The Canadian Election 2008

I went to the Environment & Education Forum at the Lethbridge College yesterday evening for the “last chance to grill [my] federal election candidates”.

I was unimpressed with the fact that only three parties showed up to debate (how does the green party expect to be taken seriously, when their candidate doesn’t show up).

The NDP’s Mark Sandilands was clearly the top candidate, with his well considered responses and comprehensive knowledge of the issues.

Incumbent candidate Rick Casson on the other hand, did not fair so well. The other candidates, specifically Mark Sandilands, poignant questions had him stumbling time after time. I can’t believe the polls indicate that Casson is going to be re-elected, his campaign basically consisted of admitting that his party has made lots of mistakes and that, “that’s something we should do better at”. It’s like he’s not even trying because he knows that running in a conservative stronghold means it doesn’t matter what he says.

The Conservative Party is destroying our environment, wants to reduce funding to the arts, gives tax cuts to the rich, and they refuse to support the Kelowna Accord which was intended to improve the lives of aboriginal people.

And they don’t want to let the Canadian people know their plans, refusing to publish their platform until a week before the election. Local candidate Rick Casson told us last night, a week is plenty of time to talk about the plan, and besides, it’s basically like our previous plan anyway. He didn’t notice any changes worth mentioning. As I mentioned, tonight was THE LAST PUBLIC FORUM WITH THEM BEFORE THE ELECTION.

Why would the people of Lethbridge vote for such a callous uncaring party?

One more thing that bothers me is their desire to introduce copyright legislation that is harmful to everyday citizens making the copyright system here more like the one in the US—even though the US law is seriously out of touch. The new law would, among other things, bring into action a fine of up to $500 for copying legally purchased CD’s onto MP3 players, not to mention it would make it illegal to try and circumvent anti-copyright software, making it illegal to engage in the practise of Fair Dealing (Fair Use in the USA).

The conservatives want to remain in Afghanistan. In 2006 they made it a campaign promise to be out by 2009—I learned last night that they’re now planning to wait until at least 2012, even though the Senlis report on Canadian development in Afghanistan has stated that we are “making no headway. On the ground in Kandahar… CIDA’s efforts are non-existent.”

I could go on!

But I won’t. I’ll just hope that when Canada goes to the polls on Tuesday that we vote for the party most likely to beat out the conservatives.