Ontario desperately needs political leadership that puts cooperation for the public interest ahead of partisan attacks. Unfortunately, this leadership was not on display at Queen's Park last week.
Less than 48 hours after Kathleen Wynne was elected Liberal leader and the next Premier, the opposition parties at Queen's Park were playing partisan political games. The Conservatives launched attack ads the next day. The NDP immediately set a trap for Wynne by demanding a public inquiry into the gas plant fiasco.
The people of Ontario should expect and demand better. Let's hold the new Premier accountable, let's have a rigorous debate about the issues, and let's work together to put the public good first.
Politics today is broken. Attack ads, divide and pander policies, political games are all designed to put partisan interests before public good. It's turning people off and leading to record low voter turnout in elections.
As leader of the Green Party, I've been told that I need to play the partisan political game better. Well, I disagree. I'm not in this to play the game, I'm in this to change the game. Good ideas and long-term solutions need to be the priority at Queen's Park.
We can fix politics by first holding our politicians accountable for putting their own interests before the public's. I encourage people to contact the opposition leaders to push them to make the minority legislature work. Demand that they restore some decorum at Queen's Park when the legislature returns on Feb 19.
Secondly, Ontario must reform the prorogation process so that it is not used for partisan advantage. The Liberals abuse of prorogation was a slap in the face of democracy. A top priority for the new Premier should be to fix the loopholes that allow prorogation to be used for partisan purposes.
Thirdly, Ontario must reform its outdated voting system. Ontario's first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting system is good for political insiders, but not so good at getting people to vote. And it often results in people voting against someone rather than for what they want. FPTP contributes to our broken system by encouraging partisan attacks.
We can change the broken political status quo at Queen's Park. It requires us to think big and demand better.