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Time for change

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

This quote by Sir Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of the U.K. during the war years in the early 1940s and again in the early 1950s, sums up beautifully why democracy doesn’t work but, as they say, it’s the best system we’ve got.

We’ve seen the devastating consequences of a party that has governed for too long. Ontario now can claim status as the world’s most indebted sub-sovereign borrower. Debt has doubled in the last 10 years and has now reached about $312 billion.

We have the Ontario Liberals to thank for the era of reckless spending and disregard for taxpayer’s money shown in actions like the power plant scandal in Mississauga that cost taxpayers about $950 million. Remember that giant sinkhole of money spent on nothing?

In fact, the Ontario government found itself so in debt, it had to sell off parts of itself — the controversial and seemingly desperate sale of some of the shares of the public utility Hydro One — just to pay off some of its bills. How do you spell fire sale?

But there’s so much more. There’s the hydro tower to nowhere, high electricity rates, and the hefty price tag for our social safety net and ballooning health-care costs.

There’s the Liberal government’s initiative that resulted in a huge jump in the minimum wage, with small business owners left with having to do more with less. There’s no money to hire an extra body, after wages were jumped by 30 percent.

It’s easy to understand the apathy of Ontario voters, who have grown tired of hearing about these successive Liberal government scandals since the party first took control after an election win in 2003.

For what seemed like the first five years of its life, the Ontario Liberals blamed their favoured bogeyman, former Tory Premier Michael Harris, for everything that moved. Now, the Liberal government’s abysmal record has caught up with them.

There’s no one left for the Liberals to blame but themselves. Ontario voters are chomping for change, and rightly so.

As we head to the polls on Thursday, it’s time to move on. Even Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne has admitted defeat before the polls even opened. She’s said she’s sorry, but not for much of the disasters that were the Liberal policies that made them unpopular.

It’s time to examine the choices. Is our quest to appease our every need worth more than our economic viability? We’ve seen what happened the last time the province veered towards an NDP government, when Bob Rae was elected in the early 1990s. It was the first and only time that Ontario went NDP in the polls, and things didn’t turn out so good. There were taxes. And more taxes. Even Bob Rae abandoned his party.

With NDP leader Andrea Horwath, although she argues, rightly, that she is not Bob Rae, it’s still the same party, with its left-leaning or socialist bent. That’s scary from a business perspective, since Ontario can’t afford to lose any more jobs.

It’s unfortunate that Doug Ford’s dirty laundry was aired at a well planned but inopportune time but that family squabble should not be held against the many a decent Tory across the land.

However you vote, it’s time for a change.