By Tara Henley
BELLEVILLE – Many local residents didn’t cast their votes in the Ontario election because they didn’t like the candidates, they said on Election Day.
“I think we should just throw them all out and get new people,” said Courtney Leakey-Mitchell, a first-time voter who was among local residents whom QNet News spoke to outside the Quinte Mall.
Leakey-Mitchell is not alone. Over one in two Belleville residents interviewed Thursday had similar complaints. Most of them agreed that while the polls were easy to access and the voting process was quick and effective, they did not see the point in voting if they disliked all of the candidates for premier.
“I’d just put [my ballot] in the recycling,” said Andrew Rowbotham when asked what he would have done if he had gone to a polling station.
Computer technician David Jewett couldn’t agree more.
“The parties don’t follow through with what they promise,” he said. “I don’t feel they do anything.”
Paul Atkinson said he believes the Ontarian government “needs a change.” He feels the parties are all the same and the candidates will not change anything once elected, he added.
“This election isn’t about who’s the most liked,” Atkinson said. “It’s about who’s hated the least.”
While many residents said they didn’t like any of the candidates for premier, there was one candidate whom almost every person interviewed said they disliked the most.
“I’m scared of the election,” said Susan McNeil, a local teacher. “I’m scared (Conservative leader Tim) Hudak will get in.”
Asked who she wanted to win the election, McNeil replied: “Anyone but Hudak.”
Hudak’s promise to cut 100,000 public-sector jobs seemed to have lost him a lot of supporters. One of the issues many Belleville residents said they cared about most was jobs, and they said they thought Hudak’s job plan was pretty flawed.
Nurse Natasha Redford said she believed the government should be hiring more public-sector workers instead of firing thousands.
“I’m a nurse and my boyfriend is a paramedic. We’re in the field, and it sucks because we see that we need more [workers], not less,” Redford said.
The Liberals won the June 12 election with a majority. Kathleen Wynne became the first woman to be elected premier.