Do you vote?

Avatar for nora_mcl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
Do you vote?
6
Wed, 05-21-2014 - 10:00pm

Canadian politics and American politics are quite different in oh-so-many ways. And we, in Ontario, are in the middle of a provincial election. In so many ways, it is kind of useless but is happening because our provincial government was a minority government (when the last election was called-only 2 1'2 or 3 years ago, I think?-it was a minority by 1.)And when our Premier-the first female Premier who-gasp-dares to be openly Gay Wink-put forward her budget, she did not have enough members to pass it. And her usual ally from another party said "Nope, not this time!" So here we are-hearing promises that will probably never be kept, from -people I'm not sure I'd trust but feeling I must choose one of them. And yet-we don't choose the Premier-we choose a member of her party(or his party)for our area& the party with the most votes wins. Essentially it is how all our elections go-we don't have an electoral college, & while it is easy to say "Majority wins"-our Prime Minister won his job with only 39% of the vote. (we have more than 2 parties here)

Do I vote? Yes, I do-& Adam was always very proud to vote. I used to go into the booth to help him read the ballot but I never influenced his decision. Mike & I often don't vote the same way-which he says makes it senseless. But, if I don't vote-how can I complain about what they do? And everyone knows I am good at complaining!

Do YOU vote? Always? Sometimes? Do you & DH vote the same way? Do you have party loyalty-or do you decide differently each time? (I decide each time how I will vote-right now I strongly dislike our MPP-so I hope we can get rid of the jerk the dear man this time.)

And curiousity makes me ask-do you understand Canadian politics? We studied American politics in school-plus I'm a bit of a news junkie, so I do try to keep up on it.

Nora

Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
In reply to: nora_mcl
Thu, 05-22-2014 - 7:50am

Presidential elections -yes.  Local, rarely as we're a teeny suburb of St Louis and local 'politics' aren't really a big deal here, nor do I ever know any of the judges up for reelection.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
In reply to: nora_mcl
Thu, 05-22-2014 - 12:22pm

Nora, of course I vote.

Our Premier's sexuality has nothing to do with anything. No one cares, except for a few fundamentalists who have no power.  Kathleen Wynne's dedication to physical fitness makes more headlines than her choice of life partner.  A recent poll found that Wynne has come out on top as leader who would make the best Premier, the most trusted of the three top contenders for the job.

The election is about the gas plant scandal, jobs and educational and health funding. That "provincial retirement plan" is not being well received by the young people. They see it as another tax that will help baby boomers (and the generation after) and not for them in the long run.

Nora, you are forgetting the Greens and the various "off the wall" parties.  The NDP thought they could win, if they forced an election by not supporting the minority government's budget. It looks like it is going to backfire on them but that is the "beauty" of our system. We are not stuck with a government that has lost the "confidence" of the majority. 

However, minority governments do work and we have gotten some of our most progressive legislation as result of the compromise required (i.e. health care reform).  And although we vote for a party and not the leader, the leaders are elected by their party members and face confidence votes each year.  We will have a new round of party leader elections after this vote.

I like our system; it has worked very well in this country and other countries (like UK, Australia etc..). We have things that need to be reformed (like the Senate) but, all in all, it has worked well in this country. I tend to not pay too much attention to the American "day-to-day" politics that do not impact our country. 

Haven't decided between the Liberals and the NDP.  I do not like the Conservative's platform. Cancelling the 30% rebate on tuition for kids whose parents make less than $160K will only make university even more difficult. The tuition fees increased to offset the 30% (i.e. a bit of a back door needed extra funding for our universities and colleges) rebate. I also don't like the idea of having kids write a EQAO Science exam in Grade 8, similar to the Grade 9 Math and Grade 10 English. Not needed. Our kids are doing very well in science; we don't have to tact on another provincial-wide exam at such a young age.

You studied American system in school? Really? I didn't and neither did my kids. They took Canadian History in middle school and high school and Civics (Canadian political system); all required courses.  My kids' highschool did not even have a course on US history but some schools offer it as an elective, non-required interest course in Grade 11.

When I was in high school, I took Canadian History (reguired) and World History (also required). Nothing on American history, other than that covered in the Canadian and World History from a Canadian prospective. 

Even with that, we  (including my kids) know a great deal about American history and their political system. Hard not to do, with the airways full of American shows and news.

Avatar for nora_mcl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
In reply to: nora_mcl
Thu, 05-22-2014 - 5:05pm

There is no "Of course" to voting-a lot of people do not bother. And I have to agree about the minority governments-it very often makes the ruling parties toe the line. Rather than trying to bully things through-they have to negotiate & think about how things will be accepted by more people other than those they directly lead. I also agree about Wynne's sexuality-I think she has a lot going for her, & I certainly admire her for admitting who she is in all aspects of her life.

As someone who lost her job under Mike Harris' cuts & whose son probably would not have survived under the cuts of a previous NDP government-it gives me pause. I had a heated discussion when our MPP was from the NDP-by then, Adam was here & I could advocate for him.

As for learning American politics-I am older than you, & it probably helped to be going to a high school where at least half the students were "Military Brats", many had been at different bases in the USA-or with American students at NATO bases.

And I'm certainly not forgetting the Greens or any of the other parties-though I doubt any of them will have much chance of forming even a minority government. Hopefully the Greens will gain strength-I do think Elizabeth May is gaining popularity in the Federal Parliament. But, as I was saying-it is different than in the USA where there are principally 2 parties-the Democrats & the Republicans. There have been attempts to form another-but not very successfully.

Nora

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Fri, 05-23-2014 - 9:34am

It is “of course” for us in this household and for my siblings and their kids.  We get into some spirited discussions when we "talk" politics since we have Conservatives, NDPers and now a couple of Greens  and Liberals in the extended family.

Unfortunately, too many people are not voting; those who don’t should not complain if the government does something they do not like. If they don’t like the choices, spoil their ballot. That sends a stronger message then not showing up.

 Nora, I am not that much younger than you. LOL!  I am in my 60s. My brother (late 60s) and my cousin (early 70s) did not take US History in high school too.  Even my DH (60) and brought up in Ontario did not have to take US Hisory. They took the same courses I did. But, as you wrote, it was probably because you were going to school on an army base.

Unfortunately, layoffs happen. My nephew was laid off as a RN under the Liberals a few years ago because of government cutbacks to the hospitals.   And my career has had its “ups” and “downs” under various Liberal and Conservative Governments (federal that is). It is what it is.

Bob Rae might have headed a provincial NDP government but the guy certainly didn’t act like a NDP or a Liberal for that matter with all those cuts. LOL!  He showed his “colors” when he left the NDP to run for the Liberal leadership.

The Green Party? Elizabeth May may be a hard worker and a good speaker but many of the Green policies are not well-thought out from a scientific and economic basis. I think the “Greens” would be better off to join the Liberals or the NDPs and influence their policies.

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
In reply to: nora_mcl
Fri, 05-23-2014 - 7:32pm

Yes, I do vote, at every election. I'm fairly certain that the only one that I've missed was the 1980  presidential election because we were on a 3 month trip through Mexico. I usually vote at the neighborhood ballot booth but this time (election on June 3) I will vote by mail because we will be in Texas on that date.

Enrique and I tend to vote the same. We don't go over our ballots and compare, but in general we are in agreement regarding the issues or candidates when we do discuss them. I don't vote straight "party line", I'm open to voting for whatever candidate will best represent me. 

Do I understand Canadian politics? Not very well but then I don't really try. Its pretty much off my radar because it rarely makes the news all the way down where I am, except for mayor Rob Ford (don't worry, I don't think anybody thinks he is representative of Canadian politicians lol). 

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Mon, 05-26-2014 - 9:19am

Most of our politicians are not as "exciting" as Rob Ford.  LOL!   But every once in awhile, we have a few "off the wall" ones that excites the media. And the Ford family is an interesting dysfunctional bunch;very rich and long-time members of Conservative Party (the party in power federally). The father was a provincial politician.

Here, candidates  for municipal  government do not run under a political party banner.  In Toronto, downtown and core tends to elect left-leaning city councillors and, in the burbs, more fiscally conservative. He got in because people outside of the city core were tired of the "downtown" mayors and wanted to see more fiscal responsible spending. He also, as a city councillor, represented a mostly immigrant ward,known for gang violence and was known to fight for the people in his ward. If a resident  had a problem with the city and asks him for help , he will not pass it off but will solve it.

The Canadian political system is very simple; much simplier than the US system I think. I find the US system confusing with all your elected judges, prosecutors, and powerful school boards. Here, judges, teachers and prosecutors are government employees. Fire an police chiefs are city employees. And school boards have no control over curiculum; that is set by the provinces with cross-province standization.  This includes the books used and the books and plays studied in English class. This standization of curiculum even extends to private schools since the province issues the minimun requirement for  high school diplomas.