i was living and studying in ottawa during the 2004 canadian federal election. i had never had the privilege to vote in an election so i was pretty excited that as a candian citizen i now have the right to vote and i was looking forward to doing so.
unfortunately when i called Elections Canada to ask for information about voting, the representative told me that my permanent residence is mississauga so i am not allowed to vote in ottawa. it was too late to ask for a special absentee ballot so the only way i could participate would be to physically go to mississauga on election day. since i was a poor student i decided it wasn’t worthwhile to travel 500 km there and then 500 km back just to cast a single vote. i patiently waited for the next federal elections.
now in 2006 the federal elections will be taking place on January 23rd and i have been following the election campaigns of all the major parties; Liberal, Conservatives, Bloc Quebecois, and the NDP.
paul martin is the current prime minister and is running for re-election as the Liberal party leader. the liberals are the oldest political party in canada and their policies are in the middle of the political spectrum. the last two prime ministers have been liberal as well. the current government stole a lot of money while martin was a finance minister. the gomery report exonerated him of any direct wrong doing but he is still held liable for the waste of millions of dollars since he is the current leader of his party. his government has also wasted billions on the gun registry program which doesn’t seem to be doing a whole lot of good for Toronto. martin, if elected, promises to give $5.1 billion to aboriginals, ban handguns, hire more rcmp officers, adopt tougher sentences for gun crime, allocate $13 billion for 5000 new canadian troops, forgive debts owed by foreign government, pay half of the tuition for 1st and last year of all college and university students, cut green house gases, decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, pledge $805 million over 5 years for direct federal health funding, spend $9 billion on a National Waiting Times Reduction Strategy, give $810 million to research hospitals, and cut corporate income taxes by $30 billion in the next 5 years. what i like about the liberal government is how it is willing to say NO to the US and is actively going after canada’s interests regardless of whether they match US interests. his government said no to joining the stupid missile shield program and said no to sending troops to Iraq and is actively working to get back the billions of dollars US owes canada over the softwood lumber dispute. good to see someone having the backbone to say no to US hegemony.
stephen harper is the conservative party leader and a robot. they were 2nd place in the 2004 election and forced a minority liberal government and also called the No Confidence vote which toppled the current government and led to an election. the conservative party is an amalgamation of the Progressive Conservative Party and the Canadian Alliance Party.. and they are on the right of the political spectrum. they believe in individual rights and want to run businesses with little interference fro the government. the liberal party is portraying harper as a george bush junior and some of the quotes from stephen harper that the liberals show in their political ads are pretty disturbing. in any case, harper wants mandatory minimum sentences for all drug crimes, a sex offender registry, raise the age of sexual consent from 14 to 16 year of age, support NORAD and improve relations with the US, create a veterans Bill of Rights, introduce elections for senate vacancies instead of appointments, make scholarships tax free, make univerity textbooks tax deductible, give tax credits to transit users, introduce Clear Air Act, cancel the Kyoto Accord, promote alternative fuel research, get rid of the gun registry, support 3 year prohibition on stem cell research, cut back hospital waiting lists, not legalize marijuana, reduce GST by 1% right away and later another 1%, reduce small business tax rate, and give $1200 per year for child-care. my main problem with harper is that he would’ve joined the stupid missile shield program and would’ve sent canadian troops to iraq. i am a big supporter of the UN and what it stands for and i would not have been pleased to see canadian troops dispatched to Iraq. also, harper is a robot with artificial eyes and that is scary too.
gilles duceppe is the leader of the Bloc quebecois party which is a left wing social party that only concerns itself with issues relating to quebec’s interests. his party’s ultimate goal is the separation of canada and creation of quebec as its own country… selfish fuck. quebec even has its own National Assembly and the liberal scandal that toppled martin’s government was about a government sponsorship program in the province of quebec to raise canadian patriortic sentiments and promote national unity. it really angers me to see an entire province wanting to separate from canada. we’ve had two referrendums, once in 1980 and once in 1995 about quebec separation and both times the ‘No’ side won. if it happens again you can be sure i’m going to go and vote No. in any case, ducceppe wants to uphold the Kyoto accord, increase education funding and ban Canadian forces from entering a war declared illegal by the UN. thats good but this crazy idea of making quebec a country is nothing but crazy. you’ve failed twice… give it up and plz be part of canada kthnx.
jack layton and his moustache are the leaders of the New Democratic Party. it is a left wing party and advocates social democracy. however, they have never formed a government and have only a handfull of members of parliament. they are portraying themselves as the third choice and as the party for the “working families” of canada. i like him and i like the way he talks, argues and debates. i would gladly vote for him but i know he will not win enough votes to form a government and i worry that his plans might actually require a tax increase for working families to pay for all the program he wants to start. in any case, layton and his moustache want to create aboriginal-only seats in parliament, create national sex offender registry, create a national victims’ bill of rights, launch anti-gun and anti-drugs ad campaigns and programs for the misguided youth, increase pay for armed forces, create replacements for NATO and NORAD, scarp anti-terrorism act, oppose missile defense, make it law for a parliament vote before canadian troops are sent abroad, cancel agreements for american soldiers to enter canada during an emergency, abolish the senate, lower voting age to 16, reduce tuition fees by 10%, allocate $4 billion for post secondary education, reduce greenhouse emissions, sell the government’s share of Petro Canada, build wind turbines, allow gst rebates on environmentaly friendly cars, stop flow of public money into private health care, allocate $1 billion/year transfer to provinces for home-care services, remove gst from family essential like children’s clothing and medicine, school supplies, books, magazines, etc, and ensure that all canadians who make less than $15,000 do not have to pay federal income tax. good plans but how will he pay for all of this ? he seems like the most likeable person from these four candidates so i would like to vote NDP.
the general consensus seems to be that everyone is sick of 12 years of liberal rule and liberal corruption and scandals. the conservatives seem to be on track for winning this thing and i really dont want harper to be the next pm. so i will probably vote liberal just to make sure the conservatives stay out :(
there are five people running for election in my riding. canada is divided into 308 ridings that cover the entire country with each riding representing one member of parliament. whoever gets the most votes in a riding becomes the member of parliament. whichever party has the most members of parliament wins the election and that party’s leader becomes the next prime minister. my riding has Wajid Khan from the liberal party, Raminder Gill from conservative party, Jim Caron from NDP, Otto Casanova from the Green Party, and Peter Creighton from the Progressive Canadian Party. this riding is full of indian and pakistani families and i am sure either khan or gill will win the riding. khan is the current MP and is running for re-election.
election day is 23rd January 2006. lots of time to make up my mind and figure out who i will vote for. don’t forget to vote!!