Tonight on The Agenda on TVO, there was a panel discussion with members of the four main parties, plus a guy from the National Post (wait, that's still a thing?). This debate focused on the 416; to those of you reading who aren't from southern Ontario, "the 416" refers to the City of Toronto, not including suburbs like Mississauga and Pickering and Markham and whatnot.
The polls, well, they look pretty shitty for the Libs right now. Our equivalent of FiveThirtyEight, called (rather conveniently) ThreeHundredEight, now has the PCs forming a minority; take a peek at Grit support in Eastern Ontario, and you'll see it's tanking faster than the goddamn Edmund Fitzgerald.
But alas, the discussion. Four candidates from the 416 -- two current MPPs, two who are trying win for the first time -- hashed it out. To their credit, they actually kept things fairly civilized... but, naturally, there were some differences. I'll try to summarize.
Mitzie Hunter -- Liberal
She won her seat in a by-election last summer in Scarborough-Guildwood, after Margarett Best retired as a sitting MPP due to health reasons. I'm not thrilled that she made "subways subways subways" part of her election platform, for two reasons: one, surface LRTs are much more appropriate for parts of the city like Scarborough than subways are. And two, no subway is ever going to go through that riding, so why make it such an integral part of your platform? It's like me running to get elected in Newfoundland and then not shutting up about the damn Yukon. Anyway, I thought she did reasonably well, made good points, and remained calm but confident.
David Porter -- Progressive* Conservative
He's running in my riding, Don Valley West. This is also the riding of the current premier, Kathleen Wynne, and sitting premiers very rarely lose their own ridings (unless it's a total bloodbath, and while it's edging towards the PCs a bit with some of the latest polls, it doesn't look to be "Federal Election '93" territory). Porter actually wasn't that much of a prick, for most of the evening... until the topic came to what to do with Toronto Community Housing Corporation, which has been a mess since the PCs downloaded that stuff onto municipalities in the '90s. His answer was predictable, yet disappointing: "We take a different approach. We're going to create jobs, and people will get lifted out of poverty." AND PEOPLE VOTE FOR THESE ASSHOLES? JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.
* I include "Progressive" because it's part of their official party name, but to think these guys are "progreessive" in any way means you need to consult a god damn dictionary about what that word means.
Cheri DiNovo -- New Democrats
She's the current MPP for Parkdale-High Park, and has been since 2006 when she won a by-election after Gerard Kennedy stepped down, stealing it from the Libs. She's a bulldog, and I like her a lot. But I really don't like how the NDP seem to be trying to outflank the Liberals on the right, screaming "No new taxes!!!" every chance they get. Dude, you're the NDP for chrissakes! This ain't your game! I realize what they're trying to do here: hold their social-conscience stuff for their traditional supporters who'd vote orange no matter what, and try and lure away some of the mushy middle who have held their nose and voted Liberal. I don't think they're really trying to entice PC voters to leapfrog the middle and go with the Dippers, but all of this just really bizarre. Of course, they run the risk of offending their traditional base, which is soft to begin with.
Josh Borenstein -- Green
And now, the interesting part. He's 19 and running for elected office in York Centre, so kudos to him for giving something like this a whirl. And I also give the guy props for apparently running an entirely free election campaign, as described on his website. It takes guts to say unpopular, but possibly true things, especially on TV with thousands of viewers. But whoever at the Green Party of Ontario picked him to be the spokesperson for the party that's ostensibly concerned with environmental issues should be fired, and quick. Every question asked turned into an eerily quiet rant about how the current system is fucked, how we should have recall rights for politicians that break promises, and that Ontario is broke. (Just borrow more money, duh.) And a further reading of his policies talk about stuff like merit pay for teachers, interest-free loans from the good ol' days, and other assorted sundry insanities. York Centre is polling at 1.9% for the Greens these days, which is about as low as it gets (most ridings are around 5%), but I'm not sure a whole lot of people ever really vote Green based on the individual candidate, save perhaps for Liz May federally.
So, there you have it. I'm still scared shitless for June 12, if the PCs win; Andrea Horwath has been deliberately vague on forming a coalition, and there's rumours she'd even form one with the PCs, which is just absolutely fucked up beyond imagination. This one's coming down to the wire, and that ain't fun at all.