December 5, 2023

Dave Glover On Living With The Results of The Election

Ontario Election Results 2022

Opinion: Dave Glover

As I watched the numbers come in on election night, I was dumbfounded, crushed and angry. The candidates, all brave souls, put their names forward and fought hard. But, when only 43.5% of eligible electors bothered to show up I wondered what it all really means. 

Nearly six in ten eligible voters took a pass. Most voters who did participate, chose opposition parties with the NDP and the Liberals garnering roughly 50-51% of the provincial total voter count. 

Voters have the right and privilege to vote in our democracy. They hold the reins of government in their hands, and yet many chose to decline. 

In our riding Northumberland-Peterborough South, there were 90,098 people eligible to vote. David Piccini received 50.95% of a, higher than the provincial average, turnout of 51.38%. So congrats on that go to the voting people of Northumberland.

The past 4 years in this province have been very difficult, even before the pandemic. People were struggling to earn enough to get by and keep a roof over their heads before Covid-19. Many struggled to find affordable housing. Sure, they’d love to own a home, but even affordable rents are becoming something of a unicorn for many Ontarians. This re-elected government with its elimination of rent controls has only exacerbated the problem. Life is worse for many. The government’s cuts and efficiencies have led to higher costs in grocery stores, healthcare and public education. The cost of hydro has never been higher nor have prices at the pumps. 

I am angry we are in this position and wondering if you are, too.

We’ve just handed the most negligent, possibly corrupt government in our history the keys to the vault again. 

In Northumberland-Peterborough South, we just re-elected a cabinet minister who was recently heard to say that people on Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) already get enough money. 

Let them eat cake, eh? Mr. Piccini?

This re-elected government only convinced 17.2% of Ontario’s eligible voters to vote for them. Doug Ford and his negligent Caucus – a larger caucus by the way, have yet another majority mandate simply because nearly 56.5% of Ontario electors could not be bothered.

Let that sink in, especially if you chose to sit this one out.

Now that might not be a problem for some, I’m sure the 17.2% who chose the Ford Government are very happy. But, what about the people who must pay more for medical testing and services or teachers buying school supplies out of their own pockets? 

Can any of us really afford to pay more? 

What about the more than half of electors who didn’t take a pass and tried to defeat this Government? Well, like everyone else they will have to live with whatever comes of this.

The track record of this government isn’t good. The Canadian Forces reported shocking negligence as thousands died needlessly of dehydration & malnutrition in Long Term Care homes during the pandemic. People died because of backlogs for vital surgeries and other lifesaving treatments. Cancer patients and others hoping for diagnosis were all abandoned by this government. 

And now it turns out, they have also been abandoned by the majority of eligible electors who didn’t even bother to show up at the polls on election day. 

It may seem as though I am reliving the election as some kind of Monday morning quarterback, but the point has to be made. When a government like this one is re-elected, voters need to take a long hard look at what they are doing. 

Democracy requires only the smallest amount of participation. Just show up and cast your ballot that is it. Just be counted and accounted for. Not a lot to ask. However, the low turnout and the result of that turnout is very troublesome. The reasons to defeat this government were and remain legion.

This government has chosen censorship over accountability. Spent millions of dollars— our money — on partisan ads and pet projects. The recent Ontario Power Generation Port Hope Land deal is evidence enough of that locally. The deal was killed because it was actually a good one for the municipality. Less than $20 million for 1,334 acres of prime Lake Ontario waterfront with its own 401 exit, would have really benefited a premier small town of Ontario that struggles like everywhere else across the province with the rising costs of services. Claims that the sale didn’t meet CORE requirements are bogus especially as the municipality mirrors the requirements of Provincial Government. Past conservative governments, and even this current one have illustrated that precedent. Entities of the government are not subject to CORE, and therefore Port Hope was betrayed when it was claimed that the municipality had not done its due diligence. 

The re-election of the very people who killed the deal only ensures it never come up again in a similar form and the next time around the land will not go to, but to the highest bidder. 

So, ask yourself why? Why did the 56.5% choose not to take part at all? I wish I knew because the next 4 years are going to feel very long and costly. The people that chose not to participate are going to feel it just as much as those of us who voted. 

I find the fact that 17.2% of electors can hand the keys of Queens Park to a government that will make decisions for all the province’s residents, frightening.

Considering why this debacle happened some factors include polling, which showed a Ford re-election was inevitable. Did the perception of it being a foregone conclusion dissuade electors from casting a ballot? And what about those who wanted to vote against Trudeau?  A number of electors I spoke with said they were not voting because they wanted to punish Trudeau for the pandemic mandates. Many others said they didn’t like the look of the Liberal Leader and that the NDP Leader had been around for too long. While others simply said they didn’t feel a spark to support the opposition, and that Ford was gonna do what he was gonna do and nobody would stop him. 

None of this provides any real insight as to how we ended up with a record-breaking low turnout. But Ford was handed a huge majority and with it a perceived mandate to do whatever he wants, from building highways we don’t need, to cutting $1.3 billion from public education and the further privatization of Ontario’s healthcare system. Ford has already begun the process to outsource Ontario social services like welfare and ODSP to a private American, for-profit operator. 

Remember, only 17.2% of eligible voters put him in command.

It’s going to be a long four years indeed. 

Dave Glover is one of Northumberland’s well known cultural and political commentators. Thousands of listeners, both locally and around the world, know Dave’s because of his more than eight years on air delivering his “Drive Time” radio broadcast and over 15 years hosting political programs on the local community cable channel.

Listen to/Contact Dave 



Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by our guest columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policies, opinions, or decisions of the News Now Network. 

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