Tomorrow, June 30, I’ll be voting for the second time this month. This time I’ll be going to the polls to select Trinity-Spadina’s new MP, a position that opened up after Olivia Chow resigned her seat in order to save us from Rob Ford.
I have two predictions for this by-election. The first is that the turnout is going to be beyond pathetic. The election is taking place on the day between the weekend and Canada Day; tons of people are out-of-town and those who are around are busy with BBQs, covering their co-workers’ shifts and just enjoying the weather. I will be shocked if voter turnout for this by-election hits 40 per cent.
I’m not one for conspiracy theories but I can’t help but think that this crappy election date was picked by the federal government as sort of a “fuck you” to my ward, a traditional Conservative weakhold (no, that’s not a word, I just made that up). If there was even a chance that a Conservative MP might take this riding, I suspect that the by-election would have been called for a different, more voter-friendly date.
My second prediction is that Liberal candidate Adam Vaughn will win. Yes, this riding has been NDP for years but I think that, just like in the provincial election, it’ll be switching from orange to red. NDP candidate Joe Cressy has been trying his best but based on the number of signs and just general chatter, Vaughn’s got it.
I’m not a huge fan of Adam Vaughn but I like Justin Trudeau and the direction he’s taking the Liberals in. I also think that he could take out the Conservatives in the next federal election. And for that reason alone I’ll be happy with a Liberal victory in my riding.
In the provincial election I voted strategically in order to help prevent the Conservatives from coming into power. But since that’s not an issue in this by-election, this time I’m voting for my beliefs and the party that best matches them is the Green Party.
It’s being represented by criminal defence and animal rights lawyer Camille Labchuk. I know, I know, she doesn’t stand a chance of winning but for me, in this by-election, it’s not about voting for a winner, it’s about making a statement about which party I truly support. In this case, it’s one that puts the environment first and combines both progressive and conservative beliefs to create a sensible economic platform.
I’ve actually seen more than a few signs up for Camille (certainly more than for the Conservative candidate) and I’m quite curious about what she’ll end up with. In the provincial election, the Green candidate earned just over 7 per cent but I suspect that Camille will earn more since this by-election won’t make or break the ruling government. Maybe she’ll even hit 10 per cent.
While watching election results isn’t exactly a classic summer activity, participating in democracy is actually a great way to celebrate Canada Day. It’s just too bad that more of my neighbours won’t be able to take part.