Voting: local candidate or party leader?

Going local

When it comes to politics, voting is better than not voting. 

Some choose to cast their ballot for the party that will best serve them, others lean towards local representatives regardless of party affiliation, while others dismiss it all together.

It is safe to say that no vote is a bad vote, but people tend to get very heated around election time. The latest provincial election is no different.

In both the federal and provincial elections, I have been troubled over which candidate to support. I consider myself informed of the issues – it comes with the job – but I also truly understand the impact our local MPs and MPPs have on our riding (another facet of working at a hyper-local newspaper).

And when, like this provincial election, the leaders leave something to be desired, it’s more important than ever to consider who is running in your riding.

While a leader is the face of a party, they are just one person, one vote, in the party. Individual members can make an impact through committees and private member’s bills. There is also the possibility of working with those in different parties.  

When some party members are parachuted into ridings, how can the local people know that MPP is going to represent them effectively? Who knows the issues better than someone who lives in the area they serve?

In my view, when in doubt over policy, party leaders and politics, in general, look to those who can represent your local riding best.

– Olivia


Pick party leader

Well, it’s that time of year again … we’re all being bombarded, 24/7 with Ontario election  propaganda.

It seems like everywhere I turn there’s a candidate sign in my immediate view.  Yet the real question is whether to vote based on the local candidate or the provincial leader.

If your provincial preference matches your local preference, congratulations … your path is set. For everyone else, how do you choose?

I lean towards provincial leader preference when casting my ballot, which can be challenging if a local candidate isn’t up to snuff.

The struggle is real.

However, a local candidate can only do so much beyond the leader’s rhetoric and they should support the party’s overall platform.

So yes, voting on platform, voting on party leader makes sense to me. Especially in this election.

Looking around the Fergus election sign landscape it is apparent that PC incumbent Ted Arnott and Liberal candidate Jon Hurst have erected signs only for themselves, while NDP candidate Diane Ballantyne has put up as many, if not more, signs with leader Andrea Horwath’s name.

Could this be a strategy on Ballantyne’s part to remind people of the NDP leader, possibly garnering more votes? And is it Arnott’s and Hurst’s strategy to distance themselves from party leaders so voters only consider the local candidate?

Regardless, my eye is on the provincial debates and platforms come election day and we’ll all see what’s in the province’s future come June 7.

– Jaime

Olivia Rutt and Jaime Myslik