Ever have a neighbour who only talks to you when he wants something? It seems that is how most provincial or federal politicians are when it comes to Eastern Ontario and specifically our riding here in Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry.
A few weeks ago, Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford stopped in Cornwall as part of his cross-province tour. Before that, Premier Kathleen Wynne stopped in Cornwall on her cross-province pre-election tour. It is good to see this riding get some much needed attention, even if it was only for a few hours.
During Ford’s visit, The Leader was one of only three media outlets able to talk to Ford directly during his visit. However, we were only allowed a question. Ford’s response was very managed, like those of most party leaders.
At the riding level, the parties in SDSG have either selected candidates or are in the process of finally selecting them. The PC and Liberal candidates are ready: the NDP is playing catchup but will hold their nomination soon. The Green Party has not named a candidate yet, and the Libertarians have had their candidate confirmed for months. It’s clearly election game on.
For voters however, the choices are difficult. How do you decide who to support? Some may vote for a party because they have always voted the party lines. Some may vote based on the record of their local representative. Others may vote based on specific platforms and issues. Sadly, many may not vote at all, fed up by the cynicism in politics, or lack of concern about the issues and the process.
This is the time when we should all be paying close attention to what is being said by those seeking our support. We should also note what they are not saying. What are they promising and how are they planning on delivering?
This is our chance, one that only comes around every four years, to have our say. This is the time the politicians need us. This is the time for us to tell them what we need in return.
By the time next week’s issue of the paper arrives in stores on May 9th, the Ontario election will officially be underway. Between now and June 7th, it is our job to pay attention, engage, and ensure we are getting the representation and government we want and deserve.