Keeping your options open

When it comes to elections, the Scarborough ridings of Guildwood, Rouge River, and Pickering are usually a no-brainer.

Combine one part concern in immigration laws, one part concern in crime, and another part interest in the environment and you’ve got a solid Liberal base that’s persisted more or less for the last decade.

But this year, with the Liberals facing a tough uphill battle, and a looming majority Conservative government looking more and more real as the days to the election countdown, how much will it pay off for Scarborough residents to hold fast on past voting patterns?

What it all comes down to may be choosing between a candidate and a party. Despite long-standing loyalty to a particular party, strategically considering candidates from opposing parties may make sense this election year.

After all, many of the candidates may have, at least in general terms, similar interests for the community.

For example, when Liberal incumbent Dan McTeague talks about his dedication to creating youth and senior programs, and Conservative candidate George Khouri waxes poetic on his determination to create more jobs and cracking down on crime, aren’t they both just talking about improving the quality of individual lives in the community?

With the Liberals in what looks like a losing battle, it may be more crucial than ever for Scarborough residents, and indeed every resident of every community, to start thinking strategically.

Is your vote more powerful behind a minority party that more or less represents your beliefs on a larger scale, or can your vote have greater impact behind a candidate, regardless of party affiliation. Who can best serve your community?

If Liberal Scarborough residents are going to potentially have to brace themselves for a minority voice, it may be time to make the best of a difficult situation and at least cash in on a community level.