05.02.2013 09:32 AM

Election lexicon

On the way in this morning, Son One and I were listening to a CBC Radio reporter I really like.  At one point, he talked about Ontario being “plunged into an election.”

“Plunging,” I suggested to my boy, is a clear pejorative.  And it’s a case of letting language do our thinking for us.

Here’s the thing: despite occasional evidence to the contrary, we live in a democracy.  And, in Ontario in particular, we live in a democracy where there is a minority government.

Having elections is not a bad thing.  It is a good thing.  It is what happens in democracies, thank God.

In a minority situation, the most you can ever hope to survive is a couple years.  We’re getting pretty close to that now.

So, if an election happens – and I honestly, truly cannot tell if Andrea Horwath’s team will opt for one (they seem to want one, but simultaneously fear one) – we haven’t been “plunged” into an election.  We’ll have been given an opportunity, as a people, to choose change or something else. And the Ontario NDP will deserve not a moment’s criticism for choosing to have an election.

Words are important.  Elections, in democracies, are too.


  1. dave says:


  2. CuJoYYC says:

    Well stated.

  3. smelter rat says:

    Buses plunge. Voters don’t.

  4. I agree. In every Toronto Star article that mentions the possibility of an unscheduled election, federal or provincial, they mention the cost of an election and talk about how voters punish parties for causing them, even through the effect rarely last more then a week.

  5. Cath says:

    Good post. Do you think that Wynne might prorogue and resume again in September?

  6. Tiger says:

    I enjoy elections.

    I’d have them every year, except that it doesn’t allow time for momentarily unpopular but necessary public policies to play out…

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