He was a provincial candidate for the Mike Harris Progressive Conservatives, and ran under the Green Party banner.
He thought Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne was serious in her promise to “do politics differently.”
But Greg Vezina found out you can’t change the political system by working for the status quo.
Finally fed up with the mainstream parties, Vezina, a Mississauga resident, helped to create the None of the Above Party, which has seen some success in other countries, including Serbia, and India, and is now running as the party’s candidate in the Niagara West-Glanbrook byelection.
In the 2014 Ontario provincial election, making its debut the None of the Above Party received just below one per cent of the vote in eight ridings, 21 per cent of all new votes for smaller parties and independents in the province’s 107 ridings and 13 per cent in four Mississauga ridings, where he ran, said Vezina.
Over the years Vezina, 59, has become a prominent name not only for Hydrofuel Inc. marketed as a world’s leader of ammonia fuel and energy, but of taking various organizations, Elections Ontario and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission to court to ensure all political candidates are treated fairly in elections. He threatened the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce prior to the Niagara West-Glanbrook byelection debate Nov. 7 to include all candidates in the event. Ultimately, two candidates didn’t show up.
He has also threatened to take the City of Grimsby to court over allowing Concerned Doctors to host a health debate at Grimsby Town Hall for candidates Nov. 10.
Vezina, who ran in the Whitby-Oshawa Feb. 11 byelection, took legal action during the political contest against any organization that held a debate that didn’t include all the candidates in the race.
During the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce debate, Vezina was sometimes the most interesting candidate in the room, pleading with the capacity crowd that if you want change, don’t keep sending the same party candidates to Queen’s Park.
“It’s like changing the deck chairs on the Titanic from blue to red to orange,” he said. “It accomplishes nothing.”
Vezina, co-author of the book “Democracy Eh? A Guide to Voter Action”, compared the three main Ontario political parties to the Republican and Democrats in the United States who don’t listen to the people, and are corrupted by money politics.
“I’m fighting to bring real democracy to politics,” he said. “We are losing it. Stop following the leader.”
He castigates people who don’t vote in protest or just because of apathy.
“That changes nothing,” he said. “Staying home does nothing.”
The main agenda for the None of the Above Party is to conduct citizen-led referenda, similar to what Switzerland does allowing voters to have a direct say on any topic that the people want, along with passing a bill to allow for the recall of politicians and provide “real” legislation to provide “transparency and accountability” to politics.
He says so-called “fringe” parties don’t get the proper media attention that is deserved of them and that is the fault of the current “democratic system” in place.
“People are fed up with this elected dictatorship,” said Vezina. “Small parties have the right to be heard. And people have the right to vote for None of the Above.”
He told the crowd at the all-candidates’ debate Nov. 7 that if elected, he would go to Queen’s Park and adopt the philosophy establish by former Welland NDP MPP Peter Kormos and become “the biggest pain in the ass” Ontario had ever seen.