Saturday, December 31, 2005

Voter attitudes in southwestern Ontario

A piece in the Toronto Star entitled "A waste of time", which pretty much sums up the mood of the electorate in southwestern Ontario.

Some quotes from the voters interviewed:

"A waste of time," snaps Candace Hall, at the door of her downtown Hamilton home. Cradling her 9-day old daughter, Andrea, the city inspector says she doesn't like the Liberals but will probably vote for them again just to stop Harper's Conservatives.

To her mind, the so-called sponsorship scandal — in which the Quebec wing of the Liberal party was linked to a fraud scheme — has been overblown.

"It's the pot calling the kettle black for one party to accuse another of corruption. It's ridiculous, hypocritical," she fumes.

One wonders exactly what this conclusion is based on. What is in the Conservative Party's record to match Adscam? And how can hundreds of millions of dollars disappearing into a slush fund be "overblown?"

"I think we've all been Gomeried to death," says Don, referring to Justice John Gomery whose public inquiry report slammed some Quebec Liberals for their part in the sponsorship scandal.

"It's an egregious happening but it's not as big a deal as the opposition parties make it out to be. It doesn't mean you have to throw out the entire government. The Arar case (in which Canadian citizen Maher Arar was deported from the U.S. to Syria to be tortured) was more important than Gomery."

Maureen agrees. "Compared to the (federal) budget total, the amount involved isn't much.

"It's like losing a Tim Hortons double-double. It's loose change."

Doesn't that just want to make you smack your head on the desk?

"I'm not crazy about the right wing. It's better to have the crooks that I know."

Getting a bruised forehead here.

In Niagara Falls, printing systems consultant Mike Semark says he voted for Martin in 2004. But the sponsorship scandal has destroyed his trust in the Prime Minister.

He can't bring himself to vote for Harper. ("I don't trust him.") So, he plans not to vote at all.

"No one should vote," he says. "I would advise all Canadians not to vote."

Yes that would be extremely healthy for Canadian democracy, wouldn't it?

"I'm terrified of Stephen Harper," long-time Conservative Marilyn Gibbins tells me at the front door of her home in Grimsby, west of St. Catharines. "I'm terrified because I'm a female."

I think she's just terrified because she enjoys it.

"The most important thing is that the Liberals get their comeuppance," she says. "I don't like the timing, but the biggest problem is to take care of this. Get them out. I worked 32 years for my pension, and to have someone picking away at it doesn't sit well.

"While they're getting fatter, we're getting thinner."

Despond confesses that she's still nervous about Harper. But she figures she may still vote Conservative.

"It's time someone tried out their ideas. All we can do is hope they'll be better."

Whew! At last!

"I like the NDP because I'm poor and I need help from the government," says 19-year-old Brock University student Trevor Forbes, as he takes a break from shopping in St. Catharines. "I don't like the Liberal corruption stuff and I really don't like the Conservatives. They stand for everything I don't."

Like taking responsibility for yourself, perhaps?


At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Jesse Gritter said...

"Doesn't that just want to make you smack your head on the desk?"

Yes, and more.


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