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June 27, 2011 / amanda stratton

The Countdown is On

There are 100 days to go until the 2011 Ontario General Election! We’ve all got our various countdown apps set, I’m sure.  The parties are starting their pre-campaigning campaigning, and I’m running two campaigns of my own.

The first is “Please Take Your Kids to Vote With You” and it consists entirely and solely of this amazingly cute video of my children:


The second campaign has a working title of “Please Educate Yourself About the Issues, the Parties, the Platforms, and the Candidates and Then Go Vote, But if You Don’t Bother with the First Four Parts, Please Stay Home and Don’t Cast a Vote Based on the Attack Ad You Most Recently Watched” but that’s kind of long, so the short title is “If You’re Ignorant, Don’t Vote!”  Also, this paragraph and the inevitable snide tweets I will make are the extent of that campaign.

But enough about the causes I support made up. On with the business!


Obviously, I know nothing
Do you know nothing, too?  If so, stay tuned because I’m going to try to figure out things like ‘What is the provincial government even responsible for?’ and ‘What are the issues at hand?’ and ‘What are the platforms?’ and ‘What is it about the fight scenes in the Bridget Jones movies that makes them the best fight scenes ever?’

I probably won’t blog about that last one. Well, not here anyway.


First point of order: the division of labour
I had a rough idea of what the federal and provincial governments are individually responsible for, but I wasn’t entirely sure about everything. I’m kind of a “straight to the source” girl, so I checked the Constitution, and learned a lot. (And, surprisingly, the Constitution is actually not a bad read. I used this PDF of the consolidated version with amendments.)

According to the Constitution, a Provincial legislature has the power to make and change laws pertaining to the following (liberally paraphrased):

Housekeeping sorts of things
– Creating Provincial offices and paying the people who fill ’em
– Maintaining and selling land belonging to the province
– Municipal Institutions (should we care more about that?)
– Local works and infrastructures that are just for and within the Province
– Incorporation of companies, and marriages (which are almost the same thing)

The Things We Tend to Care a Lot More About
– Taxation
– Racking up Provincial debt, and paying it, too, I suppose
– Provincial prisons, hospitals, asylums, and charities
– Property and civil rights within the province (we probably have the luxury of not having to care much about this, but it’s still really important, I think)
– Justice and courts and punishment and such-like
– A lot of stuff having to do with natural resources
– Education
– Old age pensions (although that’s partly federal, too)
– Agriculture
– Immigration

Also, “Generally all Matters of a merely local or private Nature in the Province” can be addressed by the Provincial legislature.

So, it’s interesting to know not just the capabilities of the Provincial Legislature, but also its limitations.  I tend to think that the Provincial government handles most of the things that affect our daily lives directly, and yet–perhaps it’s just me–people sometimes take it for granted.  And maybe that’s a good thing in itself–do we have such a great government right now that people feel comfortable just letting them do their thing?  Maybe.  Maybe not.


What Next?
I’ll be spending a lot of the next 99 days figuring out which way I want to vote (which I won’t be announcing here, and I will try to keep my posts as unbiased as possible), so I’ll be back with a lot of information for anybody else who happens to be completely ignorant about everything, and a lot of boredom for anyone who reads this even though they haven’t spent their entire lives with their heads in the sand.

Today’s goal is to take a peak at the Liberal, PC, and NDP platforms and begin to do some research into the facts behind them.  I’ve also been reading the most recent Hansard (don’t I sound so freaking knowledgeable referencing that?) and it’s been pretty revealing about platforms, too.  So if you’re wondering what the Hansard is, I’ll fill you in tomorrow!



Sources for this article
The Constitution
Elections Ontario 2011 site



Leave a Comment
  1. Oathbreaker / Jun 29 2011 1:33 am

    Nice post, look forward to your next class!

    • amanda / Jun 30 2011 6:45 pm

      Thanks, Tim! Even though I’m sure I’m boring you with things you already know!


  1. Well, the Countdown is Over « the stupid girl's guide
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