So my home province of Ontario (the industrial heartland and most populous province in Canada) just had an election yesterday, and the results were quite interesting, I think.  We have a multi-party parliamentary system provincially and nationally, with first past the post winners in each riding. Ontario usually has three parties that matter: Progressive Conservative (PC), Liberal and New Democratic Party (NDP) from right to left across the spectrum.

The Liberals won, going from an NDP-supported minority to a majority government.

That's not really the interesting part.  A few observations:

  • The centrist Liberal Party was mired in several scandals, including blowing $1B cancelling some power plant construction contracts in the last election to protect their candidates in a couple of ridings.  And then deleting emails etc in an effort to cover up.  They still won, because the alternatives were even less palatable.  Yeah, it was that bad.
  • The PCs were the most credible challengers, but they went all Tea Party (weak tea, by US standards) and Ontario voters were having none of it.  It was lost PC seats that gave the Liberals their majority, the NDP didn't move up or down.  So that message was pretty clear.
  • The leader of the Liberal Party is Kathleen Wynne.  This was her first election as leader of the party.  There was absolutely no noise during the election about how she looked or dressed (which so often seems to plague female candidates) or about the fact that she's gay*.  Imagine that; politics where your gender and sexual orientation are complete, absolute non-issues.

Make no mistake, this was an ugly election, and the people of Ontario just had no way to win.  But watching Tea Party politics get kicked in the teeth was nice, and seeing that gender and sexual preference don't even inspire dog-whistle politics among the mega-church set gives me some sort of hope for the future.  Now if the PC's would fix their shit before the next election, we could have some real choices around here.

* "She is the first premier in Canada to be openly gay and the first openly gay head of government in the Commonwealth of Nations, and the English-speaking world," according to Wikipedia.

Tags: canada, election, gay, gender, ontario, tea party

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Imagine that; politics where your gender and sexual orientation are complete, absolute non-issues. 

As a citizen of the US, I'm envious.

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