change all that. Fair Vote WRC hosts events and seminars throughout the year so citizens can learn and discuss the issue of how to re-inject democracy into our political system.
Politics On The Patio Goes Underground
Last year during Democracy Week they held a “Politics on The Patio” event which happened to occur in the midst of the Ontario election. It was a relaxing change from the tightly managed election events, instead providing a forums so candidates could mix informally with the public and actually get an opportunity to meet one another.
Since this By-Election will be over by Democracy week, Fair Vote Waterloo Region held a “Meet The Candidate” event in the Huether Hotel’s basement Malt Room Museum. Almost all the candidates managed to attend, so it was an excellent opportunity to meet candidates in a relaxed setting — in this case, the Lion Brewery Museum and Dining Lounge, located in the depths of Waterloo’s Huether Hotel.
There was an excellent turn out of candidates. Here they are in alphabetical order (by first name):
In these days of copyright maximalism, it is important to have accessible photographs of people in public life available to citizen journalists and bloggers. I’ve been taking every opportunity to photograph local politicians; all these blog photos are by laurelrusswurm and licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
Although Conservative Candidate Tracy Weiller did not attend the Fair Vote “meet the Candidate” event, I can share this photograph of the candidate for tomorrow’s election.
The byelections are being held tomorrow, Thursday September 6th, 2012. I can’t vote in either riding, but I can hope the Ontarians who can don’t lock Ontario into an unfortunate majority. Fingers crossed!
Either way, get out there and vote!
Oh yeah, this *is* Canada, after all … if any stranger ~ human or robot ~ should happen to call you up to tell you you need to go somehere different to cast your vote, please check it with the official information available at Elections Ontario.