EDITORIAL: Plenty of options on today’s ballot for Quinte voters

Today, voters from all over the Bay of Quinte riding will join in with their fellow Ontarians and choose who will form the 43 parliament of Ontario and in the local riding there’s no less than six candidates to select from. Last week we offered brief candidate profiles on each person waiving their respective party’s colours and the field in today’s horse race is as diverse as any in recent memory-although some are different shades of blue.

There are those who would argue that six is too much for a riding of this size and all it will accomplish is to split the vote. Someone who is considering a vote for the New Blue Party wasn’t likely ever going to vote Liberal, so it’s probably one voter fewer for the Conservatives. On the other hand, someone who supports the Green needs only to look at the available data to see the road to gaining a seat in this riding is a long one so it might be wiser to cast their vote for someone who closest aligns to their beliefs while maintaining a shot at heading to Queen’s Park.

Progressive Conservative incumbent Todd Smith is looking to win his fourth straight election in the Quinte region and he’s battling some new terrain this time as New Blue Candidate Rob Collins and Ontario Party challenger Noah Wales come close to being two sides of the same conservative coin.

Upset with the direction of the Ontario PC’s, Premier Doug Ford’s governance during the COVID-19 pandemic and just about everything else affecting Ontarians today, these candidates are a way for conservatives to lodge their protest vote without supporting any of the other parties. It will be interesting to see if Smith’s holding power is sapped by these two new challengers, opening the door to a new MPP.

In terms of Erica Charlton, Alison Kelly and Emilie Leneveu, it’s exceptionally encouraging to see half the Bay of Quinte field is female. We hope future leaders are watching this race in the Bay of Quinte and see reflections in the pool of would-be legislators.

The Green, NDP and Liberal parties generally lead towards the same progressive direction in this campaign although those parties differ greatly on how to achieve those goals for every day Ontarians.

If nothing else, casting a vote for a party that may otherwise be considered a ‘long shot’ does send a message. It might just be enough to show other parties that if they hope to be a factor next time around they may want to change up policies and form political planks inspired by the parties that outlasted them. It may also encourage some of the newer parties to try again in four years knowing they do have a base in the region.

More choice is never a bad thing when it comes to democracy and new voices should always be welcome-though that doesn’t mean we have to always agree with them, either.

-Jason Parks

PICTURING OUR COMMUNITY

The Prince Edward Collegiate Institute Parent Council partnered with Vicki’s Veggies this spring as part of their annual fundraising efforts. Over $2,000 from the sale of vegetable plants, herbs and flowers was raised and the funding will be invested in technology with the aim to get the school to a one-to-one ratio with regards to devices. Top sellers pictured are (Front Row, L-R) Dylan Diberto, Sophie Morliere and Evo Zomer. Also pictured are (Standing, L-R) Parent Council co chair JJ Syer, Vickie Emlaw, Principal Andrew Ross and Kate Vader co chair. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)