Toronto – Did the Independent and minor political party candidates win Thursday night’s final Toronto-Danforth by-election debate? Although they most likely won’t win the by-election, the Independents brought forth applause and innovative ideas.
The Toronto-Danforth candidates made their final case before residents cast their votes Monday for the federal by-election. The two-hour debate featured the Independent and minor political party candidates providing different insights into the political sphere as opposed to the four major political candidates. Nine of the 11 candidates answered questions about the economy, the environment, what the role of government ought to be and the now infamous Bill C-30, which has garnered a lot of negative responses from Canadians across the country. The polls indicate that New Democratic Party candidate Craig Scott, who sported an orange tie Thursday night, will most likely win Monday’s contest. However, the raucous crowd was as much behind the Independent candidates as they were for Liberal Party candidate Grant Gordon, Green Party candidate Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu and Scott.
Participants Included: Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu, Craig Scott, Andrew Keyes, Grant Gordon, Bahman Yazdanfar
It was polite and civilized and the audience was students at Eastern Commerce. The moderator was (not completely sure, but it looked to me like) a teacher. His role was to ask questions that “apparently” were generated by the students. The room did NOT have a high level of energy. For the most part (and I think this was a mistake) the candidates did not tailor their answers to a “younger audience”. Possible exception – Grant Gordon. Mr. Gordon has impressed me as one of the candidates who is most likely to listen to and respond to the question actually asked. Andrew Keyes continued to “soldier on” and preach the virtues of the Conservative Party. Craig Scott continued to emphasize that he is (and wants to continue to be) a member of team NDP. Adriana Mugnatto-Hamu and Andrew Keyes continued to demonstrate a strong commttment to Toronto Danforth. Bahman Yazdanfar continued to emphasize the importance of candidate over party.
In any case, after an afternoon break, these same candidates (Andrew Keyes excepted) appeared at the evening debate.
Ten of the eleven candidates were present and participated. The Libertarian Party candidate did not appear. His absence was a disappointment for those who believe that there may be too much government in Canada. In any case, we were left with ten candidates who (to varying degrees) seem to believe that government is the solution to many of the world’s problems.
The Toronto Danforth by-election on March 19 has turned into a Festival of Democracy. There are eleven candidates. The candidate pool includes the candidates of both unregistered and registered political parties and two true independent candidates. The candidate (Leslie Bory) of an unregistered political party (Maple Party of Canada) will appear as an independent on the ballot. The large number of candidates will make for interesting debates, the discussion of a wide range of issues, and tremendous choice. The fact that the outcome of this election will NOT affect the balance of power in the House, gives residents of Toronto Danforth a real opportunity to vote for a candidate. Don’t people always vote for a candidate? Well, technically yes, but in actuality no. In many cases the candidate is simply the mechanism to vote for the party itself. For example check out the following tweet:
For example: I also received the flyer preaching the virtues of Stephen Harper. The flyer gives us all kinds of reasons why. But, I don’t expect to see Stephen Harper on the ballot. Stupid me. I see now. The way to vote for Stephen Harper is to vote for Andrew Keyes (whoever that is). It’s hard to find much reference to him in the ad. There is a picture and a recommendation to vote for him But, that’s it. But, there is really nothing to suggest that:
“The KEY to good representation in Toronto Danforth is to vote for Andrew KEYes”
The flyer does state that it is:
“Authorized by the Official Agent for the Andrew Keyes Campaign”
The Problem of Voter Apathy – Looking To Form An Anti-Apathy Coalition
First Reason For Voter Apathy – Politics is Nothing But a Party for the Parties!
The last few posts have been about the problem of political parties. The political process is dominated by the parties. (But, it doesn’t have to be that way.)
To be specific the party candidates are loyal to the Party and not to the residents of the riding. People tend to NOT be interested in people who are NOT interested in them. Since the parties are not interested in the people, the people are not interested in the parties. Since the parties ARE politics, people are not interested in politics. That may be the reason why there is so much apathy in politics. The voting turnout in the last Ontario Election (October 2011) was as low as it has ever been.