I really like the Provincial Liberals, and I really like Dalton McGuinty: Ontario has done very well while much of North America has wilted; our public schools are prospering; we have forward-thinking policies about the green power and green space. Yes, the Liberals tried to ram the ARL through our neighbourhood, but, on balance, I think they have been very good for Ontario.
But I’m voting NDP. I’m voting for Paul Ferreira.
It’s not because I like the NDP. I think many of their policies are populist nonsense—and sometimes worse than nonsense. Gas taxes shouldn’t be lower; they should be higher. The planet is warming. Hydro bills shouldn’t be lower; they should be higher until we make a transition to low-carbon generation. Public sector CEO salaries should’t be capped; meddling in the wage market is a bad idea. I could go on.
I still think Paul Ferreira is probably the best person for the job.
When I call Paul Ferreira, he calls me back. When I send him an email, he sends one back. Himself. Usually within minutes. It might be because I write WestonWeb, and it might be that he treats others differently, but I doubt it.
Our politicians must be willing to engage. I don’t want my MPP to agree with me every time; I want her to listen to me. I want her to lead based on the best interests of our community and to do the right thing. Paul Ferreira, though I am sure I will often disagree with him, will engage with his constituents. I admire that.
Paul Ferreira also shows up. Albanese skipped a very important debate only two days before the election. This is shocking. Debates are where candidates’ ideas are presented and tested. Albanese was unwilling to discuss and test her ideas in the most public forum of the whole campaign. This is unacceptable.
Guy Bethell, her campaign manager, said that Albanese skipped the debate because Ferreira didn’t debate in good faith at the LEF. Indeed, that debate was ugly. The divisiveness and rancour was deplorable—and I was there: Albanese’s camp was at least as responsible as Ferreira’s.
Instead of skipping out, though, Albanese should have attended and taken the high ground. She should have shown leadership and character—the qualities she wants to be hired for.
There is a reason to not vote for Ferreira: if, as seems likely, the NDP doesn’t win the election, our MPP will have a less significant voice in the House. Albanese, however, had a voice and had the ear of the ruling party, but she couldn’t use it to get things done. Even her political opponents were sympathetic. Cheri DiNovo, a prominent NDPer, said,
“I have to say that if the McGuinty government really valued the seats in York South–Weston and Davenport enough, if they really valued their members from those ridings, then they would also step up and make these promises.”
Frank Klees, a Conservative, said of Albanese,
“The honourable member is not supported by her government. She is not supported by the Minister of Transportation. She is not supported by her colleagues.”
Faced, then, with a choice between a party and a person, I will be voting for the person: Paul Ferreira.