Haliburton-Kawartha-Brock gets a backseat driver for the next four years

Scott Wins HKP with 40 percent of the vote down 5 percent from 2011


Laurie Scott once again topped the polls in Haliburton Kawartha brock riding and in spite of garnering only 40 percent of the vote she will again represent the rural riding for the next four years.

We can say next four years because in calling out the Liberal budget to force a dropping of the writ, NDP Leader Andy Horwath booted a weak grounder and gave the Liberals a surprising majority. Tim Hudak’s Tories were the big losers. They fell to 27 seats narrowly edging the NDP who stood pat with 21 seats. Hudak tendered his resignation in record time.

If the Hude’s Dudes were the big losers? Coming a close second are the people in Haliburton Kawartha Brock who will once again be led by a backseater in a backbench of a party in pear shaped freefall.

Scott was down five points from last time round but both Liberal Rick Johnson and NDP candidate Don Abel split the difference allowing Scott to nudge to victory. Scott finished with 40 points, while Johnson and Abel split the rest at 35 and 20 points respectively. (Green nabbed nearly 5 points)

(Full disclosure – The editor was a scrutineer for Liberal Rick Johnson and for the record Johnson polled well at my three stations in Lindsay beating Scott in those results and in some other Lindsay polling stations.)

We won’t get into the nitty gritty vis my own opinion of small L liberals in the riding who decided to waste their vote with Don Abel. I tried to explain in an earlier piece why strategic voting must become a part of your election strategy until such time as we get past this ridiculous notion of first past the post elections.

We will find out as the poll by poll stuff comes in that Johnson’s try was scuppered by the rural part of the huge riding. No surprise there. It’s been said that the federal and provincial PCs could run two three legged dogs and a broke back thoroughbred and still win in the rural section of the riding.

Now that’s not a pop on Barry Devolin or Laurie Scott, both competent people. We have a tradition in the northern part of this riding. They don’t like unions, they don’t like progressive social reform and they don’t like paying taxes for things they think they don’t need. So stuff like town water in the heritage Village of Haliburton? Never happened. Who needs that extra expense right? Haliburton likes it politics slow. meandering. Not fussy ’bout change up there.

And that’s okay. But now we’ve got a lame duck member of the Ledge who for the next four years will be a backbench, backwater observer and spectator.

What we learned from this election? Well we learned that June is not a good time to drop a writ. We sent 52 percent of our electorate out into the howling tooth of a summer tsunami. It was warm and muggy which of course is a very good reason to ignore your public duty. Turnout was up from 2011. We only decided on 49 percent as a mandate back then.

So about half of eligible voters gave the Liberals a resounding majority.

I am guessing that the half that did not exercise their ethical rights to cast a ballot will be the ones screaming the loudest about policy for the next four years.

You will hear them up in Haliburton. Oh yes you will. They’re the people who like to shit all over newbies. You know them. Newcomers. Some are General Motors workers who have one of them life long PENSIONS! Goddam Socialists.

Oh at the curling rink they’re polite as hell. But get them alone? And it’s “pension this.” And “I’m paying for their retirement that!” (Ed note: Shut up please! You ain’t paying for no General Motors retirement! Do me a favor. Read something! Other than The Highlander!)

So pensions and taxes. Haliburton has no town water, they’re suspicious of pensions, they’re anti-union and they don’t want no new-fangled things like swimming pools or sports facilities. Oh and they know that upping the minimum wage will kill businesses. And they vote Tory. And speaking of dead businesses? Has anyone taken a stroll down Main Street in Haliburton lately?

So we lost out on the chance to have a pretty nice representative in the ruling party for the next four years in Rick Johnson. Rick polled well in the south and the more progressive areas of the riding. And Scott, like Devolin skated on a big blue sea. They likes it old… in Haliburton. They likes it predictable in rural Ontario.

Well rural Ontario? I hope you like it voiceless for the next four years.

Ah, well, this is why we love elections.

The half of us who use ’em anyway.

Remember this turnout Ontario.

And then try to explain to me why Stephen Harper wants to make it harder to vote. Instituting laws that will… Make it harder for traditional demographically Liberal and NDP voters to cast votes?

Maybe send your Tory MP a letter. Asking him to stomp all over that bill that will make it harder for new Canadians and working poor to vote. Oh wait. This just in. Barry Devolin supports the bill.

Australia has had mandatory voting since the 1920s. Care to guess how their turnout compares.

Never mind, it’s consistently in the low to mid-nineties.

So I guess they make it pretty easy there to exercise your rights.

Kinda’ makes you wonder why the Tea Party Yanks and Stephen Harper and Barry Devolin want to add to the burden to do what democracies are supposed to do.


(PS… Shame on you Barry! You’re leaving! Why not go out with a stand that shows a bit of gonad! Standing in the way of a comprehensive democracy that makes it easy to issue your right to elect a representative? Is just a bunch of hooey. And it makes you and your government look like GOP hardass clones.)

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