Yeah, I'm back; deal with it. Though usually my articles to start the term off aren't half bad, if I do say so myself, and I just did. But either way... without furthur preamble the topic for today is the provincial election.
For those of you who haven't been paying attention (and I fall into that category a lot), the Ontario election will be held this June 3rd. Harris called it last week. What you may not be aware of is that the next issue of mathNEWS to come out is June 4th, meaning this is my only chance to get in a mention before the votes are tallied. Unfortunately, I don't really know much about current issues since I haven't read a paper recently. (Darn Operating Systems! And I won't even be able to use that as my excuse this term.) But anyway, my first advice is to get informed; now let's see see if I can practice what I preach. In the meantime, just some related things that irk me along with other topics to consider.
First of all, when elections are called "early" (and the PCs could have technically waited another year), I'd say it means the current government thinks they have a shot at winning (especially if people who aren't thrilled with Harris split their vote among all the other parties). Don't make any assumptions; make your vote count. Secondly, don't just consider current policies and budgets that are coming out now... getting 10 new doctors in a hospital should be weighed against the fact that 11 may have been lost last year due to cuts. And people are always trying to trick you! As an analogy, say I used to get a $200 salary until they cut that in half; yet now they say I'll get 75% back in addition to what I'm being paid now! Sounds good until you note that this is $100+$75 and still not what I was being paid before. (Incidently, there was a sign on the road when I was driving home at the end of April, put up by someone bemoaning the fact that although Harris cut provincial taxes, his own (presumably property) tax actually increased.) Something else that bothers me is slamming other candidates. In the couple of PC ads I've seen, it's like Mike Harris versus Dalton McGuinty. They are leaders of entire political parties after all and it's not like they're even the only two running!
All right, since I'm talking about annoyances now, I do want to mention one particular thing that I really don't understand (and may be why the article is leaning a little anti-Harris, sorry). Last month at my student apartment I found little five page pamphlets in the mailboxes. A "report to taxpayers" on "Ontario Education" that included a little smiling picture of Mike Harris on the last page. But what I think is more upsetting than any content inside is the notation (in small print) "Estimated cost of production and delivery 20 cents". As was pointed out to me, if they printed up (for example) 5 million of these, that's one million dollars they COULD have used to, I don't know, put into the education system itself?? I mean, I saw a lot of these things just sitting in the recycling box. And I know it wasn't a local phenomenon, these little pamphlets were down in Kitchener too. Why? Why, why? I don't get it; that seems to me to be a waste of money!
Anyway, I'm not saying definitely vote Liberal/NDP/Natural Law/whatever and stay away from the PCs. One should beware of rash promises by other parties too (especially birthday parties) and take their abilities to govern into account. Just be informed, and remember, opinions expressed are my own and those of the aliens controlling my brain. Until next time, bleeklsquif.
Greg "hologrami" Taylor