Hockey trumps politics as Ontarians prefer watching Leafs over election results

Vox popili. The people of Ontario have spoken. They'd rather watch the Toronto Maple Leafs launch yet another quest for a berth in the NHL playoffs than the climax of a provincial election where apparently none of the choices are that appetizing.

And the people's TV network will accommodate them. Toronto.com reports on election night Oct. 6,  the CBC will broadcast the season-opener between the Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, followed by the Vancouver Canucks-Pittsburgh Penguins matchup.

Anyone who really cares about who governs Canada's largest province for the next four years will have to surf over to CBC News Network.

The decision is reflected in a Toronto Star online poll, where a large majority of readers picked hockey over hoopla.

"Show the Leafs game," said a commenter with the handle K-Mart. "We can find out the results of the election in the morning, but let's be honest elections are never so exciting that we need to watch them minute by minute."

"I'd rather watch paint dry, but since that's not an option I'll take the Leaf game," quipped highland girl.

CBC spokesman Jeff Keay said there's no dilemma for the network.

"We're able to serve all of our audiences, including hockey fans in Ontario and elsewhere across the country," Keay said.

The Leafs-Hab game will air on the main CBC network at 7 p.m. local time and once election results start coming in, they'll be scrolled across the screen as needed, Keay said.

CBC News Network will begin live coverage after the polls close at 9 p.m. Live coverage will also be available on CBC Radio One and via the web - CBCNews.ca/ontariovotes - and Twitter and Facebook.

The Canucks-Pens game is scheduled to start at 9:50 p.m. and besides the results "crawl," the network will provide live election updates between periods.

As Toronto.com points out, if you're not on a cable or satellite TV service but get CBC over the air, you won't have access to CBC News Network.

(CP Photo)