I will vote NDP on Saturday: This is Why…

Last night I went to the All Candidates meeting here in Port Alberni. I am in the riding of Nanaimo-Alberni on Vancouver Island.

I already intended on voting this Saturday in the advance polls (voting on the weekend is alot easier than after a days work and commute home)…

So, I went to the ACM to figure out exactly who I was going to vote for. NDP, Liberal, or Green.

These are my conclusions of the Candidates in my riding.

Jen Fisher-Bradley – Canadian Action Party: Passionate. But one trick pony. Corporations/Capitalism bad… People good. Sorry… too out there.

Barbara Biley – Christian Heritage Party: Again, Passionate, knows the issues and speaks well… but it would be a wasted vote.

Jim Stewart – Liberal Party of Canada: Probably a decent guy… but under the wrong banner… and he did little to instill any confidence in his party.

Dusty Miller – Independent: EXCELLENT speaker, very persuasive, I think if he could convince a critical mass of people to support him he could easily win the riding. People responded to him, and even though he was obviously a little more conservative in his views than I would normally support I do believe he would have represented the views of the riding as much as he could.

David Wright – Green Party: He did a very good job of presenting his party as a viable option. Unfortunately I just don’t think he has the support in the riding as a whole to make the statement that it deserves. If it were a different election, where a majority government was likely to form government, then I would probably vote for him. Also, he himself is an older man and while I think he has a very good grasp of the issues, I don’t think he would be able to stand up to the pressure of being an MP, let alone the ONLY MP for the Green Party. I will wait for a different election with a younger candidate to vote Green.

Dr. James Lunney – Conservative Party of Canada: I had never heard Dr. Lunney speak before this meeting. Before the meeting, he made his rounds and took the time to introduce himself to my mother and I. Very nice.

However, as the meeting got underway, his own convictions and opinions on things became very clear… if he had done so in an honest, up front way, I could have let it pass, unfortunately, he didn’t. He jumped around issues and painted very broad strokes on his party’s platform, and at the same time betrayed what the true agenda of the party was.

In response to a question on keeping our Water resources a publicly owned resource… where all others simply said “yes”… he said, “government should be responsible for regulation”… In other words, government regulate, private owners… not good.

On Healthcare, he simply didn’t address or mention anything to do with a “two tier” system… you would think he would have a lot to say, considering he’s a doctor.

On massive layoffs in the public sector…. as the NDP candidate caught him on, Lunney made the same sounds about “refocusing” jobs from public to private sector as BC Premier Gordon Campbell did right before he announced massive layoffs.

On Aboriginals… he wanted to set up a “framework”. No. Sorry Dr. Lunney, there is already a well established Treaty process in place. You have no right to set up a “framework” that will dictate the terms of a treaty before any negotiation has taken place… the First Nations should be on an equal footing with the Federal Government. Their rights should be determined by the Charter and Supreme Court, not by some “framework” drawn up by one political party.

He made a lot of big promises…. an easy thing to do in an election year. Basically, he confirmed everything I already feared about the Reform a.k.a Conservative Party.

Manjeet Uppaal – New Democratic Party: Mr. Uppaal was a good speaker. He is, I think, a little inexperienced politically, but he grasped the issues well, and he was definitely on the attack against Mr. Lunney. Which I liked. I like to know that people will be able to attack as well as defend… and Uppaal showed that. Aside from the attacks he had on Dr. Lunney… he also made some very strong points. He drew often from his prior community service, which I think is valuable. He pointed out the NDP position without sounding like a Jack Layton puppet. In all, I was pleasantly surprised by his performance, and he made my decision to vote for him very easy.

So there you have it. I’ll be voting NDP. Yes, partly it’s a negative vote… it’s a vote against Liberal corruption and against Conservative backhandedness. But it is also a vote for the only non-governing party that managed to push it’s own agenda through Parliament. It’s a vote for a party that stands up for it’s ideals and doesn’t back down from them. It’s a vote for a candidate that has a strong community background and who I feel understands and values the youth, working class, and aboriginals in this riding just as much as the business and senior communities.

If you are in the Nanaimo-Alberni riding, I would recommend that you vote for Manjeet Uppall. He strikes me as an honest guy. He has roots in the community and is an active participant in the development of our community. I think he will make an excellent NDP Member of Parliament in the next Parliament of Canada.

7 thoughts on “I will vote NDP on Saturday: This is Why…”

  1. It’s good to hear you’re voting NDP. I read the candidate profiles for Nanaimo-Alberni and he definitely looked like a good choice.

    I’ve already voted! I will be in a meeting all day on the official election day, so I went to an advanced poll. I’m lucky enough to live in Vancouver-East – a solid lefty riding, which has been well represented by Libby Davies since 1997. I voted for Libby because she has been an effective MP and has represented her constituency well. I also like almost all of the NDP policies and have been impressed with their ability to get results in the last minority government.

    As much as I think it would be good for the liberals to be out of office for awhile, I fear a Conservative government more. The parallels between the modern Conservative party and the Republican party of 1980 are too frightening. The best bet would be for a liberal minority with a stronger NDP presence to push the agenda further left.

    Most of all, I hope for an engaged electorate. Get out and vote!

  2. You Canadians are so lucky to have a manageably sized ratio of voters to legislators and can have community meetings with all of the candidates like this.

    I can see how the Liberals might form a government with the support of other parties. I don’t see where the Conservatives would get the support to form a government if they win a plurality but not an outright majority. Would a coalition partner have a moderating effect on Conservative policies?

    What do you see as the principal differences between the NDP and the Greens? Do there really need to be two parties to the left of center?

  3. Hi David,

    “Would a coalition partner have a moderating effect on Conservative policies?”

    Since all the other parties in Parliament are “to-the-left” of the Conservatives there is no doubt that if a coalition were to form it would have a moderating effect on Conservative policies. However, because of the Conservatives rather different stance on issues I can only see them lasting a very short time… on the order of a year at most. Bills will be passed on an issue-by-issue basis… there will be a lot of “free votes” so that the government is not brought down… and the budget votes will be very tight.

    Ironically, the most likely crutch for the Conservatives to stand on is the Liberal party, as they are fiscally more Conservative than the NDP.

    There is also the posibility that more progressive voices take hold of Conservative policy once they are in power simply because they know that overly-rightwing policy will not fly in Quebec, Ontario, or most of BC.. thus assuring them of another defeat in short order. I think Canadians are giving the Conservatives a chance here.. but if even one of the many “fears” of otherwise Liberal supporters are confirmed by Harpers actions while in power, then they’ll be decimated the next time ’round.

    It would certainly be an interesting time.

    As for the NDP and Greens. Barring their stance on the environment their platform, and general tone are quite different. The Greens revolve around sustainability, so their platform is more conservative fiscally than the spend-spend NDP. The NDP also has a long history of trade-union support, where as the Greens are a little more business oriented.

    I think the Greens are a very interesting alternative, and I anxiously await a day when they are deemed relevant enough to gain the attention of the mass-media. I think they would be quite appealing to a vast swath of Canadians.

  4. to add..

    basically the only thing keeping the Conservatives in power would be the lack of appetite among Canadians to go to the polls AGAIN…

  5. Just wanted to say that comment #2 was actually from me (Roz) – not realizing Rod was still logged in. He doesn’t, um, have amnesia 🙂

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