Haliburton-Brock-Kawartha election – I like all three but going with Rick Johnson

Laurie Scott and Don Abel are great people too – so we’re very lucky in HBK riding

TERRANCE GAVAN – ONTARIO ELECTIONS

Kawartha Lakes – Today I cut the lawn. And put up my Rick Johnson sign. It’s red. So I am voting Liberal in my riding of Haliburton – Brock – Kawartha Lakes.

Let me explain by way of full disclosure that I am a card-carrying member of the provincial NDP. I might lose that card on the basis of this admission.

Now I want to make it perfectly clear that I bear no ill will to any of the candidates or their parties. Laurie Scott is a charismatic and intelligent woman. Don Abel is a battle-scarred veteran of the political wars. I really believe that I would be proud to have any of those three candidates as an MPP for my riding. I believe that they would all work for my interests and I also think that they care about the riding.

So why Rick Johnson? Indeed, a most fair question. I am of an age and a veteran of way too many campaigns. My first vote was cast in Nepean, Ontario for Gordon Blair. Blair was a Liberal MP for Grenville Carleton from 1968-72. He was smushed by Walter Baker in the 72 election. I was 18. And god bless Mr. Baker, who was a sincere and dedicated politician, because I used to wish unholy terror upon him, his soul and his party.

Now I was a good Catholic boy, so none of the wishes called for mayhem. More in the nature of “God if you can find it in your heart could you please have Mr. Baker slip and fall in a pile of cowshit at the county fair. Or, dear Christy jesus can Mr. Baker be caught shoplifting a pack of ju-jubes at the local K-Mart!

What a difference 40 odd years can bestow upon a man.

Today I am more complacent. I vote knowing that my vote is cast into a pond. It ripples out about .00002 centimeters. And then? It joins the other ripples. Seldom do the ripples erode much of anything on the shore.

Thus I vote strategically today. Today? That means I must cast against Tim Hudak. Full disclosure? I have never voted blue in my entire life. And I will not. Should the Christ Child himself come and usurp Timmy Hudak from the opposition’s chair? I would bless myself and say: “Sorry Jesus. No fucking way. Not today. Not ever.”

I know Laurie Scott and I think she knows a little something about party loyalty, so she may give me a pass for this egregious blaspheme. So? Terry? Why not Don? Well Don. I believe I have met you once. In a scrum. I used to have to cover these things for newspapers. Uggh! I think you are a nice guy Don. And I really do believe that Andy Horwath, your leader, is competent, level-headed and intelligent. I mean look, I’m dishing out about $15 large or so per year for the card. But I am doing my homework here and this riding will not go orange.

Thus it comes down to voting strategically. To keep Jesus, err, Tim Hudak out of the driver’s seat I must place my bet on the line with Rick Johnson.

I’m not in favor of Hudak’s promise to cut jobs. And I am not and never will be in favor of Voodoo Economics and promises of 1 million jobs. Did you know that Mayor Rob Ford tells people that he saved a billion dollars during his tenure. And he also says that he created a quarter of a million jobs. I am not moved by elegant promises and quite frankly they make me nervous.

But here’s the thing. I’m voting for Mr. Johnson because I trust him. I know him. I believe him. I like what he’s done. And I have some things in common with Rick. We both grew up in the Winnipeg music scene. I spent the summers of the late sixties and early seventies ranching in the Interlake. I grew up with the Guess Who. I am a Jets fans. I love the Blue Bombers.

Johnson and his wife Terri were part of that sixties Winnipeg rock scene. They play music to this day. I play guitar and I follow the Winnipeg music scene to this day. It rocks. I graduated from the University of Manitoba and I wrote for the Winnipeg Sun.

I’m also the same age as Rick. I’m younger I guess by a month and a bit.

So I’m exercising my right to vote for a candidate. Which, believe it or not was how the parliamentary system was churned out of the womb. We used to vote for people. Not the people who lead the parties of people.

I don’t know Kate Wynne or Andy Horwath or Timmy Hudak. They all look like hard-working people.

The one person I do know is Rick Johnson.

And I believe in Rick Johnson and I believe in his commitment to the riding.

I think he’ll do a good job.

So the sign is up on my newly cut lawn.

@terrancegavan

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