Who Should You Vote For?

Posted on Sunday, January 22 at 13:58 by abacus
The NDP under Jack Layton, which has now moved further to the political centre, and in all likelihood will continue in this direction, must be given a lot of credit - especially for fighting this campaign on actual issues, rather than character assassination. Layton's NDP is well on its way to becoming Canada's answer to Tony Blair's Third Way, and I have no doubt that in a few years' time, the NDP will come in second or even first (and there is some indication that they might capture the second position in this election). But there is no way they could even form a minority government this time around. The Green Party has a lot of very good ideas. Quite unlike most Green parties around the world, such as the usual Greens found in Europe (Germany, Austria, etc.), our Green Party is not a quasi-communist party, but actually supports fiscal conservatism. They, too, would make a much-needed and welcome addition to our House of Commons, and I do hope they can elect at least one MP on January 23. But just like the NDP, they won't form the next government of Canada either. Which leaves us with the Conservative Party. Contrary to what some on the left will have you believe, the Conservative Party is actually quite a progressive party - progressive in the sense of moving the country forward with innovative policies and ideas ("getting Canada out of its rut"), rather than in the sense employed by the far left, where progressive equals regressive overspending and allowing the government to grow to unhealthy proportions. I will admit, though, that the Conservative Party does have a regressive element in its platform: its opposition to SSM. But this issue pales in comparison when you take other, bigger, issues into account. It is thanks to Liberal incompetence and corruption that Québec has seen a drastic rise in support for separatism (and the same is true of Western Canada). If Canadians re-elect the Liberals, Quebecers (and Western Canadians) will receive that message in the way it is clearly intended: Canadians outside of Québec and Alberta don't have a problem with a government that commits criminal offences and lies to its voters. A re-elected Liberal government would instantly drive up support for independence in both Québec and Alberta. In fact, it would reach such highs that it is not at all unrealistic to say that both these provinces could sever their ties with Canada within a very short amount of time (say, within the next ten years). A Liberal victory on January 23, in other words, would result in the breakup of our wonderful country. So pardon me if, in view of this issue, I tend to ignore the (legitimate) concerns of homosexuals across Canada. Speaking of which, let's be realistic: Harper may or may not call for a free vote on this issue, but there is no way SSM will be overturned. That free vote he promised serves a symbolic purpose, so that Canadians can put this issue to rest once and for all - but this time in truly democratic, rather than dictatorial, fashion. If you believe in Canada and if you want it to remain a single country, you cannot vote Liberal on January 23. Vote anything but Liberal. You can vote Conservative, NDP, Green, Action Party ... - whatever you want, but don't vote Liberal, because a Liberal win would spell the inevitable end and death of this country. Despite this "election recommendation", I'd like to call on my fellow Albertans in Anne McLellan's riding and urge them to vote for Anne McLellan. Yes, she is a Liberal, but she is also a true Albertan who cares about her province (and Canada). I have had the pleasure of meeting her on several occasions, and I am really good at judging a person - in all my life, my special sense has never betrayed me. I know I am going to get flak for this endorsement from Tories, but see if I care. Anne is a great person and MP. If there is just one federal Liberal in Alberta (or anywhere else in Canada for that matter) who deserves to be elected, it's Anne McLellan. Anne is the typical, Alberta-flavoured federal Liberal, the type that is really quite different from the federal Liberal found in Eastern and Central Canada, and I believe that she can play a vital role in reforming and straightening out the Liberal Party - which is in all our interest, and that of future generations of Canadian voters. If you believe in democracy the way I do, you'll understand why we need functional, rather than dysfunctional, parties. For the sake of democracy, therefore, it is crucial that the Liberal Party be given a chance to reform itself and to re-emerge from opposition one day as a viable alternative in Canada's political mosaic. I am fully aware that some undecided voters, not to mention dyed-in-the-wool Liberals, will continue to vote Liberal, and that's fine too. After all, this is what democracy is all about. But I do ask you to look at the issues and what's at stake before you cast your vote on January 23. Don't just vote for or against a party out of ignorance or, worse, out of credulity. Go and vote on January 23 - it is not only your democratic right, but your duty! [Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 24, 2006]

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