Monday, September 8, 2008

Andy says vote, vote, vote

This election, with the differences between parties being greater than any time in my limited recollection, it is more important than ever that citizens take an interest in the politics of their country. We, as members of this democracy have the privilege of being able to vote. But if we do not exercise this right now, when the differences are stark, then we need not exercise them ever, for our country will move without us, whether to our benefit or detriment.

So what I am saying is, it is important to vote! Take a little interest in the issues... watch the election debate. Get yourself a little bit informed, and vote. Vote Liberal, NDP, Green, or Conservative (if you must...), but do exercise your civic rights.

That said...

Here's why I think you should vote Dion (Liberal)

Dion is squeaky clean. Although he hasn't shown us much of himself yet (and I hope he shows us much more), the times where has has taken action have been quite successful. In particular, he helped for forge the Clarity Act following the Quebec referendum, his term as environment minister has been vetted by many, and he won the Liberal leadership race against all odds.

Dion, running his first national election campaign, appeared unfazed by polls showing that Canadians prefer Harper as a leader for Canada. As a minister in the Chr├ętien government, Dion won unlikely battles with Quebec separatists and he triumphed in the Liberal leadership race in 2006 against all odds. So he said he is glad to run as an underdog against the Tory chief.

"When Canadians see who I am and what I stand for, they will be happily surprised," Dion, who has had trouble catching on with the public, told the Toronto Star.


The Conservatives flaunt their "proven record" while decrying Stephane Dion's "risky plan". However, the proven record of the Conservatives is one of broken promises, shameless manipulation, and arguably anti-democratic behaviour.

Here are some highlights from a recent newspaper editorial:

His government has been secretive and manipulative, with all power concentrated in the prime minister's office and cabinet ministers reduced to mere ciphers. The public service has been effectively muzzled, too, with the chief of the nuclear regulatory commission being fired for daring to stand her ground.

Harper was elected in 2006 on a promise to bring "a culture of accountability" to Ottawa, then furiously evaded attempts by parliamentary committees to hold his government accountable.

As for Harper's stewardship of the economy, on his watch the country is experiencing its slowest growth in almost two decades. While many of the circumstances (such as a slumping U.S. economy) are beyond the government's control, Harper's laissez-faire approach has not helped matters.

In foreign affairs, Canada under Harper has lost its standing as a respected independent voice as his government has cozied up to the Bush administration in the U.S.

On the environmental front, Harper abrogated the Kyoto accord and implemented a permissive plan that will allow Canada's greenhouse gas emissions to continue rising.

On two other issues, health care and the cities, Harper has essentially abandoned all responsibility to the provinces. And he has failed to engage in the war on poverty.

Harper yesterday listed the election promises his government has kept, including cuts to the GST, the new child care allowance, and anti-crime legislation. Unmentioned were the broken promises, including a fixed election date in October, 2009. By calling the election early, Harper has broken not only the promise, but his own government's law. His lame excuse is that he needs a new mandate from the voters.

Finally, Stephen Harper is very much a one man show. He has a chokehold on his party and on the government with a secretive, dictatorial style. Stephane Dion has a great team behind him, including Liberal leadership race front runners Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae. Hopefully, we'll be seeing more of these two, and it will make a difference. And if we do, it'll be further evidence for me that Stephane Dion speaks what he means.
In the interview, he also said the Liberals will showcase their team – particularly Toronto incumbents Bob Rae and Michael Ignatieff, who both challenged Dion for the party leadership. Rae and Ignatieff will campaign outside their Toronto ridings as part of this effort.

"We have by far a much better team than the Conservatives and a leader able to work with a team," Dion commented.

1 comment:

sandlot said...

How come nobody comments on your politics posts?

I don't think I voted in this election. I blame you because I didn't know about your blog back then. Who knows? Maybe my vote was the deciding vote.