Sunday, June 27, 2004

Vote on June 28!

So for any of you Canadians that have been living in a cave the past few months, the federal election will come up on Monday, June 28 (coming Monday). I finally posted my thoughts in the forums, so I figured I'd copy and paste to here. :D Kill two birds with one stone, you know? Here it is, verbatim (bleh, there are some grammar mistakes, but I'm too lazy to fix them):
Definitely Conservatives. For me, it comes down to who I want for my PM. I definitely don't want Jack Layton, left-wing stuff is not my cup of tea. Once Gilles Duceppe separates Quebec, it would create a very interesting situation... I really wonder if he'd have any motive anymore for running the country well. Probably call an election immediately. :lol: Anyone got facts or statements on this? Anyway, no Bloc for me. 

So that brings it down to Conservatives and Liberals. Nobody else has a chance, so there's no point in me voting for them, because I don't care who my MP is. I just care who my PM is. Harper vs. Martin. 
I never liked Paul Martin for several reasons. 
First of all, he never seemed to be someone who cared about ethics in a proactive sense; it always seemed to be reactive. Case in point, I remember reading the memo that was written to him in 2002, regarding the PWGSC sponsorship scandal (the memo was shown in the National Post earlier this year). It said that even though Martin wasn't Minister of PWGSC, the writer (believe it was some sort of watchdog? I can't recall) requested for Martin to look into various sponsorship initiatives because of their questionable nature. As Martin was Minister of Finance, the writer felt that Martin had a special perspective from which he'd be able to make judgment. Martin ignored that memo. The guy just doesn't seem to take initiative to look into or do things.
Secondly, he always seemed to be a fat cat type of guy to me that never cared about the common man. The guy is friggin rich, people, he used to run Canada's largest shipping company. And he has tons of investments. I worked a summer in PWGSC (the same time that the sponsorship scandal was coming into the news :lol: ) and the federal government has very strict rules as to how civil servants and politicians must divest or turn over control of assets. I never did like the way that Martin resolved his relationship with his shipping company. I'll admit that the guy's been fiscally responsible, but that's to be expected. He knows how to run a business. Does he know how to run a government? See below. 
Thirdly, the guy has no spine. I watched the TV debate between the four party leaders, and Martin evaded questions like the plague. I started watching a bit after it started, so I missed the part where he tried to answer the question about where the PWGSC money went. But I'm told that he never answered the question, just talked about the circumstances and the factors involved. My friend told me that he was thinking (as he watched Martin do his dance), "You must think I'm really stupid and don't know anything, just tell me where the money went, ok?" I DID get to see Martin try to answer the gay marriage question. It was hilarious. 
Duceppe: "Well, my position and Mr. Layton's position on gay marriage is quite clear, we obviously support it. Mr. Harper says that he does not support gay marriage, but he would respect the results of a free vote, and not use the notwithstanding clause for anything except outlawing child pornography. But what is YOUR personal stance on gay marriage, Mr. Martin?"
Martin: "We want to uphold the values in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, because this is the most important thing in Canada. Blahblahblah..."
Duceppe: But Mr. Martin, what is YOUR personal opinion?"
Martin: "The Charter of Rights and Freedoms blahblahblah..."
Layton: "Stop hiding behind the charter!!!"
Martin: "What?? The Charter is the basis and foundation of this country, blahblahblah..."
Harper: Mr. Martin, I remember two years ago, you held the exact same stance on gay marriage as I did, but now you don't (note, Martin never actually admitted this, but it's safely presumed), why were you so willing to change your stance?
Martin: "Charter, charter, charter..." 
The gay marriage question sticks out the most because all three candidates were attacking Martin at the same time. But suffice it to say that Martin answered many questions in the debate in this manner; I was sorely disappointed in him. This was his last chance to redeem himself in my eyes (and probably the eyes of many throughout Canada). But the guy had no spine to give an up-front answer for so many of them. He'd play around, dance, and never get to the answer. This guy is too eager to please people, and so his loyalty to anything is questionable. I bet that if right wing had a bigger voice than the left wing, he'd change his tune on a lot of issues just to get votes. 
Three reasons why I will not vote for Liberals. Conservatives? I like a lot of ideas that Harper has. The one that I like the most is cutting corporate taxes only on the condition that handouts and loans to Canadian corporations are also stopped. He's telling that they should either get into shape or die. I like this. There are too many companies that aren't run competitively and don't really do anything for Canada. These guys need to be able to compete with the best in the nation, and also the best in the world. Anyone that needs government funds in order to do that severely lacks competitiveness in my eye. They should just die a quick death if they can't compete, not live on life support from my taxes. I hate it when corporations depend on crutches instead of innovation and strategy. Some government funding can still be warranted because the government would have interest (for example, Dream Home China would warrant federal government support because it's getting a whole industry going to compete with the world, and every single forestry operation from the little Joe logger to the big Weyerhaeusers would be able to access and benefit from the resulting economies of scale). But companies like Air Canada? Crap man, cut the stuff that keeps them from competing properly already. They'd be dead by now if it weren't for those crazy German investors, I have no idea how they think they'll get a good return on this investment deal. Our watchdogs can take care of any monopolization attempts. Look at Westjet, they are COMPETING and have had 28 CONSECUTIVE quarters of profitability! And they're moving up to Air Canada's class of service too.
My goodness, I got off-topic... And yes, I appreciate the free-vote thing he advocates. The Supreme Court should enforce the law, not create it. Of course, this is open to debate. Also, Harper's an economist by training. I have faith in his economic policy development. 
Finally, I like Harper's commitment to the military. Whether or not Canada ever goes to war is irrelevant to me, for this issue. Canada has built a great reputation on peacekeeping, but that reputation has been in serious decline. Our military sucks. If we want to keep our reputation in this world, let's get some better military funding. As Harper noted during the TV debate, it's an embarrasment that our troops headed to Afghanistan had to hitch a ride with the US because we didn't have enough sea vessels of our own that could make the trip. And our troops can't do a good job peacekeeping around the world if they don't have the equipment, no matter how good their training is. 
Harper in. Martin out. That's what I'm hoping for.
Election day is June 28 and your vote counts. It counts especially this time around because the race is so tight between the Liberals and Conservatives, we could very well be headed for a minority government. So vote. Hopefully, we won't need to suffer one, and progress can actually be made in this country in one direction or another.

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