Mark Clairmont | | EDITORIAL

Choose forward …, In it for you …, Forward together …, It’s time for you to get ahead ….

They all say the same thing, they all mean well in one way or another.

But Liberals, New Democrats, Greens and Conservatives would all do it differently.

Picking a party is like choosing your favourite fall colour.

But choose, you must, Monday.

What is Canada? And who are Canadians?

We’ll find out more in two days.

Will we rally around the future of our flag or vote for our greedy, consumer, job-creating selves?

Or for our grandchildren?

It’s clear, this federal election is about the future as much as the here and now. The streets tell us that — especially on Fridays.

The choices are stark as ever, just more enticing and challenging.

Liberals are pragmatic socialists, Conservatives are, well, conservative, New Democrats are tried and true social democrats, and Greens have finally made us wake up and smell the flowers.

Pity the millennials scrolling through social media trying to separate the Western wheat from an Eastern chafe, for which therein lies a rub that no savvy political salve or oil pipeline can ease.

In Parry Sound-Muskoka the choice is as complex.

Who to choose:

Trisha Cowie, an Indigenous, female lawyer, the quintessential Liberal for Justin Trudeau — before Judy Raybould-Wilson;

Scott Aitchison, the mayor the riding’s largest community, and a blue-blooded Tory so conservative he squeaks when he talks;

Gord Miller, a committed environmental social scientist, who knows of what he speaks — if only — and who has tread the murky political waters in Ontario;

Tom Young, who is “In it for you …,” because he is the you in Parry Sound-Muskoka, the working person with the median income.

So, should you choose someone who is going to do shout-out from the backbenches of Parliament like Aitchison says he will do for PS-M?

Or, if in a minority government, is it better to elect a person reflective of the emerging face of the nation(s)?

What about voting for a member of the working class who wants to share Canada’s relative wealth on the young, the poor, seniors, those who can’t afford rich medicines and expensive dental care?

And in a land that lives and dies with water, how about going to the polls for a candidate who typifies the most compelling story of the campaign? A voice that is respected and understood.

No, there’s no simple answer like 2015.

Trudeau’s seen his face reflected as prime minister in countless selfies, but it’s a countenance whose sunny ways and sunny days have been withered relatively quickly under the glare of unbridled scrutiny now and personal reality checks.

Andrew Scheer is like Mike Harris and Stephen Harper; all three are hard to warm up personally, not the least for their policies that has many deny.

Jagmeet Singh is likable on the surface, but is proving in recent days he may be the same as his frontrunners he accuses of saying one thing and doing the other when it comes to political expediency.

And Elizabeth May, too, personally popular one-on-one. But if she drops another name in a speech, we will scream. Still, she deserves much credit for driving the campaign bus that has everyone talking green, er, Green. And that helps her, her party, the country and the world. (One wonders how this election would have gone had she turned the party over to Wilson-Raybould.)

And so, who to vote for ….

In the heavyweight division, you have to knock out the champion.

The debates provided none of that; the campaign trail nearly took down Trudeau, and surprisingly didn’t.

Trudeau’s private meeting to apologize to Singh over the blackface and brown face fiasco may now be important if a coalition comes into play. Singh says he can work with anyone but Scheer.

Scheer, for his part, is still in the fight game.

Surprisingly, too, after his American citizenship was a heavy blow that had voters rightly wondering how he would have handled NAFTA talks with you know who.

May will be a game-changer in many ridings, notably PS-M, where it started out as “anyone’s race,” said Cowie, now that Independent MP Tony Clement has been put to rest.

One prominent count, by, is calling for CPC win for Aitchison.

But the separation is about 6 or 7 points — the same as the margin of error in the survey sample.

(As of Saturday, Oct. 19, according to website, the PCs were leading with 35.6% of the vote, the Liberals 29.2%, the Greens 21% and the NDP 11%.)

So, we’ll see.

But with a PS-M population of 94,400, and a median household income of almost $64,000 there’s plenty up for grabs

Who should win and who will win is the $64,000 question (no pun intended).

Trudeau’s not perfect  — neither was his dad in 1968 and who would have turned 100 yesterday).

But stumbled and humbled, Trudeau is a practical Liberal politician, down the middle.

You have changed him for the better the past five weeks.

He is holding together a fragmenting country (no easy task), not unlike another Liberal, Jean Chrétien, who kept Canada together in 1995.

He has learned his lessons and will be stronger thanks to your renewed vigilance.

Scheer’s ideas may appeal to some, but they don’t say reflect the way most Canadians want to live.

Locally, Cowie is a jockey on the favourite horse to win; but on a muddy track, it’s Aichison who may come up on the outside with the help of the Greens and NDP.

But you can make it all change by voting.

It’s your call. Catch the wave ….      
Even though advance polls were busy, polling clerks are expecting another large turnout on voting day, Monday, Oct. 21.

Email Mark Clairmont at


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