BY Brian Weller | BLOGGER Oak Ridges-Markham Despite prognostications to the contrary from a variety of pundits and party hacks, voters in Oak Ridges-Markham are in a quandary! Sure, the candidates of all stripes have made themselves available to the media and their teams have been busy erecting signs and meeting with as many voters as possible but it is clearly the party leaders who have been the focus in this campaign. And this has local voters worried! Andrea Horwath, Tim Hudak and Dalton McGuinty have run low key, almost mistake-proof campaigns up to this point, inspiring few, if any of the undecided who have been listening. With all three staying away from our province's precarious financial condition, they are like prize-fighters against the ropes, they bob and weave, waiting for their opportunity to strike at any other issue. A flip-flop here, a miscue there, and throw in an accusation or two...they wait for the knock-out punch! Considering that Dalton McGuinty and the Liberals have doubled the accumulated debt to around $235,000,000,000; the largest in Ontario's history, one would think that surely the people of Ontario would question his request for a 3rd term. Why would I assume this? Because we did the same thing to Bob Rae and the NDP in the mid-90's when he almost bankrupted Ontario, and to this day, people continue to bring up Rae when the subject of Horwath and the NDP ever having election success. Andrea held her own, even though Hudak and McGuinty were obviously gentle with her at the debate but it's no secret; like Hampton before her, she has little chance of winning this election based upon the Rae experiment. Perhaps they are thinking of her more as a partner? Spending like a drunken sailor, Ontario has fallen off the wagon and still the Liberals are only behind the PC's slightly with a smooth McGuinty seemingly promising something new everyday to catch up. Never mind the lies, the scandals, the boondoggles; all of it doesn't matter because Dalton is teflon; nothing sticks to this guy. We in Ontario love to complain about the Liberals and their foibles, but we are quick to re-elect them because apparently the other parties are suspect, too! Across York Region's six ridings, less than 1,200 voters have attended the twelve debates so far! Dismal indeed when you consider that we have 1.4 million residents! So it is not as if we actually like Dalton, we just don't know if we can trust Tim Hudak and Andrea Horwath. Will this be an election of choosing the right leader, or about choosing one that doesn't smell as bad as the other? Or, as the recent Federal campaign shows, have enough voters finally developed DAD, 'deficit attention disorder'? If true, it could mean that it won't be up to our grand kids and their friends to deal with a Tax and Spend mentality! Already in this campaign, there has been much controversy, with the Liberal plan to give tax credits to companies that hire skilled workers that have immigrated to Ontario at the expense of Ontario-educated workers, Hudak promising to shelve the Samsung deal and Horwath promising to raise Corporation Tax that may finish off whatever manufacturing we have left. Couple that with the Union attack ads being aired by Working Families and the Teacher's, it has been a knuckle-busting fight to this point....as it should be! As for our local candidates, each has been staying very close to the party line in their presentation of jobs, education, health and transportation issues which of course begs the question...where is the money coming from? Local voters are clearly not pleased with the status quo that has left them behind and know that with a $15 Billion provincial deficit, whoever forms the next government will have difficult choices to make so the question becomes.......which candidate can be disbelieved less! Farid Wassef, PC at 41.3% is in the race of his life against Dr. Helena Jaczek, Liberal at 38.8% in this newly-minted, albeit traditional blue riding with Joe Whitfeld, NDP at 14.3% and Trifon Haitas, Green at 3.8%, according to Forum Research and by listening to local Speak Your Mind readers, this election is just too close to call! Hopefully, when all is said and done this Thursday, can the old 'let's blame Bob Rae for ruining Ontario' be finally laid to rest?