I’ve been trying to get a handle on the local candidates here in Halton for the upcoming provincial election, and I must say I’m not terribly impressed with the Liberal candidate, Gary Zemlak. There’s nothing really wrong with him exactly. He just strikes me as someone who spouts the party platform without adding a single original thought - unless it's a particularly dumb one.
This impression is somewhat superficial, I’ll admit. It’s based largely on his rather lame, boilerplate website and what little I’ve read in the Champion about his responses at local candidates’ meetings. Like this one about MMP:
Zemlak said the Liberals want to stay away from influencing people’s decision, but added if the government is given the power to appoint people, "you’re asking for trouble."
Mind you, I just finished watching "Meet The Candidates" on our local cable station, and of all the painfully stiff and awkward presentations, Zemlak’s was probably the least stiff and awkward. He actually looked at the camera instead of reading the paper on the desk in front of him in a robot-like monotone. However, he still spent most of the time parroting the Liberal agenda on health care and education with barely a mention of issues specific to Halton.
As for the rest, I would never ever ever vote Conservative even if Chudleigh wasn’t such a dick, and I swore off the provincial NDP after Rae. Besides, Hampton seems to be leading them back to their roots as more of a Union party than a purely Progressive one, and even though I support the idea of labour unions, that really isn’t my thing. I won’t even talk about the Family Coalition guy.
And then there’s the Green Party candidate, Andrew Chlobowski. I like most of his platform, especially his strong and well informed anti-sprawl stance, although I’m convinced that this obsession with a cosmetic pesticide ban is just so much baby-kissing bullshit. Other than that, he sounds like a really interesting guy who’s had a really interesting life:
Andrzej (Andrew) Chlobowski was born in Poland in the historical city of Krakow. He spent his childhood and university years there. He finished his Master’s Degree in physics in 1983 and later started the PhD program in molecular biology. He withdrew from that program when he emigrated from Poland in 1986.
Andrzej’s first adventures into political activism started in his senior years of high school, when he was distributing underground literature in opposition to the ruling communist regime. During a brief period of political freedom in 1980-81, he became a member of the Independent Student Union (a non-communist student organization) at Jagiellonian University in Krakow and was elected to its council. After martial law was declared in Poland in 1981 the student organization was disbanded but Andrew continued his political endeavours by running an underground library.
And he has a pony tail. I approve of men with pony tails. It speaks volumes about their character.
So, what to do?
I actually like Dalton McGuinty and what he’s trying to accomplish, even though he hasn’t always succeeded. And I certainly don’t want to risk John Tory getting in and dragging us back into the horrors of the Harris years.
If we had MMP, I would probably vote for the Liberal Party and the Green candidate. But we don’t have MMP, so I’m left with a real dilemma.
I’ll let you know how I decide. Probably around October 10th. In the meantime I’m gonna get me one of those "Vote for MMP" signs to plant on my front lawn.