The Ontario Provincial Election
October 10, 2007
The most remarkable thing about this election was not who won, but who lost — and why.
Considered a shoo-in by many, Progressive Conservative leader John Tory lost the election by attempting to solidify a connection between church and state which the public soundly rejected.
Just as Bill Davis before him, John Tory scuttled his party’s opportunity to connect with the electorate by messing with religion. Politics and religion just don’t mix, never have, and never will.
As clearly determined through all forums in the media, the public wanted what we have been saying for over 20 years – one public school system with privilege or prejudice to no one.
Our newspaper school referendum of the late 1990s determined that 79% of 7551 respondents voted for one public school system.
The only party which recognized this was the Green Party which tripled its popular vote and lead the NDP in 17 ridings.
Students of Ontario chose the Liberals with 63 seats, but had the Green Party in second place with 18 seats, the New Democrats were given 16 and the Progressive Conservatives only 10.
John Tory clearly chose the wrong path to do “the right thing” in an effort to eliminate the special funding privilege of the separate school system.
Have all parties learned something? We hope so.
Student Vote Ontario 2007
For the October 2007 Ontario provincial election, Elections Ontario partnered with Student Vote to offer schools across the province the opportunity to run a parallel election.
The program was open to all elementary, intermediate and secondary schools, and any teacher or principal was eligible to register their school. During the official election period registered schools were provided with free learning materials and electoral supplies to run a mock election that mirrored the official voting process.
Activities were meant to build critical thinking and decision-making skills among students. Newspapers and online media resources were used to learn about the party platforms and local candidates
In the mock election students were given the opportunity to cast a ballot for a candidate in their school’s riding.
The program placed a strong emphasis on teaching students about the electoral process, voting procedures and the importance of voting, by giving them the opportunity to participate.
In the Ontario election, Student Vote had 1704 schools participate (Roman Catholic separate schools included) and 269,311 valid votes. The results are given above.
For more information, and individual school results, please visit www.studentvote.ca.
Panel tells Toronto Star “Go to one public school system.”
The Torornto Star has an online panel of readers, called “Star Advisers”, with more than 740 members. They responded to a survey about issues arising in the provincial election campaign.
An overwhelming majority said that taxpayers should no longer fund Roman Catholic separate schools.
With school funding the hot-button issue of the campaign, seventy per cent of the panel agreed that Ontario should end public support of Roman Catholic separate schools in favour of one tax-payer funded public school system.
Twenty-three per cent favoured the status quo, using tax money to support both the separate and public systems while only seven per cent agreed with the proposal of John Tory to extend public funding to all faith-based schools.