I had respect for Andrew Olivier, candidate for the Ontario Liberal Party, going into this election, partly because of his willingness to fight the Liberal status quo for a nomination race when they were reluctant to call one, and partly because he showed up at an event in support of postal workers. As the election has continued on, I’ve become frusturated with his tendancy towards attack ads, and I suspect I’m not the only one. His so-called facts tend to be half truths and they fit too much with the petty nonsense that the local newspapers online comment sections are filled with.
I compare what I hear about Andrew Olivier with an experience I had a week or so ago, going for coffee with one of the nominees for Ward 1 (someone hoping to replace Joe Cimino as city councilor). What struck me there was the positive attitude, the glowing interest in doing more for the city. He wants to create change, but his focus wasn’t on how bad the old council is. He talked to me about bike routes, urban development, and images of what a downtown should be. I know it is comparing apples to oranges to compare a coffee time with news reports and advertisements, or even to compare municipal politicians with provincial ones, but I find myself thinking about the differences.
What positive exciting things has Andrew Olivier spoken of? Money. He tries to say he’ll bring more money to Sudbury, for an arena and for roads. Those are voter bribes, not an image of how the city could and should be. Not an image of how provincial politics could be. Not a philosophical defense of the Liberal platform.
I know a lot of people look at this election as a dismall one and voter turn out for advanced polls is already down. I suspect that Andrew Olivier’s focus on negative will decrease turnout even more, rather than inspire people towards optimism about their potential MPP. What a shame!