By Victor Schwartzman
May 24, 2014
Office betting pools on the current Ontario election have been badly damaged due to actions of all three major political parties. Office staff who engaged in the election by betting on events during it have been unable to place the bets they want. Bookies are outraged.
The problem occurred when all three parties made their opening announcements regarding what they would do if elected (or, in one case, re-elected.) Here are all the news announcements made by the current Liberal government on how it will enforce AODA and guarantee access for all Ontariariarians: zero, zip, nada.
And here are all the access news announcements from the current Conservative Government in Hopeful Waiting, demonstrating its difference from the Liberals: nada, zip, zero.
The NDP? Access commitments do not appear to even be in the bottom of their barrel.
So the current hot access news from the Ontario election is that there isn’t any.
In fact, Minister Hoskins, currently responsible for implementing AODA, appears to be saying he can’t say anything, including answering questions about AODA, now that an election is underway. “Ironically, I do realize that an election is all about answering questions,” Minister Hoskins replied to a journalist who had not asked a question. “However, we have been consistent in not volunteering information, and I would not want the opposition to accuse us of flip flopping. I challenge Hudak or Horwath to state they would be any different.”
Tim Hudak, PC leader, immediately challenged Minister Hoskins. “An election is not all about answering questions. Nor is it about being different. It is about complaining about anything the current Government does. Further, while the Government has been inconsistent in volunteering information on implementing AODA, I can firmly pledge we will be solid as a rock if elected, and will be consistent in not providing any information on AODA. You’d have to sue us. The Liberals would probably do that.”
Andrea Horwath, NDP leader, stated that “It is my party’s firm commitment to fully support access until and when we are elected and realize how much it will cost. But at least our hearts are in the right place, even if nothing else is.”
The positions of the three political parties had a direct impact on election betting.
Interoffice betting pools on when any of the three parties would make a definitive statement on access, or any statement on access, or progress on access, were all stopped dead. The betting pools including office staff from the three parties, community advocacy groups, municipalities and businesses. The problem was that everyone tried to bet “never.”
The internet quickly was full of angry tweets. Furious comments appeared on websites and in newspapers. People were outraged that a fundamental democratic right was being denied: by all parties having the same position, the right to make a bet with choices ceased to exist.
Normally voters can at least pretend they have a choice, and that opens up all sorts of wagering potentialities. Now a key betting choice was denied. That made voters furious.
One survey indicated that fully 79% of Ontario voters are angry over the betting denial issue (13% were angry over access denial.) Three court cases have already been launched against the political parties, funded by popular internet Kickstarter campaigns. The Ontario Lotteries Corporation is also investigating whether somehow its legislation has been breached, as it has had to cancel a series of Election Break-Open tickets.
Perhaps an ominous note was added when, during a rare television interview, Tony Soprano stated he would “send part of a horse to the politicians. It ain’t good to interfere with business.”
Next: Nostradamus Predicts What The Next Column Will Be!
Victor Schwartzman contributes this weekly satiric column to Accessibility News nothing in these columns is true except what they are about. His graphic novel (where each chapter is one issue of a community newspaper) is serialized on the great Canadian lit site, http://www.redfez.net. He also contributes a monthly poetry review to http://www.targetaudiencemagazine.com. He has had poetry and short fiction published, and has edited novels. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.