Around Ontario - Part 4 - A view from inside the beast - 416 
'Adam' lives and works in downtown Toronto - his view on the campaign, Harper, Liberals, etc. Also, I've added some to and fro we had after he sent me his post....

I live in downtown Toronto (Trinity-Spadina, if you're interested), but my official residence is at my parents' place in a suburb of Ottawa.
Consequently, my actual vote (Ottawa) doesn't affect me at a local level (Toronto). The advantage/disadvantage of this is that I really don't pay too much attention to the local races, but focus almost exclusively on the election at a national level.
In any case, my parents' riding (Carleton - Mississauga Mills) has gone almost exclusively PC/CA/Conservative (and will continue to do so), so there wouldn't be a heck of a lot of point in dwelling on it.
The downtown scene is a lot more interesting, however. In the last 2 elections, the Reform/PC/CA/Conservative candidates have really been non-entities in any discussions/debates that I've had with colleagues/friends/co-workers (most of which were under 30). In fact, even the local media seemed to ignore those candidates (well, except for the Sun). What I find to be very different about this campaign is the increased level of interest/support for the Conservatives. Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying they're going to sweep Toronto, but the more affluent areas (Eglinton/Lawrence, Don Valley West, for example) might be up for grabs.
I obviously can't authoritatively claim why this trend has occurred, but it seems to me that the following conclusions have been reached:
1) Liberals are behaving badly
2) They should not be rewarded with another election
3) Stephen Harper is not 'so bad'
Step 3 is what is different from the last election. People were generally unhappy with the Liberals before, but were freaked out by Harper. I think that the combination of a more 'relaxed' Harper and additional ordure from the Liberals has reached critical mass. I don't think that people will be that 'turned off' about voting Conservative this time around.
I still expect the Liberals to sweep downtown (with Jack Layton taking Toronto-Danforth), but if downtown Toronto can shift right (even slightly), then I wonder how pronounced this tendency will be across the rest of southern Ontario.
As an aside, my favourite riding to watch will be Toronto-Danforth, featuring Jack Layton and Deborah Coyne. You all know who Jack is, but Coyne is a star candidate that has been parachuted in. Should be entertaining......
For the record, I voted Green last time and will likely vote NDP this time around.

I would really like to know - and my readers would too I'm sure - what a person living in Toronto thinks of Harper. How has the common perception changed if it has?
What are the reasons you want the Conservatives to win, etc?

As for why I want the Conservatives to win, it's pretty straightforward with me.
I believe that the Liberals *have* to lose. No two ways about it. Their corruption appears to be endemic, and the only way to change that is to toss them out. That being said, I hate the attitude of 'anybody is better than the Liberals'. That's just stupid. If that were the case, why bother voting?
Unlike the last election, I'm a lot more comfortable with the idea of a Conservative minority. I think that they've got a lot of fresh ideas to bring in, but their minority status would temper any stuff that I would deem 'crazy'. OK, crazy is too strong a word. I'm generally referring to policy that I consider to be religious-based (bear in mind that my religion is generally a lot more conservative than the Conservatives, so cut me some slack on this).
I also believe that if the Conservatives were to win a minority government, they wouldn't stray too far right, as the Liberals would be ready to call an election in about 18 months (after they picked a new leader and got him 'known'. God, I hope it isn't Ignatieff).

And if they might get a majority?
Would you vote liberal if you thought it would stop a conservative majority but maybe end up giving the liberals a minority?

Good point. I don't see the Conservates getting a majority, but if they do, I wouldn't have a huge problem with that (I'd still have a problem with it, but I'd still be happy with the election).
I'm not a huge fan of the Conservative policies, but I recognize that they're not crazy.
That being said, I really don't expect a majority from them. There will be too many 'strategic' voters to prevent that from occurring, particularly because if the Conservatives have such huge support a dozen days from the election. People will see that and change their minds (like we haven't seen that before....).

You can see the other Around Ontario posts here:
Around Ontario - Part 3 - '905' North
Around Ontario - Part 2 - '905' West
Around Ontario - Part 1 - An NDP view from Waterloo

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