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June 14, 2018 - Vol. 7 No.11

Discussion on Ontario Election Results

New Government Lacks Consent of
the Governed Despite Majority 


Discussion on Ontario Election Results
People's Rally on Queen's Park
New Government Lacks Consent of the Governed Despite Majority
Working People Speak Out About Their Concerns
Endorsements of Monopoly-Owned Media - Henri Denis

Agenda of the New Government
Transition Begins in Ontario - Enver Villamizar
Champions of Private Interests on PC Transition Team - Mira Katz

23 Years Ago -- From the Party Press
Should the Workers Be Ecstatic That Ontario Is "Open for
Business"? - TML Daily, June 13, 1995

For Your Information
2018 Ontario General Election Province-Wide Results

Discussion on Ontario Election Results

Saturday, June 30 -- 11:00 am-2:00 pm
Queen's Park, Toronto

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New Government Lacks Consent of the
Governed Despite Majority

Forty-two per cent of eligible voters did not cast a ballot in the June 7 Ontario election. Of the 58 per cent that did, 40.49 per cent voted for the PCs and Doug Ford. This is said to be a decisive majority which gives him a mandate to implement the measures he campaigned on. However, the vote that allows the PCs to form the government with 76 out of 124 seats came from only 23.48 per cent of eligible voters. To say this is a majority government tells us something about the state of the electoral system said to be a representative democracy.

The NDP becomes the official opposition with 40 seats and 33.57 per cent of the votes cast, representing 19.47 per cent of eligible voters. The Liberals received seven seats and 19.59 per cent of the votes cast, which represents 11.35 percent of eligible voters. Together the NDP and Liberals received 53.16 per cent of the votes cast, representing 30.82 per cent of the eligible voters, which is more than what the PCs received. Once again, the first past the post method of counting votes is an issue. It also gives certain regions with dense populations more representation than regions with sparse populations. In regions such as the North, for example, it was the NDP that got the most seats, not the PCs.

The election results nonetheless certainly tell us something of what the people of Ontario thought of the Liberal government's pay-the-rich program, corruption and self-serving arguments to justify what cannot be justified: Good riddance! But the results tell us nothing about what Doug Ford will do now or how he will interpret the rejection of the Wynne government and reconcile that with his own pay-the-rich schemes.

As for the role the NDP will play in the new government, leader Andrea Horwath said after the election that she will work with the government. The election of the NDP as Official Opposition was a victory for the "Change for the Better Platform," and the NDP is now the voice of those Ontarians in the Legislature, she said.

"Today, millions of people voted for change for the better. We have won more seats than we have held in a generation! And I am deeply humbled that Ontarians have asked us to serve as the new Official Opposition!" Horwath said in her post-election speech.

“I’ve spoken with Premier-designate Ford and I did congratulate him on his achievement. And I’ve told the Premier-designate that New Democrats will work each and every day for the change that families need to make life better for all of us! We will be positive and constructive in our approach, but the vast majority of Ontarians did not vote for cuts to health care, cuts to our schools, and cuts to the services that our families are counting on. People did not vote for that. And we will be the voice at Queen’s Park for all of those Ontarians," she said.

At a Queen's Park news conference the day after the election on June 8, she said:

"As leader of the official Opposition, I will keep fighting for change for the better and that work starts today. The people of Ontario have asked us to hold Doug Ford accountable for every decision he makes."

All in all, the election provided another majority government, which is what, in the name of stability, the ruling class wanted. Once the degree of rejection of the Liberals and their inability to claw their way out became evident, and the marketing company hired by the PCs succeeded in presenting Doug Ford as less volatile than Donald Trump, speculation from one of the competing sections of the financial oligarchy was that a PC government would cause less disruption in terms of budget allocations to pay the rich than the NDP and thus provide them with the stability they require to do as they please. But how stable a Ford government will prove has yet to be determined, given the allegations of fraud in certain PC nomination races and contradictions in the PCs' own ranks. With the bitter fight over the party's leadership right before the election still fresh, the scandals raised throughout the campaign about fake memberships acquired in various nomination races may continue and make it difficult for the PCs to focus on "the business of government."

The fact that the PC government and its leader are tainted before it even takes office is a sign of the state of affairs today. The rivalry for power is such that whether or not the accusations of corruption and attacks carry on against Ford and his MPPs, a Doug Ford government will end up ruling more and more through police powers which is what the neo-liberal global agenda today demands, exposing the fraud of his "for the people" rhetoric.

When this election was called, the The Marxist-Leninist Weekly pointed out that in order for Wynne to compete effectively in this election, the Liberals had to bring the NDP down which they totally failed to do. The marketing company hired by the Liberals, despite doing their utmost to bring Andrea Horwath and the NDP down, failed to make the Liberals look anything but defensive and desperate, thereby providing a losing campaign strategy. The Liberals were ditched particularly following Wynne's concession with a week to go in the campaign. The rejection of Liberal corruption was so great that her plea for Ontarians to elect a minority government and keep the Liberals in power together with the NDP did not resonate.

The NDP's marketing company on the other hand, managed to keep Horwath and NDP candidates above the fray. They did not fall prey to the Liberal attack strategy and by sticking to the NDP slogan "Change for the Better," Horwath was portrayed instead as capable of handling tough situations.

After the initial campaign period when the dust settled and the push was on to make it a two-party race between the PCs and NDP, everything was done to divide the polity to line up behind one or the other so that a majority government could be formed and provide stability.

In this regard, one of the features which marked this election is the ruling class's obsession with only covering the parties which in their opinion stood a chance of forming a stable party government. Even Green Party leader Mike Schreiner was left out of the televised leaders' debate. Notwithstanding this he was elected in the riding of Guelph with over 29,000 votes which is more than any of the other three "major" party leaders got in the ridings where they were elected.

The fact that the Liberals have now been reduced to seven seats, going from a majority government that claimed to represent everyone to falling a seat short of the requirement for official party status in the Legislature, further deepens the crisis of legitimacy in which the system of party government is mired. It shows that the measures they adopted while in government are simply not supported by the people who now have to live with them nonetheless.

As for what was called Ford Nation during the campaign, and Ontario Nation after the campaign, the polity is so divided that this is not the case, no matter what Doug Ford or the monopoly media say or think. All of it diverts the attention of the people from the problems the society faces and how they can be provided with solutions. So too, the NDP's claim that their program and those who voted Liberal constitute the majority in terms of the popular vote and therefore represent "the progressive vision for Ontario," also diverts the attention of the people from the problems the society faces and how they can be provided with solutions. The role the NDP holds out for the people is to spend the next four years complaining about Ford while they remain passive waiting for the NDP to play the role of loyal opposition. It can be expected to raise its voice in the Legislature against the Ford government in a manner that does not mobilize the people to hold the government to account, let alone support a political movement for political renewal which empowers the people.

The fact that the election is said to have been held with "the strongest voter turnout since 1999," when 42 per cent of the population did not vote, is dismissed as not relevant. So is the fact that many who did vote did so out of fear of Ford or opposition to Wynne. It all shows that this election once again failed to produce a champion that can be said to have the consent of the governed.

Neo-liberal governments do not have consent of the governed, no matter their claims of getting a mandate. This poses a serious problem for the ruling class. The more their champions speak about Ontario not being divided and being "one nation," Ford or otherwise, the more Ontarians show their unwillingness to submit to what is imposed on them by rulers who do not represent them. It is their movement for people's empowerment which will hold this government to account. Nothing else.

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Working People Speak Out About Their Concerns

Congratulations to the working people of Ontario who did their best to elaborate their own concerns and views during the election. Their speaking out for themselves is a recognition that the platforms the so-called major parties come up with are not written by them.

In this election, where the working people took their own initiatives and set their own program to empower themselves by organizing their own ranks to speak for themselves, they learned a lot about how to organize and how to mobilize. An unprecedented number of meetings took place not just to question candidates or be spectators to their responses, but to hold discussions on their concerns.

A special congratulations to the Workers' Centre of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) which started discussion in January in Hamilton on the role the workers could play in the election to favour their interests. These discussions served to work out guidelines to release the initiative of the workers at a time elections are used to quash discussion of the people's concerns. Congratulations also to the Ontario Network of Injured Workers' Groups which militantly took their "Workers' Comp Is a Right" campaign to as many places as they could thereby carrying forward  a process of mass mobilization initiated around this campaign since last year.

Health care workers played a central role in alerting the people to the state of the health care system and the need to increase investments in this sector. Congratulations to the Ontario Health Coalition and its leadership and to local organizations who work hard to uphold the right to health care, defend the working conditions of health care workers, resolve the problems of patients when receiving services and oppose privatization and pay-the-rich construction schemes. So too representatives of teachers, community organizations with specific concerns, oppressed migrant workers, national minority communities and the impoverished held forums to inform about and discuss their concerns. Encouraging the political participation of the citizenry is the most important role people can play, not just during an election but between elections as well. This is all the more important today given the fact that the political parties which comprise the cartel party system are no longer primary political organization which maintain a link between the citizenry and government. 

Independent candidate Laura Chesnik, who ran in the riding of Windsor-Tecumseh, ably represented the demands of teachers and education workers and the right of the working people to speak for themselves and represent their peers in the Legislature, thus providing those who learned of the campaign with an alternative to the framework imposed on them when it comes to elections. The response of people who were able to learn about the campaign and visit its website empoweryoursefnow.ca was that this definitely is something new and needed. So too, the people who campaigned for Green Party leader Mike Schreiner who was elected in the riding of Guelph invested the human and material resources to be able to achieve their aim and they did. It has generated a lot of enthusiasm in their ranks. Congratulations go to the candidates of all the small parties and independents who the electoral system discriminates against with impunity. To discriminate so blatantly in the name of democracy is shameful indeed.

In this way, the work of the people for their own empowerment is set to continue after the election -- an example of what can be done when the working people take their own initiative and pool their resources, rather than simply responding to what they are told to do by others which deactivates and deadens the human factor/social consciousness. It is the work for the renewal of the political process, so as to end the division of the polity between those who rule and those who are ruled, which is key to breaking through the framework imposed on the thinking and action of the people. Those who seek to disempower the working people and keep them from taking the decisions which affect their lives have no arguments while the working people have a world to win.

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Endorsements of Monopoly-Owned Media

Who decides who will form the next government is an important question in Canada. Because elections are held it is said the people decide through their vote but this is not in fact true. Private interests decide through the parties which represent them, the marketing companies they hire and the think-tanks, NGOs and monopoly-owned media at their disposal.

The role the monopoly-owned media take up in an election is to promote the interests they represent by making their views known about the parties, candidates and leaders they favour, making some look good and others look bad, portraying some as legitimate and others as illegitimate and so on. The manner in which they cover what is called news sets what are called the "election issues." The "leaders' debates," organized by a media consortium, play a definite role in setting the agenda of "issues." This is significant because the outcome of the election is said to be a verdict on what people want done about these "issues." The media are also often the fountainhead of "scandal politics" which serve to disorient the electorate and embroil them in gossip so as to destroy discussion on any serious concern and quash any political movement for empowerment. In this way, the main function of the media is to deprive the people of an outlook based on their own reference points and an agenda which serves their interests, not those of the ruling elite. This is why the monopoly-owned media trivialize or make no mention at all of alternatives that exist in the form of small parties and independent candidates. 

Typically, in the last week of the campaign when the horse race called an election enters the final stretch, many of the main newspapers publish editorials stating who they support and why. In this election, the main monopoly media published editorials on June 1 and 2. On June 1, the Toronto Star published an editorial calling for readers to elect an NDP government. The editorial said, "Ontario Voters should back NDP to stop Doug Ford." The very next day, on June 2, Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne conceded the race. She "will no longer be Ontario's premier" after the June 7 election, she said. This unprecedented mid-election statement cleared the way for the two-party race the ruling class wanted.

The Toronto Star and the Hamilton Spectator called for the election of the NDP. The main newspapers of the Postmedia Network -- National Post, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Sun and London Free Press -- published editorials calling for the election of Doug Ford and the PCs. On the eve of the election, on June 6, the Globe and Mail's editorial said it did not endorse any of the parties. It was titled: "For Ontario voters, leadership and vision are not on offer."

The Toronto Star traditionally supports the Liberals provincially and nationally with a few exceptions. One such exception was in the 2011 federal election when it called on its readers to vote for Jack Layton's NDP. The Star editorial supporting the NDP in 2011 followed support for Layton through the popular Quebec television show Tout le monde en parle and a hype in the media the next day about a "breakthrough" and "orange wave" in Quebec. That election gave the NDP the position of Official Opposition in the federal parliament for the first time in the country's history and also led the Liberals to a dismal defeat. In the 2015 federal election, the Star went back to supporting the Liberals.

The support of the Toronto Star, whose Saturday edition is the most read paper in Canada, for neo-liberalism has never wavered. The Star's June 1 editorial said "Kathleen Wynne's Liberals have done a lot right -- much more than their critics give them credit for. But at this point they've accumulated so much baggage that few voters are listening. [...] By all rights this campaign should have been a cakewalk for the PCs, [...] Instead they've shown they don't deserve the confidence of  Ontarians." It then said that "given the collapse in Liberal support, the real choice in most parts of the province is between the PCs and Horwath's New Democrats. There, progressive voters should back the NDP candidate to make sure Ford doesn't reach the premier's office.

"The New Democrats have put together a comprehensive, ambitious policy platform that addresses many of the province's most pressing social needs. They would spend an additional $1.2 billion on health care, including mental health, home care and dental care, a long overdue priority."

Note the absence of any mention of the need to change the direction of the economy. Without a program to stop paying the rich and increase investments on "health care, mental health, home care and dental care," under neo-liberalism these programs become another set of schemes which pay the rich. In the struggle to access the political powers, the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies are certainly major players.

Traditionally the Globe and Mail endorses either the Liberals or the Conservatives. In its June 6 editorial, it repeated the Star's view that this election "should have been a cakewalk for the Progressive Conservative Party" and that "the outcome would have been welcome" but "instead, the PC Party found a whole new way of sabotaging itself, with the result that it is now in a close race with the NDP." It continued: "The Liberals, meanwhile, are nowhere, Kathleen Wynne having already conceded the race in an irresponsible bid to salvage a few seats." It concluded: "The choice is thus between a PC government led by Doug Ford and an NDP government led by Andrea Horwath. Neither is desirable, albeit for different reasons. With the PCs, the leader is a profound problem, while the state of the party itself is also a worry; with the NDP, it's the party's platform."

The monopoly-owned media's endorsement editorials are means by which the ruling elite argues out what government would best serve their interests. They set the agenda for elections so as to have the best conditions to pursue their anti-social pay-the-rich schemes. Their concern with "baggage" and other things that may distract government for the next four years is in that context, not out of concern for what the people need.

(With files from news agencies)

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Agenda of the New Government

Transition Begins in Ontario

On June 8 Ontario Premier designate Doug Ford held a press conference where he announced that "the transition of power" with the Liberal government was well underway. He said he would be meeting with Ontario's Lieutenant Governor where he expected to be invited to officially form a government, which he did later that day. The new government will be sworn in on June 29.

He informed that he had spoken to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on election day and that he presented his priorities for the province. He also said that they spoke about relations with the United States and that he pledged to "stand united against our neighbours to the south and I'm very sincere when I say that. United we stand as a country and I'll work hand in hand with the Prime Minister."

When asked about when he would start implementing some of his campaign promises such as claims about reduced gas prices he said, "We have to see the financial situation that's been left behind, and over the next couple of days and weeks you're going to hear from us, but the most important thing is getting our fiscal house in order.[...]

"What we say we're going to do, we're going to do. We aren't going to flip-flop. We want to make sure over the next four years that our mandate gets fulfilled based on the people voting us in," he said. He explained that "immediately we'll be out looking for an auditing firm to go into the province to go line item by line item. I always believe in third party validation."

Spending public funds to hire a private accounting firm to inform the government and Ontarians of the "state of the finances" is concerning to say the least. Ontario has an Auditor General. Ford and others referenced her report on the government finances during the election in criticizing the government's accounting practices. Ontario also has a Ministry of Finance. The announced intention to hire a private firm is a conflict of interest. It is an indication of the wrecking of the public authority which will continue to take place as a matter of course under the new government.

The big accounting firms are part of the massive supranational private interests which scour the globe to take as much as possible for themselves out of public treasuries and the value workers produce. They give advice on how to cut public programs, privatize them and wreck the institutions which serve the people, keeping only the police powers. Workers in Ontario have their own experience with how the reports and figures of accounting firms are used to attack their pensions and the value they produce and turn the workers into costs to be eliminated. This is how Mike Harris started his rule by decree in 1995. He hired a company called Andersen Consulting with a contract of $180 million to throw people off social assistance and cut welfare by 21 per cent.

It is unacceptable to set the agenda for the new government on the basis of whatever "state of the finances" is presented by such firms. Ontarians want a change in the direction of the economy so that their claims are provided with a guarantee. To start on the basis of whatever private interests will put forward will be the first attempt to get Ontarians to accept an agenda which is set behind their backs.

Ford said that the PCs "intend to act fast. We will have much more to share with the people of Ontario in the coming days and weeks."

In questions and answers he also indicated that all government purchasing from pencils to books would be tendered out for multiple bids as opposed to sole source bids from now on, something he said was not happening with previous governments. He said this was to protect the taxpayer.

He did not respond when asked if he would introduce back-to-work legislation to force striking York University academic workers back to work. In the May 27 Leaders' Debate however, Ford made it clear that he favoured using back-to-work legislation in the case of the college workers' strike.

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Champions of Private Interests on
PC Transition Team

Reports indicate that Doug Ford has named his campaign chair Dean French as his chief of staff and Chris Froggatt, a partner at the PR firm National, as chair of the transition team. Former cabinet minister in the Harper government, John Baird, is also reportedly on the transition team. Other team members include "senior advisors" from Ford's campaign, including Dr. Reuben Devlin, a former hospital CEO who Ford has held up as the brain trust behind his plans to "end hallway medicine"; Mike Coates, a former public relations executive with Hill + Knowlton; and Simone Daniels who previously worked at Ford's label-making business.

French is a managing partner in Advisor Company Ltd. Advisor Company is listed as a financial institution which "specializes in providing advice and counsel to high net worth individuals, their families and companies. Integrated Insight is a unique multi-disciplined process designed to provide results by combining knowledge and experience in Tax, Insurance and Investment." He was an organizer and senior advisor to Canadian Alliance leader Stockwell Day and a fundraiser for Rob Ford.

Froggart is a managing partner at National Public Relations. National refers to itself as "a trusted guide to clients in all sectors of the Canadian economy. We work together with clients from coast to coast to create innovative and impactful solutions to successfully address their priority issues and opportunities." It lists its areas of expertise as: consumer goods and services, energy, financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, professional services, public sector, retail and e-commerce, technology and transportation.

Froggart was a former advisor to Reform Party leader Preston Manning when he was official opposition leader at the federal level. He went on to work for Ernie Eves' PC government in Ontario which followed the Harris government. He was a senior advisor to then transport minister Brad Clark, later becoming executive assistant to then Ontario MPP John Baird. He followed Baird serving as his chief of staff when he was a minister under the Harper government with the portfolios of Foreign Affairs, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of the Environment, respectively between 2006 and 2010. Before that he also held a number of ministerial posts provincially with the Mike Harris government.

Baird was active during this provincial election fundraising for Ford. It is reported that he took part in more than 30 fundraisers in a situation where party leaders are not allowed to participate in them.

After leaving politics prior to the October 2015 federal election, Baird was hired as a strategic advisor to Hatch Ltd., an international engineering and consulting firm for companies in the resource sector. In October 2015 he joined political risk consulting firm Eurasia Group as a senior advisor, offering "strategic insight to companies on how global politics affects business." He is a senior advisor at the law firm Bennett Jones. Baird also sits on the advisory board of Barrick Gold Corp., the corporate boards of Canadian Pacific, Canadian Forest Products (Canfor), the FWD Group and PineBridge Investments.

Reuben Devlin is President of LG & D Consulting. Its profile indicates that it provides "consulting on strategic planning, tactical planning and implementation of actions required for a health care redevelopment project." Devlin was formerly president and CEO of Humber River Hospital. The Ontario Health Coalition notes that "Reuben Devlin, former Conservative Party President and CEO of Humber River Regional Hospital is one of Ford's closest health care advisors. He closed three hospitals at Humber River, to build one privatized P3. One of the hospitals he closed down was in one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Toronto. Those of us concerned about mega-mergers and a new wave of expensive and destructive amalgamations should take heed."

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23 Years Ago -- from the Party Press

Should the Workers Be Ecstatic
That Ontario Is "Open for Business"?

Mike Harris, leader of the Progressive Conservatives and Premier-elect, has declared through his first major proclamation that Ontario is now "open for business." His press secretary told reporters on June 11 that welfare benefits will be cut by 20 per cent as soon as possible. As proof that he is serious Harris also said that he is going to abrogate the "anti-scab" legislation passed by the NDP government. He also pledged to end equity legislation and to eliminate some other affirmative action programs.

The NDP's "anti-scab" law did not really provide any further support to the workers in their struggle for their rights. What the NDP had done was to further bind the workers to trade union politics, and, in some minor ways, assist the labour aristocracy to maintain its control over the workers. An illusion was created that this legislation would eliminate the use of scabs, but the question of scabs is much deeper than just some changes to the Labour Relations Act.

Harris, through this proclamation, has openly admitted that the government of Ontario is the government of the bourgeoisie and that the bourgeoisie is anti-worker, is for discrimination and is inhumane. In sum, Harris has declared that his government will push the anti-social trend to the furthest extreme within the present circumstances. He has declared himself to be the sworn enemy of the pro-social forces.

Workers cannot be ecstatic about this proclamation of Harris that he has made in the style of a royal. They cannot support his anti-social offensive. At the same time, workers can only see progress in defence of their rights as they organize themselves and become political. It is this crucial step which must be immediately taken in preparation for the working class to emerge as the leader of the society. Very concretely, while Harris' policies will act as an extenuating circumstance that will further deepen the crisis, the development of the leading role of the working class in the society will be a significant step towards getting out of it.

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For Your Information

2018 Ontario General Election Province-Wide Results

Posted below are the overall voting results of the 2018 Ontario General Election, as of June 8, 5:46 am, with 8,410 of 8,419 polls reporting. This is the latest report provided by Elections Ontario. 

Percentage of polls reporting: 99.89 per cent.
Registered Electors on List: 9,888,888.
Voter turnout (Province-wide): 58.00 per cent.

Political Party Number of Seats Won or Leading Number of Votes Percentage of Votes
Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario 76 2,322,422 40.49 %
New Democratic Party of Ontario 40 1,925,574 33.57 %
Ontario Liberal Party 7 1,123,283 19.59 %
Green Party of Ontario 1 263,987 4.60 %
Ontario Libertarian Party 0 42,918 0.75 %
None of the Above Direct Democracy Party 0 16,186 0.28 %
Independent 0 8,644 0.15 %
Trillium Party of Ontario 0 8,178 0.14 %
Northern Ontario Party 0 5,802 0.10 %
Consensus Ontario 0 2,684 0.05 %
Freedom Party of Ontario 0 2,567 0.04 %
Ontario Party 0 2,310 0.04 %
Ontario Moderate Party 0 2,191 0.04 %
Communist 0 1,471 0.03 %
Canadians’ Choice Party 0 1,234 0.02 %
Stop the New Sex-Ed Agenda 0 1,078 0.02 %
Ontario Alliance 0 804 0.01 %
The New People’s Choice Party of Ontario 0 633 0.01 %
Party for People with Special Needs 0 631 0.01 %
The People 0 626 0.01 %
Ontario Provincial Confederation of Regions Party 0 385 0.01 %
Stop Climate Change 0 342 0.01 %
Go Vegan 0 256 0.00 %
Ontario Social Reform Party 0 238 0.00 %
Cultural Action Party of Ontario 0 215 0.00 %
Party of Objective Truth 0 212 0.00 %
Multicultural Party of Ontario 0 191 0.00 %
Canadian Economic Party 0 151 0.00 %
Pauper Party of Ontario 0 111 0.00 %


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