Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

2011 Federal Election

Posted by auroracitizen on April 7, 2011

With the federal election looming, what are the key issues that are important to you in this election?

Who do you think will win — and why. Are you even planning to vote?

Has Harper and the Conservatives done enough to earn a majority or have the other parties presented an alternative strong enough to maintain the Conservative minority or even a swing towards the left?

Which leader do you think offers the best vision for Canada — or do any of then really inspire you?

Are you influenced by media? If not, what criteria do you consider when voting

Do you plan to vote party or will you consider your vote based on the local candidate? What would it take for a candidate to earn your vote here in the Newmarket-Aurora riding?

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165 Responses to “2011 Federal Election”

  1. Evelyn Buck said

    RTB Why would it be barbaric to remove someone who has foreited the right to live in a civilized society far enough away for the rest of their lives, the rest of us can sleep safe?
    As for the cost of custodial care,it shouldn’t be too hard to work it out.
    It is round the clock custody,three shifts and an extra one for vacations.Check out the union rate.
    Top it up with administration costs. The last but one president of the Newnarket hospital had a slary of $450Ks in the third year vefore his retuirement. His expense claim was $250K.
    How many jails are there in the country? How many Chief administrators.
    What’s the per diem cost of a hospital stay?
    In the “olden” days these figures used to be public knowledge.
    The Province shut down institutions thirty years ago in preference for “independent living” because they couldn’t control the cost.
    I heard in the news last week the number of millionaires in Canada has increased significantly. My bet is they are mostly in or retired from the public service.
    I think the reason no government has gotten into a universal child care program for working mothers is because it would be cheaper to pay mothers a salary to stay home and take care of their own children.The men making the promises don’t know what they are talking about.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      EV-BUCK–You covered a lot of ground in this post:) Union rate > would you rather have Temp Agencies handle the criminals with workers hired at minimum wage and short term contracts as they are allowed these days in most other sectors. RE-The men making the promises not know what they taking about in the universal child care program–if a man was to say the opposite he in for a battle Lol–thou i did hear female candidates making same promises– does society not already pays a lot of non-working mothers to stay home and look after their own children, it is apparently far from cheap,when you add in all the administrative costs, plus the guaranteed humanity rights of life, housings, drugs,daycare and what ever else can be found with knowing how to access the system—Not a glorious life i may add, but still beats just being paid minimized wages to raise your own kids –just a thought to your post and not to offend anyone JOHN

    • Evelyn,

      How is Siberia’s isolation any different than a maximum security prison? I personally do not think that either are barbaric, however those left of centre types tend to think that rehabilitation is better than letting someone rot in a cell until they die.

      Regarding the cost, I don’t think that you understand my argument. If you had a prison facility that housed 100 inmates but there was no one in it, how much is the cost to house 1 inmate? Obviously the cost of the building, the maintenance, supplies and the wages divided by 1! For round numbers, let’s say that cost is $1 million. So, the cost to house an inmate is $1million. If you were to house a second inmate, would the total cost be $2million? The $300K you quote probably came from a similar calculation way back when the cost was divided by the number of inmates. The real cost is the incremental increase in costs when the the inmate count goes from 1 to 2 or 99 to 100. I would like to see where $300K comes from.

      I think that the fact chief administrators of hopsitals or prisons make a lot of money has a very small impact on the overal cost of running the institution. It makes for great headlines however and is fodder for the socialist agenda.

      As a member of the public service, you should know the reality of how many of those new millionaires are from that sector. If you have any desire to become a millionaire, the public sector is not where you would go. Why is making money such a bad thing anyways? I would sugest that you investigate where those new millionaires came from and let us know how many were public sector.

      I don’t agree with your sexist argument about universal child care. I am not a fan of universal child care because I don’t want to pay for my child care as well as someone else’s. It’s bad enough that I have to pay taxes to fund pools or ice rinks or museums that I don’t use, I don’t need to pay for someone else’s babysitters. I think the majority of tax payer’s in this country have the same opinion. Universal child care would be provided at a minimum quality level. We already pay ECE’s a pittance – I can’t imagine the quality of a universal product. It is not the “Men” that make those decisions and I am offended by your sexist notion that it is.

      FUIMUS

    • Anonymous said

      To RTB
      I see your point when arguing costs.
      Remember when Rudolf Hess, Hitler’s deputy fuerher, was imprisoned by the allies in Spandau prison? For decades he was the only inmate after all the others had been released.

  2. Evelyn Buck said

    I guess we can stop pondering the merits of incarceration over other means of providing security for the populace.

    The deed is done.

    Paul Bernardo will be out soon after being kept safe in solitary confinement at $300Ks a year for how many years. At how many million dollars cost?

    • Do you really think that Bernardo will be released? I was under the impression that he was labeled as a dangerous offender and could not be released. Do you know something about this that I do not?

      Fuimus

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Bernardo was found guilty and sentenced in 1995 to life – no parole for 25 years.
      He has two first degree murder convictions and thus is not eligible for the 15 year ‘faint hope’ clause.
      The earliest that our buddy Paul might be able to drop around for coffee and a chat would be 2020 but since he’s been declared a dangerous offender I wouldn’t count on it.
      I expect he won’t be walking out when he leaves prison.

      I suppose we could have stuck a needle in his arm instead of housing him in prison but I doubt Canadians are on the whole, anxious to return the death penalty.
      Besides, our vengeful neighbours to the south have found that by the time the appeals process is exhausted, an execution actually costs more than life in prison.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      In a case like Bernardo-they use to have a old method were you pulled a lever and he gone forever–But that was to harsh for the na Sayers as prisons are now, heck of a lot cheaper thou..what was your recommend method??

    • Evelyn Buck said

      I pay average attention to issues such as this. Last week=end I heard/read of a dangerous sex offender being released from jail in Winnipeg.

      RTB says Bernardo will not be released.
      TTE doubts he’ll be walking out when he leaves prison.

      Which is it?

      Does life imprisonment really mean he never leaves prison. Or does it mean he leaves after twenty years.

      I do not support capital punishment. Because of the ever present risk the wrong person may be executed.

      But I do believe certain crimes mean a person has forfeited his right to live among the rest of us.

      Aside from the horrendous cost,being incarcerated seems to me a fate worse than death.

      If death was a choice of a confessed predator or some other procedure would render him harmless why not talk about it.

      When people diagnosed with terminal illness are seeking the right to decide, why would that choice not be provided to someone who has committed a pattern of horrendous crimes and will forever be a threat to others.

      Why would we ever again allow any man, woman or child to be at risk from such a fiend?

      What about the rights of the innocent?

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Sorry EB – by ‘not walking’ I meant he’ll have to be carried out – like in a box.

      Should monsters like Bernardo (whos insists he’s OK now by the way) be allowed to opr for the death penalty instead of life in prison?

      Interesting concept.
      A criminal opting for suicide by government.

      Suicide isn’t illegal in Canada but assisting suicide is.
      Legal scholars and would go crazy talking that one over.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Evelyn a good thought on the right to decide..but i not think many hardened criminals,killers ,sexual predictors or repeat offenders would be opting for the latter as prison has probably become a new life for them, where they can be someone special , place they feel free and somewhat home.You may get a few who are there by a misjudgment of the law or a one time moment of heated misjudgment and feel like death better option than living here, choosing for their life to end, rather than facing life in prison with the *in* crowd..Maybe making prison not such a bend over backwards resort type of place to be,might alter some of the others minds,but again they not have to worry because, somewhere ,somehow some rights group would take up the fight for them to have their humans rights up held even thou they not show any humanity to others or their family..Now im rambling as usual,

    • I am sure this is on Wikipedia somewhere but I went with a more credible resource…

      In September 95 Bernardo was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for 25 years. In November 95 Bernardo was declared a dangerous offender, which essentially means that he’ll be in prison until he dies.

      http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2010/06/16/f-bernardo-homolka-timeline.html

      Fuimus

    • Evelyn Buck said

      O.K. What about the dangerous sex offender who left prison in Winnipeg last week-end.

      I didn’t imagine that.

      What about the $300Ks a year it costs to keep them in jail and safe.

      If jail is such a cosy place to be, why don’t we talk about that.

      Why does it cost that much?

      Why don’t we send them to Canadian Siberia and make it less pleasant for them to be incarcerated …if that is even true.

      Should we talk about the average age of people who run afoul of the law. The disproportionate number of native Canadians who are incarcerated.

      About the numbers of young males in the Newmarket court house any day of the week.

      What’s that really about?

      Are they just ready fodder for the machinery of justice?

      Like they are in a war?

      I could go on and on with the signs we are not doing right by a whole class of young people.

      But for now, I’ll be content with the answer to how a dangerous offender walked out of a jail in Winnipeg last week, when everybody here is telling me that’s not possible.

      Karla Homulka is out there enjoying life, unlike her little sister.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      EB

      At the risk of going in circles – here is a bit of clarification.

      Excerpts from the Winnipeg Free Press story

      “Police issued a public notice Friday morning, warning the public that a convicted sex offender is being released from Stony Mountain Institution and poses a serious threat to women.

      Police said Koltusky, 26, who was previously known as Kevin Scott Steppan, is expected to live in Winnipeg.

      Koltusky has previous convictions for sexual assault with a weapon as well as many other criminal offences. Although Koltusky participated in sex-offender treatment programs while in prison, he is still considered a high risk to re-offend.”

      “Manitoba Justice had originally sought to have Koltusky declared a dangerous offender but provincial court Judge Linda Giesbrecht rejected that move in February 2010, saying he deserved another chance to turn his life around.”

      In short, he is thought to be a danger to the public but hasn’t legally been declared a dangerous offender like Bernardo has.

      Application and determination of Dangerous Offender status is a long and convoluted process.

      ” a dangerous offender may be subjected to an indeterminate prison sentence”

      Regular reviews are held and parole (after 25 years in Bernardo’s case) is theoretically possible but not likely.

      I’ll be interested to see what changes to the justice system the Harper government may be planning – besides the new prisons.

    • Evelyn,
      Just to respond to couple of your questions – my opinions only….

      What about the $300Ks a year it costs to keep them in jail and safe.

      If jail is such a cosy place to be, why don’t we talk about that.

      Why does it cost that much?

      I’d really like to know why people say that it costs that much, I don’t beleive it. This is one of those numbers that are thrown around by govenment types at all levels. They look at the cost to provide a service, divide by the users of said service and come up with a figure. However, the total cost does not increase by $300K for each new inmate, nor does it go down when someone is released. In fact, if every inmate was released, there is still a cost to maintain the facility and pay the staff – in case someone was put in to the jail. So, until governments provide honest costings, this argument is moot.

      Why don’t we send them to Canadian Siberia and make it less pleasant for them to be incarcerated …if that is even true.

      It is true, I work with a former citizen of the USSR. However, we don’t do that because the left of centre politians would not allow us to become that barbaric.

      Are you saying that law enforcement targets certain groups (young men, natives)? Or do we have a fundamental problem in those communities to be addressed?

      I know that the problems with youth will not be solved by “The Hot Spot” or “Youth Centres”. The problems begin in the home – and that is where it must be addressed.

      FUIMUS

    • Darryl Moore said

      Hello RTB, as a big supporter of youth programs in general there is one statement in your post I would like to address.

      “I know that the problems with youth will not be solved by “The Hot Spot” or “Youth Centres”. The problems begin in the home – and that is where it must be addressed.”

      Do programs such as Hot Spot, and youth centres not at least partially address problems in the home?

      Giving kids safe places to congregate, where those with more troubled home lives can go to experience some positive adult and peer influences can do a tremendous amount of good. That makes them a good community investment in my book.

    • Darryl,

      I don’t subscribe to the theory “If you build it they will come” when it is applied to youth centers, perhaps because I am not reading from your book.

      Does your book include any metrics for the level of success (partial or not) these programs have with the “problems in the home” that you outline? Metrics for York region would be more applicable than say some generic U.S. based study.

      The Youth Needs study that past council paid over $50,000 for (and waited until their term was over before addressing) should be a good read. Do you know what was recommended there?

      Regardless I have to agree with RTB on this one.

      The “something is better than nothing” mantra begot our town the insane, and hardly safe “traffic calming” solution, it is likely to be equally effective if applied to addressing the needs of youth in our community.

    • Darryl,

      Hot Spots and youth programs might address problems at home IF the problems were, as you state “troubled home lives”. Yes, they will have a place to go and interact with peers.

      I think however, the youth problems we have are not because of “troubled home lives” but rather lack of a structured home life at all. We live in a world now where youth have a sense of entitlement. They think that whatever they want, their parents will buy them. Turn 16, get a car. Need a 50″ TV in their bedroom. The parents give them what they want to keep them pacified and keep them out of the parents hair. If the kids are happy (in their parents minds) then they are out of trouble. Their need for bigger “kicks” start them down the road of undesirable activities. How many times have you heard a parent say they did not know who their kids’ friends were? Or they did not know that they were taking drugs?

      The Hot Spot is not something that will help these kids – they don’t even go to something like that. Parents need to take responsibility and to engage their children.

      FUIMUS

    • Anonymous said

      To Darryl Moore
      I agree with RTB and Christopher Watts on this one but then the state of parenting and youth are whole other topics.

  3. Evelyn Buck said

    T.T.E.
    I missed the agenda program.I’m sure it was well grounded. It interests me that no-one talks about the obvious punishment of castration for pedophiles.Or lobotomy for violent criminls?
    I have but the scantiest impression that these processes might make a dangerous person harmless. Why are they never mentioned?
    The government, at one time, decided it was quite acceptable to sterilise girls because of perceived mental incompetence.
    Why is it never talked about for dangerous offenders of the other sex?
    And why are people responsible for giving “sloppy evidence” that put grieving parents in jail for murdering their infants, why are they not charged with criminal negligence causing grievous harm’ instead of simply retiring and collecting their pension?
    Why are we only talking about this during an election?
    “All levels of government should be involved” Yes they should .Provincial and municipal governments would see a massive penitentiary as an economic boost. High paying jobs and all that.
    I cannot imagine that life in a jail cell could do anything but de-humanise a person.I think being a jail guard and spending an entire career in a jail, might have that effect as well.
    Is it feasible that a person guilty of the crime charged and receiving a life sentence and having nowhere to go that will accept him on release, might opt for a different result.
    Should they have a choice?
    Life that is too terrible to contemplate or the alternative? Life is not sweet, no matter what.
    People diagnosed with terminal illness are seeking choice. Why not someone who has committed a crime that can never be excused?
    I don’t think anything should be off the table in the discussion.
    It’s not about money.
    It’s about what kind of society do we wish for our children.
    All of our children.
    Including the ones who are at risk of becoming inhuman monsters.
    What kind of a job are public agencies doing in rescuing children at risk?
    How often is a blind eye turned on something obviously terribly wrong?
    How many different ways can a child be denied a safe secure childhood not just free of abuse and neglect but with a reasonable share of the right to self-esteem.

    • Anonymous said

      My understanding is that chemical castration has been used in experiments on pedophiles but without a satisfactory outcome. The reason is that, although you can make the ped’s “equipment” none functional from a physical perspective, it does nothing to quell the sexual desire for children as that is initiated and processed in the cortex. There are many ways to molest or rape a child without functioning “equipment.” Hence the unsatisfactory results of the experiments.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Evelyn–Ever think some grieving parents might get off and still be guilty because of the sloppy evidence you refer to( yes that DR should be in jail)-I agree our system is not perfect as sometimes one persons option is allowed to affect many lives, whether it be one judge,one doctor, one C.A.S worker,one eye wittiness,one police officer,i think you get the picture.We tend to put full trust in ones authority,yet when it is exposed, do are utmost to hide it under the table ?? ..Are you *now* saying that replacing outdated jails with modern ones, just may be worth the money ,mo-matter the cost- re (its not about the money)

  4. I was reading The Auroran this week and few things got my attention.
    This is to emphasize how misleading the advertising can be.
    So if I was a simple Joe from the street, after reading the Liberal ad, who would be my pick?

    This is in reference to the Liberal ad on the page 9 of The Auroran:

    A very simple comparison of Liberal Priorities to Conservative Priorities

    Libral priorities by Librals:

    1] Health care you can count on.
    Anna: Tells me nothing what the Libreal Health Care plan is. Where do I go to find out more, no address to contact Kyle and not even web site address noted in this ad.
    Joe: Aha, sounds great.

    2] Family Care: $1 billion of support for those caring for sick loved ones at home.
    Anna: Okay, fine, what does this translates to per family, how about if it is not enough. Vague statement again, and where do I go to find out.
    Joe: Sounds great.

    3] Learning Passport: $4000/student direct financial support to families for higher education.
    Anna: Sounds great, but with this disturbing news (see link below), kids will not be able to get into the higher education because of the marks, and not just financial reasons.
    http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/familyhealth/article/980105–kids-average-40-hours-a-week-in-front-of-tv-computer
    The smart ones usually get away with scholarships. And this is not the only thing that will affect the future education, corruption in schools, un-educated teachers; iphones, internet, mp3, ipods – excess use will not get us anywhere.
    Joe: I don’t have any kids, but sounds great.

    4] Secure Retirement Option to help Canadian save.
    Anna: I don’t understand this statement. Little to vague for me.
    Joe: Sounds great.

    5] Green Renovation Tax Credit, up to $13,000/home.
    Anna : And how much do I have to spend to get that much money back.
    Joe: $13,000 in my pocket sounds great.

    Now lets see what Librals wrote about the Conservatives, and what this means to the average Joe.

    1] American style private-for-profit healthcare.
    Anna : Why do we have to compare to American style healthcare system. I am sure there are other private healthcare systems in the world. If it wasn’t private, then how would it survive if there was no profit. Free things tend to be more abused, so once we have to pay for them, we will appreciate it more, and those in real need will be look after first. ‘Privatization’ can go really wrong if not defined strategically, just like the eHealth (and who was looking after this one).
    Joe: Oh, I will have to pay money when I get sick. No good.

    2] $6 billion per year in tax cuts for the largest corporations.
    Anna : Okay, this one I will not even elaborate about. Some individuals see only the fat cheque the CEO gets, and complain about that, but we don’t see what kind of things are really going on behind the scenes. The tax cuts may be also so the corporation keep their employees employed during tough times too. Sometimes corporations have to keep people on the payroll just so they don’t loose the trained skilled work force. There are too many factors to elaborate on here ….
    Joe: Okay, if Librals say no good, then it is no good.

    3] $10-13 billions for U.S.-style mega-prisons.
    Anna: Why U.S. again? What do you guys want the Conservatives to do, build cages. I think there are lot of good points in this Comment thread that supports the though on crime strategy, which I will not elaborate further.
    Joe: No good.

    4] $30 billion on stealth fighter jets.
    Anna: Yes, libral said will cancel this one, and then what – order cannon balls. Its okay for all of us to own the latest technology ipods, iphones, etc, but it is not okay to use the fighter jets latest technology. The current equipment is not getting any younger. I see it as proactive approach.
    Joe: No definitely no good.

    5] $1 billion wasted on the G8/G20 summit photo op.
    Anna: I don’t understand what photo op means, and probably Joe is thinking the same, lol. Well, may be it was too much, but the riots going on in Toronto I saw, wasn’t nice thing to see, especially when we bring the world leaders to our country. Now, nothing happened, but then if it did – then what? I think it was a legit approach.
    Joe: Yes that was a waste of money. Where is the Libral address contact information so I can get in touch with them to talk more. Oh, there is none.

    I hope everyone sees my point. So please for those who read those ads, before you vote, study it carefully. Make a right choice.

    As of Joe, I used to be one, but not until I learn more.

    This time I cannot give credit for Kyle Peterson for this type of ad. I would if he at least defined his priorities clearly, but he seems to be more clear on the Conservatives priorities.

    Anna 🙂

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Great job of summing up Anna!
      Liberal platform is long on “warm and fuzzy” but woefully short of details.

    • Broderick Epps said

      Great Job Anna.Sums up the Liberal Platform and their lemmings perfectly. Just received a dark brochure saying vote to save Healthcare from Kyle Peterson. It talks about Harper cutting Healthcare and the potential for private Healthcare in horrors Ontario. As I have said before I do not follow the Liberal or media BS that equates private healthcare with the Tories, especially from a Liberal.Kyle is being dishonest to not believe private healthcare is not available in Canada. Google Liberal Bagman Lorne Paperny’s Canada Diagnostic Imaging and book yourself a CATSCAN or MRI for Sunday in Calgary. Or BC or Nova Scotia or Quebec.Heck Kyle even Paul Martin while spouting the same BS as Liberal Leader had his medical needs attended to at a PRIVATE HEALTHCARE CLINIC. Lets face reality some provinces already allow private healthcare.Scaremongering that this might come to Ontario under Harper is absolutely disingenuous at best.

  5. Evelyn Buck said

    Tim The Enchanter
    I have not heard pf Mr. Bedford and his crimes.
    Are we to understand he sexually assaulted victims world-wide.If the computer made that crime possible, how will a jail cell prevent it? If it is wiring that compels him to behave that way,can we not cut the wiring,like a time bomb?

    I do not agree Paul Bernardo should ever be let loose on an unsuspecting neighbourhood.Nor should Hormulka be out there now enjoying the life she took from others.
    On these points, short of execution, I am prepared to consider anything that would render such a person harmless.
    Then I think of two parents recently released from prison for killing their newborns.

    Shaken Baby syndrome the public official said it was. But it wasn’t.
    Two separate, mother and father, along with the grief of losing a child were accused, prosecuted and found guilty of killing their own child “on the sloppy evidence” of a public official.

    Wasn’t Bernardo let slip as the Scarborough Rapist before he tortured and killed two other young victims.

    Didn’t a mother lock her daughter, one of the victims, out of the house because she came home late?

    No, I am not content that a jail cell and solitary confinement costing $300.Ks a year and being set free after having “paid his debt” to society is the answer.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Evelyn

      Did you manage to catch The Agenda on TVO Wednesday?
      The full hour was devoted to the crime issue – the Conservative crime bill being the focus.
      Good panel of people from the corrections, government and victims rights fields.
      Lots of valid discussion about what is a very complex issue.
      The Conservative prison program is but one facet.
      The unamimous feeling was that much more needs to be done at all levels of government – not just in Ottawa.

      A good point was made that sentences often don’t take into account the amount of rehabilitation necessary.
      Apparently, an inmate’s refusal to take part in rehab programs does not necessarily adversely affect a parole application.

      Another point was made that many of our federal institutions are 19th century designs based on
      19th century theories about punishment and rehabilitation.
      Leading edge 100 years ago but not suited to today’s criminal demographic.

      But back to Mr. Bedford.
      He is a pedophile. He is considered to be a public danger.
      He was not released because he’s “all better now”.
      He was released because the judge said 3 years – and he declined parole and served the full 3 years.
      BTW – the light 3 year sentence was the result of a plea deal.
      His crimes were extensive and involved victims around the world so the Crown estimated an expensive trial lasting perhaps 2 years.
      Essentially he got off light to save money.
      He is free and clear.
      Why is he not in prison until he is “all better”?
      Perhaps like Bernardo or Olson – he never will be.

      And frankly, I fail to see the logic in the argument that since keeping people in prison is expensive and doesn’t work sometimes – why bother.

      At least one of Bedford’s young victims has attempted suicide – more than once.
      Personal suffering aside, how much is the cost in medical bills and social services that she will quite possibly need for the rest of her life?
      If this unfortunate girl never recovers how much will a lifetime of welfare and disability payments cost?
      And there were over 40 victims – that we know of.

      Victim’s rights activist Priscilla de Villiers, mother a murder victim, when the issue of cost was raised made a great point that while opponents complain that the Conservative plan is estimated to cost $6B, the cost of crime in Canada is estimated to be $100B – yes that’s correct – $100B

      As for Mr.Bedford?

      “If the computer made that crime possible, how will a jail cell prevent it?”

      Simple. Inmates don’t have internet access.
      Now, instead of getting help, if indeed he can be helped – he’s on the street where getting internet access is as easy as getting a cup of coffee.

      Maybe the corrections staff, the police and the psychiatrists are all wrong and he won’t re-offend.

      But hey – never mind that – think of all of the money we’re saving!

  6. Evelyn Buck said

    Tim The Enchanter
    It seems you just made my argument…which is…when was the last time the merits of incarceration was challenged as a solution to crime…particularly in sexual crime. Is there nothing else that would render them harmless forever?
    Incarceration seems not to be the answer.
    Susan Nelles was a person charged with murders of infants in her care.Her family had the resources to defend her but from what I heard, the aftermath was horrendous.
    What about numbers in jail because of not having the resources to defend themselves?
    Are sloppy police work and lazy prosecutions the reason the wrong people were charged or set free?
    I don’t believe Paul Bernardo should ever be free to repeat his horrifying crimes. But I think spending more than a hundred thousand dollars a year to keep him in jail, is more of a penalty to society than it is to him.
    So what, short of execution, is the answer?
    We have two thousand police officers in YOrk Region , That’s twice the number it was twenty years ago.
    Do we have less crime? More crimes solved? More people in jail? How do we measure? What impact does the economy have on crime? Are people who have nothing more inclined to steal?
    Here’s a good one. Countries like the U.K. keep criminal records. Having a criminal record means ineligibility to emigrate to Canada. What about countries that don’t keep criminal records. Their solution to crime might be to get rid of criminals to countries like Canada.
    Is anybody under the illusion we are not importing criminals? Has anybody with a credit card not had it tampered with? Do the banks prefer to say nothing than report it to the police? Do we not all pay? Like in shoplifting?

  7. Evelyn Buck said

    Christine Jessop …Guy Paul Morin; found not guilty of murder, Crown appealed. Flawed evidence presented. Found guilty. Spent seven years in jail for murdering a little neighbour child. Ultimately cleared of the murder.
    What compensation could ever make up for a deliberate and contrived injustice by the authorities.
    Is anyone safe from accusation, prosecution and finding of guilt?
    The Prime Minister’s reason for building more jails is to keep people safe.
    Safe from their own government and its system of justice?
    How exactly do jails accomplish that.
    Jessica’s murderer was never apprehended.
    The prospect a person in authority who contemplates incarceration of a greater percentage of the population after crimes have been committed.as a guarantee of safety,
    causes me only apprehension, Mr. Sargent.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      Christine’s murderer was never apprehended though other more horrifying evidence was produced in the final trial.
      We spend billions on the fallacy of risk.
      Yet our security rests on the fact we are a law-abiding society.Nothing done by government improves upon that. A promise to put more people behind bars is nothing more than fear-mongering at its most primitive.
      Shame! Shame! on our current Prime MInister.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Sorry Councillor

      I’m having trouble making the connection between Guy Paul Morin and building more Federal prisons.

      The Jessop-Morin case, like the David Milgaard case, simply showed that our justice system messes up on occasion and we must be ever-vigilant against sloppy police work and lazy prosecutions.
      It also proved that although some, like Paul Bernardo, deserve the death penalty, it’s just not worth the risk of getting it wrong.

      None of this has anything to do with the number of prisons cells we have.

      It doesn’t even have anything to do with crime rates.

      What it does relate to is the fact that in our correction system, sentences of two years or less are served in provincial institutions, longer sentences are served in federal facilities.

      Meaning?

      Meaning that if the Conservatives follow through with promises to get tougher on serious and violent crime there will be more inmates spending longer sentences in the federal system – hence the need for more prison space.

      They’re doing it because many Canadians are not happy when they read these kind of news stories:

      TORONTO — After serving every day of his three-year sentence, one of Canada’s most prolific Internet sex predators will be a free man today.

      Mark Gary Bedford, 26, is scheduled to be released from the federal pen right back to his parents’ Kingston home — where the cunning loner spent hours on his computer in the basement, luring and then blackmailing more than 40 young girls around the world into performing sexual acts for his perverse enjoyment.
      Considered too high risk to be released early on parole, the con man has now completed the sentence he won in a plea deal.

      The Cons have already nixed the ‘2 for 1’ discount for pre-trial custody.
      I would expect to see them introduce tougher sentencing guidelines.
      Look for more ‘consecutive’ vs ‘concurrent’ sentences perhaps even ‘life without parole’.
      I wouldn’t be surprised to see the unwieldy and cumbersome ‘dangerous offender’ process streamlined.

      Not all criminals are a lost cause and substance abuse programs, employment training schemes and other rehab initiatives shouldn’t be discarded but there are some truly bad people out there.
      Yes – the Cons want to axe the prison farm program which sounds counter-productive but then again perhaps eligible inmates might be better off learning a more marketable trade other than farming.

      Are longer sentences a deterrent?
      Maybe, maybe not.
      However, some offenders are sexual predators and always will be.
      Some are violent and always will be.
      How does releasing criminals and then warning us about how dangerous they are serve the public interest?
      You can argue all you want about why they turned out that way – bad parenting or whatever – but the fact is they cannot walk amongst us and we need a place to keep them.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Youth offenders act as it stands keeps most youth out of jails ,how has that worked?(youth are committing more serious ones). Our society limits a lot of justice been dealt with -no matter who is in power at the time.. Mrs Buck I have not heard how you or the Liberals plan to handle those who commit crimes, will you take them into your home to try and set them on the straight and narrow ? work camps,buy them a Island somewhere,give them free homes with wages above the poverty line, rather than jail, because how else will you stop them ?.. Look what happened in our own Town of Aurora by the majority of our elected officials,with the help of some town staff along with a hired third party commissioner which led to charges laid against some town residents who apparently spoke out,now that causes me only apprehension..Is anyone safe from accusation,prosecution and or the finding of guilty from any government local or otherwise ,no matter what colors are flying on the hill..What is political correct these days

    • Broderick Epps said

      You do that Darryl and check with your Jewish friends. I’ll check with my native friends to see about the drinking issue….WTF they are both bad.Maybe I’ll check to see if Archie Bunker can rule on this. He had Jewish,Black,Gay et al friends.
      We cannot place rankings on downright wrong musings. My continual theme is the media cannot be trusted to portay a fair and balanced view of what goes on.Especially when indescretions by ie Liberals/NDP are hushed up and snippets of Tory wrongdoings are blown up to monumental proportions.In my book a F@@@ up is a F@@@ up regardless of political stripe.Too bad the media can’t report it that way. Hence why I would like to vote Rhinocerus this election or not at all.

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      I don’t see the role of prisons as being effective in reducing crime. If those who run the justice system were interested in rehabilitation, therapy, job training or instilling a sense of social belonging (this is starting to sound like a prison farm, isn’t it?) in convicted criminals, I guess I’d think that was money well spent.

      More buildings just seem like more places to warehouse lost lives.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Elizabeth

      It is true – and my first post said so – that our prisons need to offer the tools and programs to help some offenders re-enter society. No doubt many suffer from substance abuse, mental illness or just simply got caught up in the wrong crowd. Probably some of these people are more of a public nuisance than a danger.
      Fine. Let’s help them straighten out.

      But prisons are also our storage warehouses for those that can’t or won’t get along with the rest of us. This is the sad fact that is always missing from the arguments of the liberal left.

      Sexual predators – and I mean the ones that are hard-wired that way – are a good example. If their particular taste happens to be children that’s what they do – prey upon kids. They will today, next month , next year or twenty years from now.

      Group therapy and a welding course accomplish nothing with some offenders.
      Sexual assault is what they do.
      Smuggling drugs or people is what they do.
      Killing for hire is what they do.
      When they leave prison they go back to what they do.

      They can’t be back on the street.Ever.

      And if you think that’s a bad idea because it’ll be ‘too costly’ or ‘mean-spirited’ then I suggest you think about the victims.
      Many are traumatized for life and need years of therapy.
      Some never get over it and dull the pain with booze or drugs.
      Some never recover – they lose their jobs – marriages and families are destroyed.
      Some take their own lives.

      Mark Gary Bedford – the predator I mentioned did a “Holmolka” and served his full sentence by choice.
      He is free – no parole. No mandated follow-ups.
      Nothing.

      But those of you with kids needn’t worry – he is prohibited from contacting children on the internet. Unless of course you don’t think a predator with over 40 victims worldwide can be trusted.

      If expansion of our federal prisons means there’ll be a spot for Mr. Bedford then I’m all for it.

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      According to the Toronto Star, the Conservatives plan to add an extra 4189 extra cells in the federally-managed prison system. In that system, it costs in excess of $300K per year to house a woman in jail and in excess of $250K per year to house a man.

      That’s the system that has held Mark Gary Bedford for the last three quartes of a million dollars and did nothing to change him.

      It is time to change the system.

      I’m not in favour of being “sweet” or “friendly” to convicted criminals while they are in the justice system. I am in favour of treating them like humans who need help. For amounts in excess of $200K a year per prisoner, I expect to have their mental illnesses diagnosed and treated with therapy, I expect them to be scrutinized, understood, analyzed and given some way of making a change in their lives.

      You can have another 4000 people put in the big house with the Conservatives’ build more rooms program, but you won’t solve any of their problems.

      I don’t object to a “get tough with crime” agenda. I do object to the smoke and mirrors approach of building more jails in the guise of effectively managing the problem.

    • Wisely said

      Getting “Tough” on crime is what the republicans have been doing for years. The US has by far the largest proportional incarceration rate of any (reporting) nation on earth.

      It hasn’t done a thing to reduce crime. There are numerous reports showing that this “tough” on crime stance does not work – and Harper wants to put hundreds of millions into a failed program. That’s what we can expect of Harper and co.

  8. Evelyn Buck said

    Anna,
    we are all shaped by our experience. It took me a while to sort out political parties in Canada. The N.D.P.didn’t exist and the C.C.F. was unfamiliar.
    Liberals and Conservatives seemed to have a similar bent.
    Politicians are neither worse nor better than the average human.
    What shapes them is how they rise to the challenge.

    What commends them is their performance.

    Ignatieff has not had the opportunity.

    Layton had many effective years in municipal politics.When I was a candidate, Ed Broadbent was the NDP Leader. He was most popular of three leaders.He brought the NDP forward but for some reason after the election or during, the heart went out of him and he resigned his leadership.
    Harper’s performance and priorities disturb me.
    In the end ,I have to vote on a series of pluses and minuses and hope and trust in the the best there is.
    I am very aware of people’s needs. That not everyone has the same resources; physical/ psychological or financial/educational.
    I believe the measure of a society is how we care for those in greatest need.
    I don’t believe building more jails and paying exorbitant costs of keeping more people behind bars is the best way of dealing with all of those who run afoul of the law. Mostly the young. Some not guilty.
    I think if we all took more than a passing interest in the decisions governments make, we could have an influence, quite apart from party allegiance.
    The social media may be the first instrument for change since democracy became the philosophy if not the reality of western society.
    So, though I will vote Liberal, I will hedge my bet with ongoing influence of the social media.
    As I do now.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      SO E Buck are you saying you are still voting Liberal even thou their leader Eggy may not be ready or have the experience to running Canada….if so thank-you for been open-minded and honest 🙂

    • Broderick Epps said

      Can you imagine the headline in the Toronto Star and Globe & Mail if this was a Tory ?
      Not to mention the backlash on the forums.
      http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/04/22/candidate-trips-over-tongue

    • Actually no I can’t ’cause I don’t see the issue here. I will check with some of my Jewish friends though just in case I’m wrong. The guy made a somewhat amusing pun. If this qualifies as being disrespectful of their religion then all of Christendom should be up in arms against Santa Clause. I looked at what I could access on the Facebook page. The guy’s wall is not even accessible, so the comment was only read by his ‘friends’ and judging from the Easter and christian pictures that are accessible the person taking offence is not even Jewish. If there is one thing I hate it is someone presuming to be offended on behalf of another.

      Now compare the comment you reference which simply makes a pun of a month from the jewish calendar and a brand of automobile, and these two statements uttered by Tory candidates in the last election. One implies that immigrants are responsible for a majority of crime, and the other suggests aboriginals are all drunks. See the difference?

      I would agree that one should be careful telling this pun in public for obvious reasons, (especially a politician) but then the facebook page he said it on was was NOT public. The two comments made by Tory candidates on the other hand, I would suggest should not even be said in most private settings and they were made quite public. Go figure.

    • Evelyn, no doubt that you bring good points on the table.
      I hope that everyone in Canada will due diligence, and votes not based on the ads or snippets of information that flooded the media.

      Just wanted to add one think to everyone else who supports the tough on crime current Conservative strategy and express their opinions, the population is growing, the crime rate may be the same per population, but larger per head count.
      We need to think proactively, because to build a jail in a last minute when needed, may be very costly. Different crimes are on the rise.

      Message to all parties, we need to invest in our children, because this is where it all starts.

      Anna 🙂

  9. veritas said

    I listened to a very interesting segment on “The Current” on CBC radio the other day. It was about a controversial experiment that took place in a California highschool in 1967.
    One of the students at the time has now made a documentary about it. If you can get your hands on it, view it; or go to CBC archives and listen to the interviews.
    It has particular relevance now, I think, as I watch and listen to politics nowadays.

  10. Grace Marsh said

    Please note: There is a debate TONIGHT at the Aurora Town Hall. All candidates have been invited to participate, and the majority have accepted. Meet and Greet time with the candidates will start around 6:45 and the questions and debate at 7:30. There will be time for audience questions as well.

    Unfortunately the ad in the Auroran has it down for next Wednesday, which is an error. It will be moderated by Alison Collins-Mrakas and panel members include Evelyn Buck, Christopher Watts, Brock Weir and myself.

    I hope to see as many of you tonight as possible.

    • Vanessa said

      Thank you very much for your questions tonight, Grace and for helping to host the All Candidates Meeting.

      It was an honour to be included.

      –Vanessa

  11. I browsed through your website Darryl Moore and as far as I am concerned the Green Party should have been on the debate rather than the separatist party. But until the party wins a seat well… that’s the way it goes.

    Furthermore, I am a patriotic Canadian and like my immigrant parents I am, was, an entrepreneur who believed in individuality and competition to succeed. Not a hand out. I have been broke several times in my life with businees ventures, but never collected unemployment or received any assistance. Now I am an unpublished author. But a UK company — Panmacmillan — expressed interest in my second historical fiction attempt. The reason I mention this is, because I am in the arts and do not complain about Stephen Harper and the Conservative government like some in Quebec and other areas. I have been a performance art poet, screenwriter, and actor (even with worked with Morgan Freeman) and still I did not wail about the industry when I didn’t get the auditions or parts or sold my scripts. Nor did I line up to get on the dole.

    Of course, there are those who need assistance. But when I lived with hard working immigrants who believed in trying to fend for oneself to envision the possibilties, and not cry about getting a job or relying on the government, I understood freedom and liberty that they didn’t have as forced labour parents.

    Perhaps one of the reasons this country set a record in Winter Olympics — 14 Gold medals — is because Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Conservative government supported athletes etc… our PM was there cheering. Maybe that was ebough motivation to go for it.

    I respect all those who give it all, especially our SOLDIERS.

  12. Evelyn Buck said

    ” I would vote for democracy, but we have democracy in Canada – we have choice to vote, and I don’t know how far that can be enhanced for now”

    I read your thoughtful well articulated comments with interest. I would take issue with none except for the above excerpt.

    It is my intuition, prompted by his actions, that gives me serious concern about the current prime minister’s suitability for the job.

    “Politics is the art of the possible”

    Astute politicians would liken it to the sport of log-rolling. The trick is to stay aloft despite the instability of the foothold.

    It is a common misperspection there are no principles in politics.

    This prime minister’s willingness to sacrifice democratic principles for personal ambition is all too apparent.

    Prorogue to spare him “the bickering of Parliament” and a possible vote of lost confidence was not for the general good.It was a cold and calculated act.

    It was a denial of principle.

    We talk a lot about the value of democracy.

    We don’t always understand how fragile it is, how easily abused and how important for every voice to be raised in its defence.

    Here in Aurora, we should know it better than anywhere.

    • I might have made an error in my reply to Evelyn Buck’s reply. It seems that often I am somewhat dyslexic on a computer, yet it looks correct. On the forums I am a member of one can edit.

      The spelling error was “misconstrued” in “dear misconstrued Evelyn Buck”.

      To mistake the meaning of; misinterpret.

      Synonyms:

      alter, angle, belie, bend, bias, buckle, change, collapse, color, con, contort, crush, curve, deceive, decline, deteriorate, deviate, disfigure, doctor*, fake, fudge, garble, gnarl, knot, lie, make out like, mangle, melt, misconstrue, misinterpret, misrepresent, misshape, pervert, phony up, put one on, sag, scam*, slant, slump, snow*, torture, trump up, twist, warp, whitewash, wind, wrench, writhe

    • Evelyn, thank you for your response again. I enjoy your comments as well, and again they seem to lead always towards further discussion. As you already may know my choice is mainly based on the technicality and deliverance, and I guess I say very little about the democracy. You obviously have tons of experience in politics, and if I start talking about democracy or politics in general, I will get myself in trouble, but you know I am willing to take a shot. Please be easy on me:).

      Learning about democracy, education and taking responsibility for your own action starts at home with my family. Even a child when is growing up is provided most of the time of what she/he needs and not what she/he wants. They must learn about discipline, respect and authority. When they are older and mature they are given more freedom and can make choices by themselves.

      When Stephen Harper was elected he started to see flaws, wastes and abuse in the system (same what I saw), thus the cancelled programs or more strict rules. Let us look at business for example. I will not go into details, but being in the work force in the research/engineering/manufacturing I was amazed how much abuse was going on, how much priority some companies got over the others in funding and tax credits just because someone knew so and so.

      Now days people are just like children – they need to learn how to respect the systems given and use it appropriately, and Harper was given this authority to overlook the system. As I see, Harper is doing his job. If he is not approachable, it does not bother me. If you familiar with Ying Yang symbol, it is a circle of opposites. If you look closely the white area has black circle, and the black area has the white circle. This means that white is not perfect white, and black is not perfect black; they are grey areas and imperfections everywhere. Harper may not be a perfect leader, but he is better at managing systems, and that is what we need for time being in my opinion. The opposition is great because creates momentum for the system to roll, but if opposition’s agenda is to bring the Conservative government down, the system gets broken. Not giving government enough time, and flip flapping between governments creates instability in the system.

      I don’t attach myself to the leaders of the country – I choose them by voting, and I want them to do the job, to give us what we need and sometimes not what we want. Leaders will not live next door; nor will I never meet them. Leaders come and go. On the end we as family units or individuals must continue to live regardless who the leader is; we must take responsibility for our actions, we must think about the future of our families – be proactive.

      The bad economy did and does not affect me, because we saved for the hard times. We cannot have everything during recession, but because we were prepared, and knew how to use government resources we were and are okay. The TFSA is a great tool that was given to us. It does not only promote the Tax Free attribute, but promotes saving money habit and having available when we needed.
      – We are the root cause of many problems in the system and often driven by the greed.
      – If were not greedy, then those in real need would benefit more.
      – If the family unit falls apart because we don’t look after and nurture it, it is a beginning of chain reaction everything higher eventually will be affected all the way up to the federal government.
      – Even those in need are becoming corrupted: smoking, alcohol, junk food – all these things cost money and they destroy us.

      Evelyn don’t get me wrong, I think democracy is important, but when there are flaws in the system, we need to manage that first closely. Once we are done and develop a good system, then next term, we people, can look on other missing attributes.

      I know you don’t like what Harper says or does, like bickering or prorogue. To me they are just words; and actions he took that may have been necessary. You think Michael Ignatieff is any better? The other night, I don’t know if this is democracy or what, but indulging on the oyster in front of the national television does not seem very appropriate when there are people who do not have food on the table. He hugs his supporters ‘Soprano’ style – you take care of me and I will take care of you. He is showing a democratic favouritism, and Librals demonstrated that in a sponsorship scandal. How about coalition he tried to form with other parties, for the benefit of being leader? I think it broke, because all of them wanted to be leaders, they just couldn’t agree :).

      Ignatieff? Not this time.

      Now, since NDPs is starting to roll into the campaign – I would like to add few words. Jack Layton needs to take care of himself first, before he can lead his party or the country. If he is not healthy after stress he has endured during this campaign, his promises will not be fulfilled. And I wish that he does not fulfill this promise about abortion – giving woman’s a choice. What choice, to discard a life they created. Even if it is not by woman’s choice, I think we still should respect the ‘life’. Why can’t we give a ‘life’ choice to live? There are families the travel thousands miles to adopt and spend thousands of monies – that is a better choice. To give support in those nine months of stressful life – that is better choice. To empower woman – that is a better choice. This procedure should only be performed if endangers individuals life. This is my $1 on this take, not sure if it was necessary here Evelyn, but I needed to vent.

      Lastly,

      Evelyn, I lived under Communism, Marshall Law and Solidarity when I was child and teenager – trust me democracy in Canada is a treat for me.

      I don’t know if this came out right or wrong. I may get in trouble of what I said; this is truly my take on this campaign and what I think. I am influenced by past experiences – someone who believes in a family unit and who worked for everything I got. I gave up my career for many years now to raise a child – it’s the most beautiful thing I ever experienced. So to conclude ‘democracy’ starts at home, and sometimes it’s given based on how much is needed and not how much is wanted.

      Hope you can see where I am coming from. Sorry for a long reply.

      Anna

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      “…trust me democracy in Canada is a treat for me.”

      “I may get in trouble of what I said; this is truly my take on this campaign and what I think.”

      Political discussion is a right, not a treat. Many of us enjoy the contributions Anna makes to the blogs in Aurora. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects each and every one of us and gives us the power to use our voices.

      I may not agree with what you say, but I support your right to say it and I won’t vote for anyone who wants to restrict your right to voice your opinion.

    • Elizabeth fair enough. Well said.
      Thank you.

      Anna 🙂

  13. Fascinating what the other three parties complain about and promise they will change. They say their administrations could do better than the Conservative Party… for example…

    They try to make health care a federal issue. But this is the province responsibility. The provincial governments receive transfer payments to equalize. But Ontario Premier complains it’s not enough. Sure if one spends money ridiculously for eHealth. Some provincial leaders and federal opposition party leaders want Alberta and Saskatchewan to pay for their incompetent spendthrift ways.

    Education is another provincial responsibility. The teachers’ unions have money, so go after them for help. Ah, but the money is for their pensions, not for the students and brick and mortar.

    The three parties go after industry, more taxes, emission control, but if the businesses stall or cut expenses and workers then what? The left is not aware that profits are spent for research and development, expansion, which creates jobs. Well, of course, the three party leaders don’t know that because they are not economists, yet they criticize Prime Minister Stephen Harper who was/is an economist. Their answer is to hire more bureaucrats, create departments, therefore more votes for being so nice.

    I wonder how many of the elite of the left have their money offshore to pay less taxes in Canada? Didn’t Liberal Paul Martin have a shipping company registered elsewhere, but told the Canadians to tighten their belts during hard times? The three parties want to tax the high-earners, the rich even more to redistribute the money for their family plans. That’s so warm and cozy a term: family plan.

    Then there’s the military and jets. The three party leaders think they are not required or could be far cheaper. The Liberals are good at that. Former Prime Minister Jean Chretien cancelled the helicopters and paid the huge penalty gladly. Yet he found money for his projects in Shawinigan and other locales in Quebec. Michael Ignatieff now has Jean Chretien and Paul Martin speaking for him, or at least for the Liberal Party. Ignatieff will rent fighter jets if needed to protect Canada or to prevent the Russians and Chicoms from exploring up north. Or maybe he might rent ships with added weaponry from Paul Martin to watch the Arctic.

    Notice that the three parties are not mentioning the price of gas that much. It’s not a major issue, yet. But the oilsands which they call tarsands is a blight for them. A few years back Harper said he would limit the tax when the price hit a certain amount. Frankly, gasoline is about supply and demand and futures, speculation. Nothing wrong with that at all. However, too many people complain about the prices, but the reality is prices continue to rise in everything. Houses cost more. Of course, many other products will rise in price because of transportation costs because of fuel. What is the answer, alternative fuels, smaller engines, electric cars, watch your spending and live within your means? A majority leader might be able to improve things, to a point, such as tax assistance for more refineries, or a tax cap when the price per litre gets to a certain amount. Nevertheless, we will need oil for a long time. These are great times for competiton, creative thinking, improving existing systems.

    The Conservative party list of accomplishments has been considerable, even with the obstacles of the left and separatist group. But some people think that minority governments have a check and balance with the other parties able to call a non-confidence any time. Some of them even want proportional representation rather than our present electoral system of First Past The Post, most votes wins.

    Frankly, there are too many parties in Canada as is, but nothing quite like some countries abroad. I like the American two party system even with factions and infighting. Once the elections come they are usually on the same side. Not always. One thing I would do if I was a leader of the majority no more money to the three parties, especially BLOC Quebecois. They’d have to raise it from donations. The BQ would also have to run in every riding across the country or go provincial, period.

    An Ojibway/Elder/Shaman also calls me Sagebrush… a sage with a rolling mind.

    http://www.onwardjames.blogspot.com

    • Edmond. Thank you. And thanks to Anna too. I don’t know may Tory supports who are willing to express their philosophies openly, so the insight the two of you provided without the rhetoric is valuable.

      I’d like to follow up on one issue you touch upon and draw a connection between federal involvement in health & education and the subsidies to political parties, which many may not see.

      It is true that health and education are exclusive provincial responsibilities so how does the federal government exert any control in this realm? Well, I expect most would agree that it is done through the transfer payments, and the Canada Health Act puts restrictions on those transfer payments if the provinces do not perform up to the federal governments standards. I believe this is a good thing as it ensures a more uniform quality of care across the country, and ensures that residents of any province can travel to any other province without having to first get blue cross coverage.

      And what does this have to do with tax subsidies to political parties? Lots. Just like the federal government exerts a large influence on provinces through their control of the purse strings, whoever controls the purse strings for political parties will control their agenda too, and for the party in power, the government. I see this as a significant disenfranchising of the poor. In a true democracy the various parties competing for power should only be competing for your vote. If they have to compete for your dollars too, then those with the money will have far more influence over government than those without.

      The $/vote subsidy was brought in by the previous Liberal government to replace corporate and union donations, and I believe it was a step in the right direction towards improving our democracy. Having said that, there is also a good argument that the current $2/vote is too high, and that the 75% tax deduction is also too high. Perhaps we should talk about reducing these subsidies, but eliminating them would be a blow to democracy as I see it. At the same time I’d say stronger restrictions on party advertising outside of the writ being dropped also needs to be considered.

      Just my $0.02 on that issue. Thanks again

      cheers.

    • Wisely said

      It’s interesting to see how closely you play the Conservative party spin.

      Hows the pay?

    • Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

      The Conservative Party’s list of accomplishments has been considerable?

      Forgive me for laughing Edmund, but that is a bit of a stretch on any level. In fact, the CPC government’s list of accomplishments is so “considerable” that you neglected to mention even one as an example.

      That, to me, is typical Conservative spin at work. Harper says the same thing, but doesn’t ever go into any detail. From my perspective, the harper government is one of the worst and most dysfunctional we’ve ever had the unpleasure to experience. I gave the guy the benefit of the doubt when he was first elected because his was a party that did not have anything in the way of baggage that other parties had (as Harper oft-pointed out), and he raised the bar on accountability and responsibility.

      ..and he has failed us miserably.

      I expected him to work closely with the other parties to make things work, and he simply hasn’t. In fact, this refusal to work with other parties has put his government in cintempt twice; For refusing to disclose the costs associated with the F-35 purchase and the new jails, and Bev Oda’s “scratching out” issue where she did as her boss did and lied to us.

      But what sinks everything for me are the unimpressive set of issues that have come up, namely his complete overspending on the G8/G20 -which ultimately was an expensive photo-op that cost us billions, but even worse was the fact that people in Tony Clement’s riding of Parry Sound- Muskoka knew seven months before parliament passed the G20 security bill that they would be getting $50 million of the $80 million supposedly set aside for ”
      border security”.

      Clearly, the man you support has been doing everything he said he wouldn’t do, and has been throwing pork around and spending our money like it was kleenex. Nor does he share cost projections that impact our tax dollars, and essentially tells us to “trust him”.

      I don’t know about you or any others, but trust is that last word I’d tie to any politician.

      The key difference between what we write in this case is quite simple: We know the facts about Harper and how he unwisely spends our money, but conservative supporters can merely guess at what the other powers will do, and as far as i’m concerned, facts speak to me, not wild guesses.

      Now, having said all that, I haven’t even gone into the in-and-out scheme and the shame of having sitting parliamentarians and senators involved in manipulating a federal election, nor have I discussed the CPC hiring the criminal element and throwing perks at friends and family.

      After recognizing all these failures, I can indeed agree with you that the CPC’s accomplishments have been considerable…but certainly not in the positive light you shine on them.

    • Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

      Speaking of conservative “accomplishments”, here is another one we can chalk up:

      http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ministers-intervened-after-harper-spokesman-lobbied-montreal-port-authority/article1991831/

      Clearly, there are two things one can see from political interference from the Prime Minister’s Office:

      a) Harper has no control over his subordinates and they are running rampant or;

      b)Harper is directing his subordinates to interfere in board appointments that run contrary to the law, the law in this case being the Canada Marine Act.

      so we are left once again with another stirring example of a government that demands that everyone obey the law, while at the same time breaking the law as if they were above it.

      Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t we vote Harper in because he said that his government wouldn’t engage in these kinds of shenanigans? Clearly, the man has lied to us, and his party is as adept at greasing palms as any other in prior history.

    • Edmund Onward James seems to have a lot to say about both the current federal government but I don’t see anything in his posts that speak to election issues as they relate to our riding.

      I couldn’t help but wonder why when questioned last evening if he resided in Newmarket or Aurora his unwillingness to answer such a simple question.

      He has referred to himself as “Sagebrush… a sage with a rolling mind”.

      Perhaps he would like the opportunity to declare if he is a resident, or if his his mind just rolling through.

    • Chuck Yeager said

      Mr Watts

      “Edmund Onward James seems to have a lot to say about both the current federal government but I don’t see anything in his posts that speak to election issues as they relate to our riding.”

      What’s the other part of the “both”?

      Seriously, how much of the current topics relate to our riding? Iggy is going a round talking about F-35 fighters. Does that relate to our riding? We don’t have air bases here, we don’t have companies that make any components for them?

    • I was unable to attend the debate – had to wash my hair.

      However, who is asking Edmund Onward James where he lives? I thought this was an opportunity to ask questions of the candidates not the voters.

      Fuimus

    • One of These Things Is Not Like the Others said

      Christopher Watts, I couldn’t help but wonder how you got the gig as a panellist. The others have political and/or journalistic experience, so I was surprised to see your involvement.

    • Broderick Epps said

      Regardless of political stripe, one thing that sets the bulls### meter to tilt is a Liberal telling you they are the saviours of healthcare.
      Case in point, is the long term effect of Paul Martin’s major transfer payment cuts to ALL the provinces in Canada. Healthcare has never recovered. He to this day is revered in these parts for his “sound” fiscal policies.
      Another facet of the lie is what happened during the Chretien/Martin era with regards to private healthcare. While Ontarians were fed a steady diet of how the Liberals only would protect healthcare, in Alberta,BC, Quebec and Nova Scotia private clinics were sprouting up like weeds. In Alberta,one could pay for MRI’s or CatScan’s like the US with a day or two turnaround. As someone who availed himself of such a service I was amazed how on my return to Ontario nobody knew that private healthcare existed in Canada. Furthermore one of the major players in this private healthcare was Canada Diagnostic Imaging whose principal
      Lorne Paperny (google him if you like) was and is one of the Liberals largest fundraisers in Western Canada a fact shielded from the voting base Ontario.
      Provincially nothing changes as Mike Harris is still today villified for closing hospitals and firing nurses. Of course recognizing the GTA is the voter base the Provincial Libs have done the same thing stealthily in such outposts as Huntsville,Bracebridge, Fort Erie,Niagara Falls, Brockville.,London,Sarnia,Ottawa….far enough that voters in the GTA would be none the wiser and major media outlets such as the Toronto Star would not report on it.
      Liberals protecting universal healthcare…..don’t insult me.

    • Daryl, well said.

      You said: ‘At the same time I’d say stronger restrictions on party advertising outside of the writ being dropped also needs to be considered.’ – one day I will get really pissed and write a letter to all parties, the most childish thing I ever seen – is this what your parents were teaching you. When I see advertising for Librals, I think its for Harper, and vice versa, very confusing. I would put restrictions and rules what they can say, and no pointing fingers – bad bad habit and example. If government does it, then we will do it and our children will. Our actions will get repeated.

      Thanks for good explanation on the health care system. Anna 🙂

  14. Hello, I am Kyle Peterson – Liberal candidate for Newmarket-Aurora. You can find out much about me and our platform at http://www.kylepeterson.ca. This is my first time visit – it seems like a great community for dialogue and discussion – the very foundation of democracy. I am happy to take part. Thanks.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      KYLE PETERSON I read what you wrote for what you believe in–middle class family’s(supplement their own CPP)how will this benefit lower income family’s who now have nothing left each month ??- Seniors-gradual increase in Canada Pension(what about the seniors of to-day, that need it now ??–National day care for all children- government and or institutionalized raised children–(some parents already neglect the raising of their own children so where is the parental guidelines in all this as applying guidance is very limited by law to non parents??..You ask New Market -Aurora residents to reach out and help the less fortunate,but say little on what you would attempt to do to help?? You are a great writer as you have headed campaigns of a few other Liberal hopefuls..yes a lot of people will vote if they offered a hand out.My concern is that you say,i offer you this and that,but i do not see any real time line mentioned in your open book of promises to the middle class and even less in your message to those struggling now..TO many loopholes which allow the Liberals to say *sorry it just not feasible at this time*..That just my opinion, and i do hope your campaign workers honor the do not call list especially on a late Sunday afternoon, as i phoned and requested..If a government not honer it ,why would telemarketers??

    • Anonymous said

      What is your position on the ridiculous cost of gas and what does the Liberal party intend to do to make it affordable for Canadians? It makes no sesne to me that we have oil resources but we sell to the US and yet we struggle under the out-of-control pricing.
      My job requires that I drive a car. I do get some compensation for mileage and maintenance but it does not even cover the cost of the 2 tanks of gas I have to purchase each week.
      The effect of these rapidly rising prices, in the absence of an increase in car allowance, is a decrease in income.

    • Anonymous said

      Gas prices are set on the world stage – even if we did destroy more of Alberta to get it, it wouldn’t mean it would be cheaper for you. The solution is to move away from a gas based world

    • Anonymous said

      To Anonymous April 19 at 1:00
      I am not stupid. I understand the global pricing of oil. However, the taxation rates on gas at the federal and provincial levels are ours, not the globe’s.
      I want to see changes in the tax on gas to give poor Joe Blow on the street a break.

  15. Evelyn Buck said

    Anna
    The Citizen blog gives you a chance to say your piece. You are thinking about things and having the courage to say it.
    It’s where the social media is making a difference. For the first time ordinary people have a place to express their views. It’s great. and it calls for discussion.
    It’s the job of the opposition in a parliamentary democracy to analyse government decisions and point out the shortcomings.
    If there were no opposition parties ,we would have totalitarian government.
    It’s what Hitler,Stalin , Mussolini and Franco of Spain had in the thirties and onward. They all got things done. But no-one would argue they brought benefit to the human race as a whole.
    When I hear a Prime Minister of Canada refer to the function of parliament as “bickering” I feel a chill in my heart.
    The Prime Minister gives no sign of warmth or humanity. Nothing in his background assures me he connects with ordinary people.
    Nothing in his demeanour gives a hint of empathy.
    Security around him to make sure only those sympathetic to his cause are allowed near or to ask questions, gives me serious misgivings about this being the man who merits the trust of a nation.
    What you recognise in Ignatieff is humanity. A real person, neither plastic nor perfect.His manner is natural. He is not so tightly controlled you cannot guess what he is thinking.He gives thoughtful answers to questions. He shows his emotions.
    What you know about is his obvious intelligence.His working background must assure you of that.
    He enjoyed status in academia. He gave that up to serve his country.That’s not cold calculated ambition.
    A person at the peak of a professional career giving that up to place himself in the fish bowl of politics to be the subject of the slings and arrows of political fortune has to be committed to his country?
    Politics is a harsh taskmaster.
    The reins of power mean different things to different people.
    From my perspective. our current Prime Minister is strongly committed. But not to the principles that make this country great.

    Anna, he is not in your corner.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      EV BUCK Your post April 14 9.41 in response to Anne RE bickering-etc.. Maybe what Mr Harper was revering to was some of the synonyms of bickering, like –pettiness,dislike, .anger,squabble,argue,quarrel,dispute,spar and spat.Iggy would not be the first man or women for that matter, to leave a glorious, successful job to enter politics and not necessarily be committed to it??..If things not go in right direction to their likening ..thanks but i go my own way now-which is fine–but for you to lay it out as you have to be committed to do so ,is pure hogwash- So bottom line is i guess there has been no bickering going on in Aurora town hall the past few years ,just honestest politics

    • “Maybe what Mr Harper was revering to was some of the synonyms of bickering”

      Hmmm, I could possibly be convinced of this except that Mr. Harper’s record demonstrates otherwise.

      – Shutting down Parliament rather than face a confidence motion in ’08
      – Tabling their most recent budget and not being willing to negotiate any further with the NDP
      – Bev Oda lying to a committee
      – stonewalling on providing information to committees TWICE! and being found in contempt as a result.

      These are all fairly serious instances that demonstrate that Harper does not see the need to be accountable to Parliament as both he and his government are suppose to be. That is what he really means by “the bickering that goes on in Parliament”

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      I for one don’t care if Harper is made of stone.
      If ‘warm and fuzzy’ was the decider I guess May is the winner in this group but
      I don’t expect that to translate into enough votes to push the Greens over the top.

      I’ll look at the Cons (warts and all) and what they propose and compare that to what Iggy and
      his gang say and (hopefully) make a decision.

      Darryl

      Sadly, scandals, lies and rule-bending happen no matter who’s in office.
      We’ve seen it in Canada from the Libs and Cons
      We’ve seen the Democrats and Republicans do it in the US
      We’ve seen the Tories, Liberals and Labour do it in the UK.

      I don’t like it either but it appears to come with the territory.

      My generation was taught to worship the great Sir John A. because -“Repeat after me class”- “He built the national railway that united our great land and made us One Canada”

      Thanks to the eloquent Pierre Berton and his ‘National Dream’ we found out
      A) that not all Canadian history was as boring as dryer lint
      and
      B) our hero Johnny Mac, a crafty politician, was a dedicated boozer and schemer who wasn’t adverse to
      greasing a few palms (Pacific Scandal) to get the job done – which he did – and we remember him for it.

      Here’s an interesting link to some of Canada’s ‘greatest hits’ scandalwise.(hope it works)

      http://www.carleton.ca/JMC/cnews/22101999/c2.htm

      NB: For those of you who think that “Liberal government” is synonymous with a “kinder and gentler
      Canada” you’ll especially enjoy Chretien’s comments regarding the RCMP, protesting students and the APEC scandal.

      Harper didn’t start bad behaviour and bringing in a different government won’t end it.

    • Broderick Epps said

      EB wrote “What you recognise in Ignatieff is humanity. A real person, neither plastic nor perfect.His manner is natural. He is not so tightly controlled you cannot guess what he is thinking.He gives thoughtful answers to questions. He shows his emotions.
      What you know about is his obvious intelligence.His working background must assure you of that.
      He enjoyed status in academia. He gave that up to serve his country.That’s not cold calculated ambition.
      A person at the peak of a professional career giving that up to place himself in the fish bowl of politics to be the subject of the slings and arrows of political fortune has to be committed to his country?”

      I normally agree with you but on this …no way. May I suggest you google “Ignatieff Qana”.
      In this electronic age you can’t bury your gaffes despite the efforts of such media giants as the Toronto Star. I am not saying Harper or Layton don’t have their warts but your attempt to deify Ignatieff is at best nauseating.Especially a leader who was not elected to lead his party but rather appointed. Very democratic indeed.

    • guy poppe said

      I am still undecided as to whom I will vote for.

      The Green party held some attraction, as the major parties were deft at skating the issues

      I reviewed the Green party platform and expressed my concern to our local candidate, about the source of revenues for their generosity.

      Their response was to read some more of their platform.

      I have read, and reread their promises and found them of no assistance to my query.

      So, back to to my quandry

    • Guy, did you read their promises or their platform?

      Their promises are here and are very brief.

      http://greenparty.ca/files/attachments/green-book-2011-en.pdf

      Unfortunately they refer to this as the “platform”, so many people may see this and think their platform to be sparse and not well thought out.

      The real platform is here:

      http://greenparty.ca/files/attachments/vision_green_2011en_0.pdf

      This is a much more detailed document.

      There are aspects of their platform that I don’t particularly agree with such as income splitting, which I think gives couples an unfair tax advantage over singles. Especially when you consider that couples already have a significant advantage by virtue of having many common expenses.

      There are other aspects which I do agree with and which set them significantly apart from all the other parties. Focusing on economically, socially, and environmentally, sustainability. Shifting taxes to things we should be discouraging (pollution) and away from things we want to encourage (income).

      I can understand a lot of people being uncomfortable with many aspects of the green party platform. I think they are the only ones still talking about carbon taxes for example. None the less, I think these are positions we are going to have to start adopting if we want to stop mortgaging or grandchildren’s future so we can live more comfortably now.

      cheers.

    • Vanessa said

      Hi Guy.

      Are you in Newmarket-Aurora and was I the Green Party candidate you asked? If so, I apologize for not completely answering your question. I don’t seem to have any record of it if you could re-send it to me.

      If you are asking where the money to pay for our social justice programs is coming from I can answer that quite quickly.

      The Green Party has promised a revenue-neutral tax shift, lowering income and payroll taxes significantly while introducing a carbon tax that would apply at the stump and pumpjack.

      We would: (numbers following are predicted savings per year)
      – cancel the logging tax credit $5 million
      – cancel corporate mineral exploration tax credit $24 million
      – close tax haven loopholes $1.2 billion
      – cancel scheduled corporate tax rate reductions $4.6 billion in the first year, up $7.8 in the third year
      – legalize and tax marijuana $1 billion starting in the second year
      – introduce a toxic tax $193 million
      – eliminate fossil fuel subsidies $1.5 billion
      – change military orientation to peacekeeping and defense $3.2 billion

      For a total of $11.2 billion in additional revenue. This is how we would pay for the $8.9 billion in additional spending in the first year to help increase the quality of life of all Canadians by supporting farmers, seniors, youth, families, municipalities and First Nations.

      I hope this answers your question and if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

      Take care,

      –Vanessa

      PS I like the income-splitting policy. The middle-class is being squeezed by taxes and having kids is expensive, really expensive. I am happy to offer an income-splitting policy that would apply to all couples, as well as single-parents with an adult child. We have other polices to help low-income earners.

    • Hi Evelyn, thank you for your response. You make lot of good points, and I respect that, and I respect your choice. Obviously you have good political and historical background to support your choice. I am here not to convince you or anyone, but I am here to state why I chose to support the Conservative government this time around (and before). Obviously we both have different opinions, and our backgrounds and experiences sometimes drive decisions we make. At this point of the election campaign the Conservative government is in my corner.

      The buzz words for the current campaign are democracy and personality. I tell you up front, I would never vote for personality, because it can be deceiving and I have been deceived, and may be I just don’t have experience to tell yet :). I would vote for democracy, but we have democracy in Canada – we have choice to vote, and I don’t know how far that can be enhanced for now.

      I base my vote on the technicality and deliverance – they reduced GST, introduced TFSA, introduced work share program, child tax benefit. I take/took advantage of all these services. I have child now, and I am stay at home parent – a decision we made as family. Being down to one income for three years now and years to come, we count our pennies. GST down to 5%, and if you monitor your spending the benefits are visible. Putting money away via TFSA to have security/temporarily piece of mind/make tax free money – just in case we are down again to no income. Before my husband lost his job last year his company before letting people go took advantage of the work share program – it kept us going. For income taxes, we are able to use the total household income. We appreciate the $1200 a year child tax benefit, which we are able to put into education savings account, match $1300 so we can get the 20% credit, no bank will ever give you rate like this. I balance my personal finances every year to manage spending. Having said that, should I be loyal to the Conservative government that was able to deliver all above in just few years? My answer is YES.

      Issues I have is not with current government. I have issue with people. On the end we are government, and we form the government. But government should not be accountable for our actions. Government is giving us resources for taxes we pay, and it is up to us how we make use of them. My take is that – we don’t. I will take disclaimer here, that not everyone is like that, but I have seen many families that they don’t want to think about the whole financial management – they just work, and what ever they earn they spend or over spend on things they do not need (electronic toys for example), and if they need money they visit the bank, get loan and are in debt for rest of their lives (passed on to generations), some don’t even think about their children’s future. With that they complain that government does not give them enough, and if they get the support then guess what – those who really need it is shared. On the end it is all about the choices we make.

      Few pointers,

      The problem with our health care system is not the funding, its the costs driven by waste and abuse. I believe that this is more a provincial issue and not federal.
      Currently the health care system is focused on the treatment and not prevention which is a fundamental error.
      Let’s pick on smoking for second. There is no misunderstanding how deadly the first and second hand smoke is, and not to mention it took us 50 years to figure out how costly it is on our health care system. If you would find way for people not to smoke, this is what the health care system should be all about.

      Evelyn, you said: ‘If there were no opposition parties ,we would have totalitarian government. It’s what Hitler,Stalin , Mussolini and Franco of Spain had in the thirties and onward. They all got things done. But no-one would argue they brought benefit to the human race as a whole.’, I am confident that our parliamentary system is designed to protect us from leaders with radical or extremist actions.

      Crime prevention should be the goal for all governments, but in the mean time the criminals that are risk to the society need to be dealt with.

      If Ignattief is so against the latest deal for military planes – why is he talking about renegotiating as opposed to cancelling the whole project.
      If Ignattief is always voting against the budget, why he said that he will keep the child tax benefit and TFSA – that must have been a good idea.

      What is the issue with lowering corporate taxes? After all businesses are the ones creating jobs.

      Oh and this one gets me the most, how can you promise something and not balance your books.

      The list could go on …

      Evelyn sorry for the long reply, but I am not voting for the sake of voting, and I thought it would be good for me to tell you why I choose Stephen Harper to lead the Government of Canada. I based my decision on the technicality and deliverance of the government as written above. The democracy is my next choice, but now I don’t see it. Personality, I really don’t see it why?.

      The Liberal platform may be promising, but without them balancing the books, I don’t know how can they have the ‘nice’ list of promises. Technicality and deliverable are my buzz words for this election.

      Hope you can see where I am coming from …

      Anna 🙂

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Very well said Anna and a decent summation of why I’m leaning conservative as well.

      Regarding healthcare:

      As stated – the Canada Health Act is federal but the provinces are financially responsible for delivery.

      All agree that healthcare costs are spiraling out of control and will soon be unsustainable – in other words – we’ll never have enough money to throw at it.

      Liberals say they’ll have a meeting with the provinces – whatever that means.
      Cons say they’ll continue and complete the 10 year transfer financing scheme started by the Liberals but they’ll more or less leave the provinces to figure it out for themselves.

      As Kim Campbell once said, “an election is no time to discuss important issues” but one day we’ll have to have an adult conversation about healthcare that doesn’t get stalled by the following tired myths:

      1. The Canada Health Act prohibits private care.
      No – the Act just says that whatever system the province uses must be accessible to all.
      ie; if OHIP is paying – who cares where you get it from (like the private Shouldice Hernia clinic in Thornhill where many, including Jack Layton, have had surgery – paid by OHIP)

      2. There are only two healthcare systems in the world.
      Canada – where everyone gets care or the US – where only the rich get care.
      What about all of western europe?, the UK? Japan and other asian countries?
      Most have a government paid healthcare system that combines public and private delivery.
      I’m guessing that some systems are better than others but isn’t it possible they have some ideas or procedures we can adopt to help increase efficiency or decrease costs?

      3. Our healthcare system would be fine – if we just had more funding.
      Not true and everyone knows it.

      Finally, I won’t say this a myth , but it is interesting.
      The Dutch health folks did a study that showed people who live longer actually cost the system more in the long run.
      Healthcare costs due to the effects of obesity and smoking are intially higher but since those people tend to die sooner they’re “off the books” as it were.
      Spending millions on the promotion of healthy living might be actually increase costs.
      (and no – that doesn’t mean you should start smoking and living on cheesburgers:)

    • Wisely said

      Hi Anna,

      The GST cut is part of the reason we have such a crippling deficit. I personally didn’t notice it at all nor do I feel free to spend more and yet the government as a whole is significantly indebted because of it.

      And if you want to talk about getting tough on smoking to promote prevention – you’re voting for the wrong party. Harper allowed Canada, who was once a leader in anti-smoking policies, to become one of the last in the western world. Only under pressure did he allow the update to the smoking packages to pass – the conservatives tried to kill the program.

      Conservatives don’t want prevention they want privatized health care – “to each his own”

    • Hi Wisely, thank you for your comment.

      I thought other way; the deficit was because of the economic action plan Conservatives had to comply upon Librals request. Please correct me if I am wrong again.

      GST cut or other things are not for everyone. If there is 1 million of you and say that, then I will believe you. On the other hand, I am bean counter, lol, every penny counts.

      About the smoking prevention, I used that as example I pulled randomly from the hat. Sorry for using it. It is interesting fact; and I will try to learn more about it.

      Privatization of the health care system is a dilemma for me. One way I am up for it and the other way no. The privatization can force prevention and filter the abuse. The dilemma I have how would it take care of people who really need the healthcare and it gets too expensive. This is not easy problem to solve.

      Anna 🙂

    • Wisely said

      Hi Anna,

      I agree privatization is probably the most difficult decision for us as Canadians. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in south east Asia and while they claim to have universal health care the only good health care is private. As soon as the wealthy are offered an option they quickly sign up for private (higher quality, lower wait times etc) health care. And then they start to pressure the government to reduce taxes – they’re not interested in paying taxes to create a better health care system for the public. And those pressures over time rot out the public system – the same is true for the education system. And the same pressures are tearing at our education system.

    • Thank you Wisely. You make a really good point.
      Like I said, this isn’t a easy problem to solve.
      And I hope that on the end we will be able to come up with something that will work for all of us.

      Anna 🙂

  16. Anonymous said

    I read the article about Lois in the Auroran and it is exactly what a expected – almost verbatim quotes from her fearless leader. It just confirms my opinion that she does not have an original thoughtor comment in her head.
    She said that she has never stopped knocking on doors – well in the years that she has been our MP she has never darkened doors in my neighbourhood. However, I missed a visit from Mr. Peterson aho at least left some reading material behind.

  17. Wisely said

    Did anybody watch the debates last night.

    I just can’t get over how Harper seems to give everybody this squinty condescending look when they speak.

    Having seen Harper in action these last few years – I think he’s getting his ideas from our republican neighbours down south.

    Iggy strikes me as a very smart guy with alot to offer Canadains.

  18. Anonymous said

    I am greatly disturbed by the revelations that have been falling out of the folds of the conservative government.
    Did anyone hear what Adam Vaughan had to say this morning about Toronto businesses that have been trying to claim compensation for losses and damages during the G20?
    The more I hear, the more I am convinced that we are heading toward something we really do not want and at this point we have seen merely a glimpse of the tip of the iceberg of what is to come if we end up with a conservative majority.
    I was raised conservative and have voted conservative many times.
    Not this time though. This bunch worries me.

    • Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

      I agree with your take. When the CPC first got in, I believed what Harper said about taking the ethical high-road, and I tohught that we might actually have a government willing to work with Canadians under a minority, and a party without a history of diving into the pork.

      But I’ve been proved to be mistaken, in a big way.

      The Harper government lies and hides things from us, which in itself is bad, but they raised the bar on ethics and could not meet their own standard with all the pork thrown at Tony Clement’s riding. This disgusts me, and since Ignatieff hasn’t lied to us yet, i’ll give him his chance this time around with my vote.

    • Stink-o said

      Stephen Harper has never worked at a real job in his entire life. He has been a professional political scientist with some very weird concepts for democratic government and a real paranoia when it comes to people – those creatures he asks to support him at election time.

      In nearly a half century of observing Canadian governments and politicians, Harper’s is by far the scariest. He does things HIS way and damned be those who stand in his way, be they members of opposing political parties or those from within his own.

      There is not time or space enough here to list all the reasons, nor is there the guts on the part of our national press and media, to crown him with the laurel of thorns that belongs upon his head.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      I did not see the debate last night I was at a Council meeting not seeing a debate there either.

      I caught the CBC clips on the news.

      The Prime Minister stated that Canadians are more interested in the economy than they are in the bickering that goes on in Parliament.

      So there you have it, A frank admission of how he sees a parliamentary democracy.

      Michael Ignatieff’s comment the prime Minister holds Parliament in contempt was almost redundant.

      The Prime Minister expressed his contempt so much more clearly.

      Jack Layton was feisty.Campaigning at this time cannot be easy. I admire his conviction and his commitment. Mr. Layton can make all the best promises. he will not be called upon to fulfill them.

      The NDP are the spoilers.If we don’t want our country in the hands of someone who has no respect for parliamentary democracy, we cannot afford to waste our votes on the NDP.
      the Bloq Quebecois is irrelevant to us. They have no more legitimacy in the debate than the Green Party.

      If that party wants to make a difference they should join one of the main parties and work from within.They are squandering their own resources.Even more so than the NDP.

    • A Canadian said

      My key issues are the economic well-being of average Canadians, education, health care and social services. These are all big ticket items – but all are being mismanaged.

      If I had my choice it won’t be Harper. Most likely another minority government, possibly even a Liberal one.

      Harper has done nothing other than squander money massaging his great big ego. The G8 and G20 were prime examples of this and now we have the F-35. And we have a former news reader as Environment Minister…this list could be endless.

      Ignatieff probably has sufficient character, although little political experience, to be given an opportunity as an alternative to more of the same mouldering Harper. But he doesn’t inspire me. Frankly no politician anywhere does.

      Basically I disregard the media when it comes to opinion. I follow the factual news on my computer and check some of the international sources for comments about Canada. In the end it boils down to which might do the least damage to the country.

      Have always tended to vote 50-50 individual-party, unless either one is sufficiently offensive so as to cause me a real headache. Then I have a problem, but I have always ended up voting. Occasionally Green which is a throw away.

      None of our local candidates can or will accomplish much for our riding. Brown is a Harper-type female clone with a squinty eye. Enough said.

    • Anonymous said

      Evelyn Buck said:
      “Jack Layton was feisty.Campaigning at this time cannot be easy. I admire his conviction and his commitment. Mr. Layton can make all the best promises. he will not be called upon to fulfill them.

      The NDP are the spoilers.If we don’t want our country in the hands of someone who has no respect for parliamentary democracy, we cannot afford to waste our votes on the NDP.”

      This is the problem with the NDP – even someone that ran as an NDP candidate does not have any hope for them. The NDP will NEVER form a federal government – I laugh at Layton’s promises. He can promise a new Lexus (as long as it’s Union Made) in everyone’s driveway the day after the election and not worry because he will never win.

      I wonder Evelyn, is it the leader now vs the leader before that has made you changed from an NDP supporter (when you were the NDP candidate) to where you are now?

  19. Anonymous said

    For the first time in my life since I turned 18, I am considering not voting. This saddens and sickens me but then so do today’s politicians and the decaying, abused state of our democracy.
    I would like to fight for it; believe me I would but who, on the ballot, could save it?
    I have never been at such a loss to find a candidate or leader of any of the parties who is truly interested in saving our democracy above pursuing their own selfish, ambitious agenda. Never have I, a hardworking citizen of this country, felt so irrelevant against the egocentric, political elites manipulating this election like sharks circling around in bloody water.

  20. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    We’ve had a couple of nice spring weekends for campaigning. There have been a lot of folks out in their front yards, doing yard clean up.

    Have the campaigners approached you? What do you think of the local candidates?

    I’ve met Kyle Peterson, and I was impressed with his commitment to the federal government finally (finally!) addressing child poverty.

    But he’s the only one who has been to my neighbourhood. I haven’t even received any literature drop-offs.

    Any other “real life” encounters with the candidates?

    • fed up said

      on my street you would not know that there is an election in the near future–no candidates and no literature–hwat’s up with that?

    • Vanessa said

      Hi Elizabeth. I was so happy to see that you care about child poverty, as Social Services Critic for the Greens it is one of my biggest issues.

      Honestly, it drives me crazy that our House committed to eradicate child poverty in 1989, and yet today the rates are pretty much the same. We’ve also committed to the UN Millennium Development Goals to eliminate child poverty on a global scale by 2015 and have done nothing.

      It breaks my heart that the people we trust to represent us will always sacrifice human dignity and quality of life to support their ideology.

      –Vanessa

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      I do believe that Child Poverty is one of the biggest challenges facing our country… and, hence, our riding.

      As another poster noted, we live in an affluent riding. That might mean that our MP doesn’t have to be working to ensure that government contracts come to our area to provide jobs, or that special social services be provided to our residents, or that child poverty is lower than average in our riding. (Which is probably small comfort to the hungry kids.)

      In terms of our community well-being, we need to ask our potential MPs what they can do to ensure that our riding has a place in the fabric of Canada.

      So, what’s the answer? Where do the “relatively affluent” ridings have a voice?

      Also, Vanessa, since you bring it up, how does addressing child poverty in Canada (and Aurora-King-Newmarket for that matter) compare with the UN addressing child poverty world wide? What are the terms of reference for each group, and how does your party plan to act?

    • Vanessa said

      Hi Elizabeth. Thank you for asking me to clarify the Green position on child poverty, here in Canada and globally.

      Let me start by saying that I find all promises from the other parties to do something about child poverty to be incredibly hollow and, frankly, insulting. In 1989, our Parliament committed to end child poverty by the year 2000. Today the rates are about the same as they were in 1989, 15%, which means that about 1 million children in Canada live in poverty. Child poverty rates are even higher among new Canadians and single-parent families. We now rank 26th out of 29 ‘developed’ countries in terms of child poverty rates. The old-line parties have had twenty years to fix this problem and they have made no progress.

      How would the Green Party would address child poverty? I’ll start here at home with the caveat that there are no simple answers to poverty and the solution includes policy changes ranging from a National Housing Strategy to ensure that we have adequate affordable housing to improved public transit and support for municipalities to create healthy, livable communities.

      Green MPs would:
      – change the income tax system so that no income taxes are paid by people making less than $20,000 per year, the current low income cut-off
      -allow those on assistance to keep 100% of their wages and support until they earn the low income cut-off to encourage people to get back into the marketplace
      – develop a national housing strategy to ensure there is adequate affordable housing
      – add a Genuine Progress Indicator to the current economic measure of GDP that measures how we are doing on quality of life indicators, including eliminating poverty
      – create child-care spaces, including those in workplaces, to allow parents to re-enter the labour market
      – improve First Nations education, safe drinking water and housing

      It’s hard to pinpoint one policy or line item since they all work together. We want to ensure that every Canadian can live in dignity and our entire budget revolves around that principle. You can look at the full budget here: http://www.greenparty.ca/platform2011
      I’m particularly proud of this budget as we are the only Party that was reviewed by the Parliamentary Budget Office for completeness and accuracy. It’s nice to stand on concrete numbers.

      Globally, our plan is a bit simpler. Right now, nearly half the world’s population lives in absolute poverty, measured at less than $2 per day. Those living on $1 per day number 1.2 billion. This means that every three seconds a child in poverty dies.

      In 1992, Canada committed to invest 0.7% of our GDP in Overseas Development Assistance. 0.7%! In 1992, it was 0.45% and when the Conservatives came to power it was below that number. It is possible that the percentage has increased but there is a lack of transparency and the money allocated for ODA has been used for military priorities (ex. Afghanistan) instead of to address maternal health, child poverty elimination and other Millennium Development Goals.

      The Green Party would immediately move Canada toward that 0.7% number (to achieve it by 2020), and pressure other countries to do the same, to eliminate poverty, cure disease, and foster democracy. We want to return Canada to a position of influence in the world community – a diplomatic leader.

      I hope that helps. If I wasn’t specific enough please let me know. The numbers are in the budget and I didn’t want to re-print them here.

      To answer the question about how do we, as a fairly affluent riding, fit into the fabric of Canada – my answer is gratitude. I am profoundly grateful that I live in a country where I have the freedom to do well and to make choices for myself. And I am grateful that I can live well without living in a gated community and hiring armed guards to protect me from the intense poverty around me, as the wealthy do in many other countries. I worry that if we continue to erode our social services it will become very obvious why the Conservatives want to build super-prisons.

      Finally, thank you for allowing me to participate in this forum. I love being able to talk with people who are engaged and who obviously care passionately about their community. It is reassuring.

      –Vanessa

      PS A lot of the above material was taken from Vision Green – our vision for Canada in 2020. It has quite detailed policy objectives in a wide range of topics. It is a great answer to anyone who thinks that the Greens are a ‘one-issue party’. 🙂

    • Anonymous said

      The problem with the Green Party and other left-wing parties is in statements like the above that commits to an actual number for overseas development assistance. But in the same breath talk about the elimnation of child poverty at home. While both are valid causes, don’t you think that we need to clean up our house first before we start working on someone elses? You fail to see that there is one taxpayer. You have every level of government in our pocket.

      So, as someone who is over that magical $20,000 number you want me to pay my tax burden (at 3 levels plus sales taxes); pay the tax burden of those that make under $20,000: probably want me to pay for their daycare too on top of my daycare; and then pay to “foster democracy” overseas – in a country that has never had democracy and doesn’t want it!

      The only positive thing about the NDP and Green platform documents is that they will never get into power to execute them.

    • Vanessa said

      Dear Anonymous,

      1. The Green Party is not left-wing. And, yes, we believe that it is possible, and necessary, to fix problems at home and abroad. We want everyone to enjoy a high quality of life.

      2a. The 0.7% figure was agreed to by the Canadian government in 1992 in concert with governments all over the world. The Green Party did not create it on a whim. We are merely expecting our government to live up to its international commitments.

      2b. The goal to eliminate child poverty was agreed to unanimously in the House of Commons by the Liberals, Progressive Conservatives and NDP in 1989. Are you saying that it is okay for them to commit to something and then decide not to do it? I think we’ve seen enough of that from the old-line parties.

      3. Isolationism is not the appropriate response when we have global migration and a global economy.

      4. You would also pay less income tax under a Green government, and could use our income splitting policy if you have a spouse (hetero- or not) or are a single parent with an adult child.

      5. It is the neoliberal and neoconservative agendas to force democracy on people ‘who don’t want them’ – see our presence in Aghanistan for a perfect example. Greens believe in diplomacy not military or economic coercion.

      –Vanessa

  21. Evelyn Buck said

    Sharon is concerned when she reads that even seasoned politicians are considering not voting.
    Since I’m the only seasoned politician commenting,I’m concerned that Sharon may have misunderstood my comments.
    I most certainly do intend to vote. I will cast my vote for Kyle Petersen, the Liberal candidate. I am happy to use whatever influence I may have, to encourage others to do the same.
    To be sure,ours is a difficult country to govern.Especially sleeping next to the elephant next door.

    Despite the problems, we can be thankful for those who created the society we enjoy.
    I believe it reflects the values of Canadians as a whole and we have lost ground with the Mulrooney and Harper regimes.
    The current Conservative party is not the one that contributed to what we have.

    The Progressive Conservative Party of Robert Stanfield and Joe Clark was hi-jacked by the Reform Party… remember.
    The current Prime Minister was the head of a right wing think tank…remember.
    Could that be the reason he’s afraid to let the unwashed masses get too close. They might find out what he really has in mind for ordinary Canadians.

  22. sharon said

    I am worried when I read that even seasoned local politicians are considering not voting. Regardless of the issues, it is IMPERATIVE that we vote. How else is our voice heard? It scares me that a small percentage of our population will influence my financial and personal well being.

    • Brian Duff said

      I agree Sharon, not voting is not participating and not participating is foregoing your right to have an opinion.

  23. Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

    I’m disgusted with the fact that we can no longer have open forums at the all-candidates meetings, and that we have to write in our questions for candidates to respond to.

    Does anyone know if Lois is going to put in place the same kind of bubble technique Harper is using to ensure that anyone that disagrees with the CPC won’t be allowed within 50 yards of a CPC candidate?

    Just on that lack of democratic principle alone, I’m voting Liberal. The Harper governemnt has done nothing that the Liberals hadn’t already put in place years ago and is now taking credit for it…but to see Canadians cut-off from their leaders the way Harper and the cPC are campaigning is down right disgusting and a slap in our faces.

    I’d love to not vote Liberal, but the NDP and Green have no chance in this riding, so voting for them is a complete waste of a ballot. The greater evil is the CPC and their commitment to helping Canadian families -fifty years from now!

    • fed up said

      interesting to see on the news today that the auditor general has found the government misapproprited funds in Clement’s riding of Huntsville for the G8 fiasco–appears that funds were spent there that had nothing to do with the G8–but she can’t release the full report to parliament until after they resume sitting after the election–just one more nail in Harper’s coffin

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      KPF

      You hesitate to vote Conservative because you disagree with the way they conduct themselves.
      I agree, ‘warm and fuzzy’ he ain’t.
      Fine.

      The NDP and Greens don’t have a chance.
      True.

      You say you don’t want to vote Liberal so I assume that means you don’t agree with their platform.
      Then why do it?
      Why support someone you don’t like just because you’re mad at the other guy?

      Why not let Lois Brown know – since email is so easy – why she and her party won’t/didn’t get your vote?

      Also, and this is not directed at you KPF, I’m a little tired of the “Who’s better for Families?” competition that seems to be in vogue.

      The Cons don’t support families but the Liberals do.
      Really?

      Vote Liberal and we’ll get National Day Care.
      Will we now. This has been promised by previous Liberal governments and never happened.
      No one can even agree on what it costs or how we would pay for it.
      How much of a bureaucracy will be required to run it?
      Unless the Liberals intend on increasing the deficit the only option is to increase taxes.
      Raising personal taxes doesn’t help families.
      I guess we can always raise corporate taxes but if that kills job growth as many suggest that
      doesn’t help families either.

      I suppose we can cancel the F35 program but we’ll lose what we’ve invested so far AND we’ll have to order replacement aircraft at some point anyway so where’s the gain there?
      The Liberal helicopter cancel/re-order debacle cost us a fortune.

      Harper says he’ll hand out credits once the books are balanced.
      Maybe, maybe not.

      Will Iggy copy the reckless tax and spend silliness that the McGuinty Liberals have done in Ontario or once installed at 24 Sussex will he say ‘sorry, money’s tight, our family friendly initiatives will have to wait’?
      Maybe. Maybe not.

      Leaders of all stripes like to play Santa at election time but how many of these promises are realistic?

    • Vanessa said

      Hi there.

      My name is Vanessa Long and I am the Green Party Candidate for Newmarket-Aurora. I apologize for jumping in here, Darryl suggested I introduce myself. Nice to meet you.

      I’d be happy to attend any all-candidates meeting that you, or anyone else, organizes to answer questions about the serious issues that Canadians are facing. I agree that open-forums are the way to go, though often they are jammed with Party faithful who aren’t really listening with an open mind.

      If you are interested in attending one of the All Candidates Debates the two I know about are:

      Newmarket Chamber of Commerce/Era-Banner debate
      Monday April 18th at the Newmarket Theatre
      Doors open at 6 to meet the Candidates and the debate starts at 7 p.m.
      You can submit questions to tmcfadden@yrmg.com before April 13th

      Aurora Debate
      Wednesday April 20th at Aurora Town Hall
      Debate starts at 7:30
      I haven’t been given a link for question submission at this point

      Before you decide to vote Liberal to avoid the Conservatives, or forego your vote out of despair, I urge you to check out the fully costed Green Party Platform at http://www.greenparty.ca/platform2011 and, again, I’ll be available to answer any questions that are important to you.

      Take care,
      –Vanessa

      t: @_vanessalong
      fbook: http://www.facebook.com/supportvanessa

    • Anonymous said

      I have often wondered how things would have played out if Peter McKay had won the leadership of the conservative party instead of Harper.
      Harper and his bullies such as Baird, scare the you-know-what out of me and his minions, who dare not speak without a script, disgust me.

    • Anonymous said

      Tim:

      “Then why do it?” (vote for the Liberals)

      Because I am not impressed with the manner in which Harper lies and hides things from the public. Ignatieff hasn’t, and the Liberals have the only realistic chance of taking on the Conservatives in this riding, hence, I’m voting strategically.

      I’d rather go NDP or Green, but they haven’t the slightest chance in this riding, and a vote for them is a wasted vote. Brown had 24 000 votes last election, while Tim Jones (the Liberal) had 18 000. The NDP and Greens split 8000 votes (over 4000 apiece) that could have given the Libs the win had those voters votes strategically.

      That’s the way I see it, and that’s how I’m working within our elecoral system

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      Anonymous 611PM

      You bring up an interesting point about strategic voting.
      Obviously Newmarket-Aurora will go either Con or Lib.

      Setting aside party loyalties or visions of Canada’s place in the world .
      What is best for OUR riding strategically speaking?

      If you look at it from a strictly selfish self-interest point of view, N-A is a riding that is more affluent than many.
      We don’t have major issues with child poverty or immigration. (notice I said MAJOR)
      We have some environmental concerns but there’s not much chance of us getting a nuclear plant or a wind farm.
      We’re not burdened with serious crime problems.
      Most of us in this riding will not benefit from many of the Red Book social spending initiatives but we will pay higher taxes for them.
      Will higher corporate taxes help or hinder this riding?

      The Libs are trailing by about 10 pts in the polls at the moment.
      Assuming for argument’s sake those kind of numbers hold and we get another Harper minority – possibly a majority.

      Wouldn’t it be better for Newmarket-Aurora to have an MP in government rather than opposition?

      When we vote next month (you know, behind the curtain in private) should we choose what we feel is best for N-A or set aside those feelings and opt for the “greater good” or are they one and the same?

      Just askin’

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      Well done, Vanessa! Thanks for joining the conversation in Aurora.

      I have to say it’s refreshing to see a federal politician give info about how all the candidates can voice their opinions, followed by her own opinion. It makes me think she isn’t a rat trying to race.

      Vanessa, you don’t necessarily have my vote. But you have my admiration.

      Wouldn’t it be great to hear from Dorian Baxter, Lois Brown, Kyle Peterson, and ?? and ???.

    • Vanessa said

      Thank you Elizabeth.

      –Vanessa

    • Anonymous said

      To Tim the Enchanter
      We have had an MP in the government, not the opposition, and what has she done for her constituency? She is one of Harper’s “Polly Parrots” and if N-A is not on Harper’s radar, then N-A gets nothing, despite our MP.
      Why on earth would you vote for more of Lois?

    • Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

      Tim:

      “Wouldn’t it be better for Newmarket-Aurora to have an MP in government rather than opposition”

      We have had one in government for the past two years. What has improved since then?

      Brown is a Tory, and our riding is as close to Huntsville as North Bay is…and North Bay got hundreds of thousands for airport improvements for the G8. What did we get?

      As far as voting Federal, riding matters (unless one lives in Parry-Sound -Muskoka) don’t matter as much as national initiatives and policies do. Therefore I look at the bigger picture, and see a current government that is far from open, and spends our money without providing us with a final tally (jets, prisons, G8’s andG 20’s….and now the largesse thrown at Clement’s riding).

      P.S. My post came out as “anonymous” earlier @6:11pm. Apologies. It was me.

    • Tim the Enchanter said

      KPF

      Perhaps you’re correct – that it doesn’t really matter what side of the aisle our MP sits on.

      The over-the-top G8/G20 spending doesn’t look good on Harper but then again Chretien spent about $500M in Kananaskis for the 2002 summit.

      So where does that leave us?
      Two main parties that spend like drunken sailors?
      Not to mention the NDP who’d LOVE to spend if they ever had a chance.

      No wonder a lot of folks have a tough time deciding.
      Some folks don’t want to pay for jets or prisons.
      Some don’t want to pay for other peoples babysitting, native handouts or dreamy climate change programs.

      Just to clarify a small point.
      North Bay got about $5M out of the $50M G8 Legacy Fund plus about $5M from the airport improvment fund to redo the runways because the original plan was to use it for the summit – it’s about 100km from Huntsville.
      In the end they used Toronto instead and went to the summit by helicopter.
      North Bay is in the riding of Nipissing—Timiskaming and is Liberal.

      I’m really neither here or there on the effectiveness of Lois Brown – she’s toeing the party line (just like Petersen will do if he’s elected) but I’m guessing she’d be a hero now if Newmarket-Aurora had been picked for the G8 and we were the proud owners of lots of shiny new toys.

      just sayin’

      BTW – Thanks to all who are posting on this thread – it’s nice to see some debate, argument and a little political “battling” without the mindless trash talk (at least of each other) 🙂

    • Tim, I did a little looking on the web, and numbers are a little hard to find for the 2002 summit, the most authoritative ones I could find were from newspapers which quoted numbers anywhere between about $140M and $300M. I suspect the difference is what was included in those numbers. Nothing however came close to the $500M you quoted.

      Regarding your small point.

      I think there are two other important points in this story. First, the $50M came from a $83M border security budget, and was arguably misappropriated for pork barrelling. That at least is the contention of both leaked reports and the physical evidence of what we see was done with the money certainly supports that. I don’t think I heard North Bay come into the debate. What I heard was Perry Sound and other small communities in his riding.

      The other is that while Tony Clement justifies this by saying they had to thank the community for hosting it, Toronto unwillingly hosted the G20 which cost millions of dollars in losses to businesses. Adam Vaughan made this point extremely clear on Metro Morning today.

      Add this to the Conservative’s misquote of Sheila Fraser, contempt of Parliament, early prorogue of Parliament, Bev Oda’s lie, the in/out scheme, lobbyists scandals, fraudsters in the PMO, and a long list of other seriously questionable goings on and you have a picture of a pretty corrupt and contemptuous government.

      Finally, I agree with you. It is nice to see people arguing different points of view in a thoughtful and respectful way.

      cheers.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      TO Vanessa Long Green Party Candidate In your reply to Guy P. .The Green will legalize pot-weed Mary-Jane or what ever the *high* is called these days, to be able to tax it to the tune of billion dollars(its all about the money,forget any risks),lets have a land of peace and love and then tear down the orientation ability to join the Canadian military as there will be no need for one ((just what have you been smoking ))..with out prejudice is that how the name Green came about??

    • Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

      John S:

      “The Green will legalize pot-weed Mary-Jane or what ever the *high* is called these days, to be able to tax it to the tune of billion dollars”

      I completely agree with this idea. I’ve partied most of my life with drinkers and weed smokers, and I’ll go with weed smokers everyday and anyday. Drunks often get stupid and violent, and are more susceptible to creating car accidents than weed smokers. People that smoke Ganja are usually in a better mood, don’t develove into fistfights, and experience some paranoia, but that’s about it.

      If I had my way, I’d legalize Ganj and make booze illegal, as i’ve had way more people I know die from booze-related misadventure and no one I know die from being high on weed.

      “then tear down the orientation ability to join the Canadian military as there will be no need for one ((just what have you been smoking ))..with out prejudice is that how the name Green came about??”

      Truth be told, the military continues to be one of the easiest places to acquire drugs. It’s been that way since the 1970’s, but has gotten worse of late because of all the opium and weed available in Afghanistan. There have been a number of newsstories over the the past few years about memebers of our military getting busted for establishing drug conduits between Afghanistan and Canada.

      …and those are the ones who got caught. I’m sure there are still a small number of our soldiers trying to buck the system, but when you have a role model like the Harper government, one can understand why this kind of thing would happen. I’m just thankful that the majority of our soldiers follow the standards expected of them.

      I’m just surprised that you weren’t aware of this salient fact of military life. It is opinions like these that make me think you are new to this country.

  24. fed up said

    check this out: The Canadian government is going to allow GM to be sold to the Chinese government–maybe this should be an election issue. Has everyone lost their minds?

    http://blogs.motortrend.com/inside-deal-sell-gm-chinas-saic-13985.html

    • Anonymous said

      “Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) will take a controlling stake in GM by purchasing the equity sold to the U.S. and Canadian governments during the bailout.”
      I thought the GM stake that the US and Canadian governments bought during the bailout was bought with taxpayers’ money. Therefore doesn’t that stake belong to the taxpayers, i.e. you and me? I don’t recall being asked if we wanted to sell to China. Do you?
      I am also not aware of receiving any of my money back when GM supposedly paid off its bailout loans. Are you?
      Are you as tired of being shafted as I am?

      Read more: http://blogs.motortrend.com/inside-deal-sell-gm-chinas-saic-13985.html#ixzz1JFzRYdLY

  25. Daniel said

    I definitely think there are fundamental democratic issues that the parties need to address every election, and yet they never do.

    First off, we have a Westminster parliamentary system, and it’s totally disconnected from how people think of their votes. Technically, our vote is for a local representative, not for a leader. As many of the astute commentators below have pointed out, people know so little about their local candidates, and they base their votes on the leader and the party. Furthermore, the parties themselves encourage this perception by enforcing all their members to act and speak in a uniform manner, echoing the leader. They might as well run robots in every riding. I’m sure all MPs are talented people, but their parties do their best to keep that under wraps. I think this political culture is partly what made the coalition crisis of 2006 so controversial: the pro-coalition forces were acting what was legally possible, but not keeping in the spirit of how many people vote.

    Second, the Westminster system, with as many parties as Canada has, can only lead to minority governments and frequent elections. Sure, this didn’t happen when Canada had only two major parties, but since 1993 we’ve had four or five viable parties at most elections. Wanting a majority government for the sake of avoiding elections is a short-term solution. If we want to standardize our elections by electing our head of state (i.e. a president) directly and separately from our legislators (like the United States and many South American countries), then let’s talk about that kind of system. But the Conservatives and the Liberals both believe they can benefit from the structural gaps in the current system, and so they’re not willing to address this issue.

    Third, the Westminster system, thanks to its first-past-the-post method of electing members, allows regional voices like the Bloc to exert excess power because they get a much larger proportion of seats in comparison to their proportion of the popular vote. (And it’s not a uniquely Canadian problem: the UK House of Commons has Sinn Féin, the Scottish National Party, and Wales’s Plaid Cymru.) Also thanks to first-past-the-pots, the winning MP is the winning MP, regardless of whether her share of the vote was 80% or 33%. This system makes a lot of people vote strategically, and it’s sad to think of your own fundamental democratic exercise as a compromise. The voters shouldn’t be doing the major compromising. The voters should be excited about selecting their representatives. It’s THOSE representatives, going to Ottawa… they compromise, with each other, to create a national policy that works for most Canadians.

    Anyway, I’m getting long-winded and not really addressing the questions in the actual post itself. Yes, I will vote, but I think I’m going to try to talk with the local candidates as much as possible. Whoever gives the most attentive and thoughtful answers to my questions will receive my vote, even if I don’t agree with anyone 100%. (I rather doubt I could agree with someone that much, and I think 100% agreement between a candidate and a voter is impossible: everyone is different.) The national debate between the leaders isn’t really inspiring, but to give credit where it is due, I believe it is slightly more interesting and less cheap than 2008.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      You have obviously made a study of electoral systems and find them wanting.
      Here are a couple of other facts that might help to put a value on your right to vote.
      Not until the early 1920’s was the vote given to everyman.
      Not until parliamentarians had been to France and seen for themselves the horror of war did they understand the complete injustice of men making that kind of sacrifice for their country without even having the right to vote for the individuals who made the decisions.

      A handful of women also made very real and cruel sacrifice to win women’s right to vote.

      People went to jail.Women were force-fed and some died.

      A deadly price was paid by and for people like ourselves to have the right to vote for individuals who would exercise power over our lives.

      In Australia it is not just a right, it is a legal obligation.

      The parliamentary system works best with two parties.

      But if more people refuse to vote than vote.

      If more throw away their vote on parties that cannot hope to elect a member.

      If more people simply discount our parliamentary system.

      The price paid in the trenches of France and in jail cells here and in other countries was for nought.

      Their memory is dishonoured.

      Their sacrifice betrayed.

      Political parties are based on political philosophy.

      Is your philosophy survival of the fittest.

      If it is ….how you doin’?

      Do you believe you are your brother’s keeper?

      Forget all about the merits of the programs and promises.That has become a meaningless ritual’

      The two main parties are divided by philosophy.

      Decide for yourself which party stands for A Just Society?

      Which for the Law of the Jungle?

      Where do you fit in?

      With the Conrad Black’s of the world?

      Hope that helps.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Daniel– very interesting post 🙂

  26. There are two contentions made by at least as many individuals here which were not sufficiently substantiated in my opinion. I would be grateful if anyone here who agrees with these contentions could provide some facts and arguments to back them up.

    The first is that this is an “unnecessary election”. What makes it unnecessary? The fact that pollsters and others think the odds of returning to the same Parliamentary composition are high? Should we always forgo an election when the pollsters tell us this?

    It has been over 2 years since the last election. That may well be an all time record for a minority government, so I’m not sure you can say the last election was too recently.

    People complain when the minority parties in Parliament start making coalition noises saying that they were not elected to govern (Despite the fact that this is exactly how system of government was designed). At the same time they get upset for “too frequent” elections. Well the only other alternative to both of these is for the minority Members of Parliament to sit on their hands and allow the government to govern as if it had a majority. This would be to deny the fact that the electorate made that minority and gave the opposition parties that extra power to hold the government to account. The fact that the government still insists on governing as though it were a majority is the government’s fault, not the opposition.

    I’m not sure what choice the opposition really had. Many months ago the speaker ruled in the afghan affair, that Parliament and its committees had a right to see any government papers it wanted. The government obviously did not hear this because it stonewalled one of the committees for 4 months trying to stop them from getting a full financial account of the new fighter jets. Add to this the very dumb and unnecessary lie that Bev Oda uttered to another committee and I think the opposition had every right and even a responsibility to declare their lack of confidence in this government. Perhaps those who didn’t want an election would have preferred an opposition led government? I hope so.

    The other contention which I do not see evidence for is that Ignatieff only came back to fulfil his own personal goal of being Prime Minister. John Sarget, even contends that he may leave Canada if he fails to get the PM job, and that he may have even more handlers (then Harper?) if he gets the job. All of this I see as baseless hyperbole. Yes he had a really good job for a very long time in the US, but what is the basis for this speculation?

    From my perspective he gave up a really good job to come back and help his homeland which was being run by someone who was more of a threat then an asset. Ignatieff may have been out of the country for a few decades, but he holds values which I consider more Canadian than our current PM. Stephen Harper on the other hand, may have lived in Canada all his life, but his values are very, very, American.

    Anyway. That is how I see these two issues, and I would be grateful if someone with differing views would make an attempt at justifying them.

    cheers

    • fed up said

      Couldn’t agree more with you Darryl. It never ceases to amaze me how the party line is brainwashed into people’s minds with no solid facts upon which to base any kind of conclusion. This is true of all parties. Now these people go out and vote with no basis upon which to base an informed logical decision. This election, in my humble opinion, is the most important election in the last 7 years. It will clean house. If Harper does not win a majority, he will be gone as party leader. There’s hope for Baird yet!! If Iggy does not get in, he will be gone as party leader. If Jack does not improve upon last election’s showings, then he too, with his health, as deciding factor will be gone. If the Bloc looses ground, then they and their leader are done. What does that leave? Elizabeth May. The only direction she can go is up. Ottawa will have new faces come May 3 and may GOD HELP US.

    • Broderick Epps said

      As an aspiring politician I’m still at a loss from your previous comment about Adscam not being as bad as the in and out scheme to funnel money. Since when is the misuse of public funds categorized based on a perceived level of distaste. They are both bad period!
      As for this post “The government obviously did not hear this because it stonewalled one of the committees for 4 months trying to stop them from getting a full financial account of the new fighter jets.” Love this comment because history shows you could say the same about the Liberals. Replace “the new fighter jets” with ADSCAM. Here we go again. Furthermore history is very unkind to the Lib party where one Minister (Alphonso Gagliano) actually shredded pertinant information and the Prime Minister of the day Chief of Staff (Pelletier) suddenly claimed because of his age he couldn’t remember anything. I am not arguing what was worst but rather if you tar one party, also look at the leading contending party which has an equally revolting past. As for Ignatieff, if he was so great why were the Liberals afraid to hold a leadership convention to DEMOCRATICALLY elect him as leader.The Other major leaders all went through the process.As I said in an earlier post, the last time they held a leadership convention racism and anti semetism within the Liberal Party reared its head.Could they be trying to suppress this?
      As someone who is voting Rhinoceros, I am sick and tired of the Liberal led media slanting the message that Harper is bad so as to open the door for the second choice… surprise a Liberal. I am not impressed by Harper, actually loathe Ignatieff and Jack Layton and his hands on the Public Purse is indeed scary. My grandfather put it best.”Don’t vote for them it only encourages them”

    • Mr. Epps, thank you for asking. I am happy to make my position as clear as possible.

      In my opinion, Alphonso Gagliano should have gone to jail along with Chuck Guité, Jean Brault, Jean Lafleur, and others. I don’t make any excuses for the Liberal Party. Ad Scam happened on their watch and they have to take responsibility, and largely I think they did. They have been paying for this for 6 years now. It still comes up as an election issue.

      The important and key difference that I see between Ad Scam and the Conservative In/Out scheme, is that Ad Scam was primarily a case of several individuals within the party and government taking advantage of their personal power and a lack of oversight to further their own interests. Pretty bad for sure. The In/Out scheme, on the other hand, was a not only blatant attempt to subvert our election laws which are there to protect our democracy, but it was done at the absolute highest level of the Conservative Party. It took advantage of not just an apparent hole in the system, but unwitting novice Tory candidates who did not know better when the national party asked them to participate. It too involved public money because more than 75% of every penny parties spend is public money.

      Overall, I guess I’d rate both of these pretty closely. The only reason I put the In/Out scheme higher I think is because I see it as a direct attempt to subvert or election rules and therefore our democracy. Obviously I represent a minority with this view because the In/Out scheme simply has not garnered any traction in the media.

      Also note, that one of the main recommendations coming out of the Gomery Commission was that Parliament committees need more power to oversee the government. Given the F-35 shenanigans, I’d say it was the Conservative that learned nothing from Ad Scam.

      Finally as for Ignatieff’s fast track to leadership. Again, I make no apologies for the Liberals, I certainly am not one, however I will say that our whole party system is deeply flawed. The fact that any party leader is allowed to over rule riding associations and parachute in candidates is wrong. All parties have done this, including Harper. The fact that MPs can be threatened with being expelled from caucus if they vote against their party in the House is wrong. In Briton, when the government loses a finance bill it triggers a confidence motion rather than being considered one itself, and MPs are much freer to vote against their party. How Ignatieff got to be leader is but one example of the lack of democracy which is endemic to our whole party system. I expect the simple reason Ignatieff was fast tracked was purely pragmatic. The Liberals were still paying off Ad Scam, as well as the previous leadership convention they had only two years prior. Quite simply the Liberals had no money for a traditional leadership convention.

      I wish you luck with your commitment to vote Rhino, it is my understanding that they do not have a candidate running in this riding. I urge you to also examine the Green Party platform to see if it might be more to your liking and thereby provide you with the opportunity to vote FOR something rather than simply against everything else.

      cheers.

    • Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

      Broderick:

      “As an aspiring politician I’m still at a loss from your previous comment about Adscam not being as bad as the in and out scheme to funnel money. Since when is the misuse of public funds categorized based on a perceived level of distaste. They are both bad period!”

      I disagree. Adscam came about as a result of fairweather Quebec Liberal supporters who wanted to swish around in the public trough and they really didn’t have much to do with the Liberal party themselves.

      The In-and-Out scheme included parliamentarians and sitting Conservative senators acting in concernt to manipulate federal voting.

      Clearly, actual CPC party stalwarts and sitting senators were involved in the in-and-out scheme, and that is why I see no comparison between the two events. The In-and-Out scheme was an attempt to manipulate voting results, while Adscam was simple theivery. Added to this was the Harper promise that he would not govern and run these kinds of schemes, so he lied to us straight up.

      Trying to compare these two failures at face-value is disingenuous at best, and is rather “light” when it comes to political analysis. I see that Conservatives have often made the same statement in an attempt to show that they are no different than the Liberals, but the reality is that the Conservatives told us that they wouldn’t be like the Liberals, and they refuse to “man-up” and simply take responsibility for their own issues.

      Instead, the Conservatives have a habit of blaming others for their own problems, and that is simply not leadership. In fact, the worse kind of leader is the one that blames defenceless underlings for their problems, like harper has done this entire campaign, and that is why I refuse to vote conservative.

      I cannot understand why anyone would want to vote for the kind of person that blames staff. As the saying goes: “A poor workman always blames his tools”, and that describes Harper to a Tee.

  27. Tim the Enchanter said

    Not much to choose from this time around.

    Harper should have had a majority last time out but keeps shooting himself in the foot.
    Allowing the RCMP to remove a couple of students from a rally?
    C’mon!

    That said, the Cons have kept things on more or less of an even keel through a serious world-wide recession.

    Stimulus spending, increases in which were insisted on by Iggy and Jack, ran up a deficit.
    So now Iggy’s complaining.
    Why? Because the Liberals would have spent less?

    Now the Libs are promising national day care. Again.
    Sorry parents. Pay for your own babysitting.

    Cap and trade emissions program?
    Proven white elephant and economy killer in Europe.
    Ask ‘A windmill in every yard’ McGuinty how popular big Green spending is.
    Better yet, ask ‘Green shift’ Dion.

    $500M extra education spending for natives?
    Why don’t we find out what happens to the $10B they already get every year?

    Cancel the fighter program?
    Sure. Toss the millions already spent on a program initiated by the Libs in the first place.
    Shades of Chretien costing us $500M to cancel helicopters and then ordering them anyway (still haven’t got them either).
    I’m not entirely satisfied with the info provided by Harper on the F-35 program but I know enough not to pay any attention to Iggy’s version.

    As far as that goes, we wouldn’t even be spending $300M on this election if the Cons had given in to Lib and NDP demands on the budget; ie; spent even MORE money.

    Sorry Liberals. While you’ve been whingeing about why the electorate hasn’t returned you to your ‘rightful’ place as Canada’s Natural Governing Party – the Cons have moved into the comfortable middle – where you used to be.

    And surprise surprise; despite dire warnings, the Cons haven’t banned abortion, gay marriage or deported unwed mothers to Greenland.

    As for our local candidates?
    I’m sure they’re all nice people but does it really matter?
    If elected they will toe the party line (despite what the home folks say) – or else – and they know it.

    I do encourage everyone to vote but I for one am no longer willing to hold my nose while I make a quick X for the ‘lesser of the evils’ or ‘better the devil you know’.

    So far, none of the parties have addressed issues important to me but if I haven’t decided by election day I, for the first time as an eligible voter, will not make an X but in the absence of the sorely needed ‘None of the Above’ ballot option I will send an email to the appropriate party letting them know they lost my vote and why.

    I hope it doesn’t come to that.

    But if it does, even though I didn’t vote I will continue to bitch because I pay taxes.

  28. I find the “in and out” scheme by the Conservatives to be even worse than the Liberals AdScan because it was actually instigated by the party itself at the highest level. Harper makes no apologies. A scheme where money is filtered through ridings, sometimes only being there for 20 minutes, then returning to national party is unprecedented and certainly goes against the spirit of the law if not the letter. I am truly baffled that this issue does not seem to have legs in the media.

    The constant cloak of secrecy I see in the Harper government I find very troubling such as PMO interference with access to information requests, and withholding information from Parliament committees.

    Regarding Harper’s proroguing of Parliament. Sure other parties do it, but no other party has ever prorogued Parliament only a month into their mandate. That was the most blatant end run around the rules and attack on our democracy ever.

    I support the $/vote system we have, though I think we could easily reduce how much money this costs. I like the idea of people being able to direct tax dollars via their direct participation in democracy. I’ve had a few people tell me this is one of the main reasons they are even considering voting at all. It is certainly better than having corporations, unions and the monied classes being the only ones who control the purse strings.

    I don’t understand the bad rap that Ignatieff has been getting. He is smart and well spoken, and while people are starting to warm up to him, I fear the campaign period will not be long enough for him to really benefit from that.

    Not that I will be voting Liberal either mind you. I am happy to say that I will be voting for our local Green candidate Vanessa Long, who has been the riding president for many years, and currently sits on the Green Party Shadow cabinet as Social Services critic.

    FYI, she has a meet and greet every Saturday if anyone is interested. The morning it is at Wild Flowerscafe on Main Street in Newmarket

    That’s my $0.02 anyway.

    cheers.

  29. Running country isn’t that easy.
    Results don’t happen over night.
    We cannot keep switching governments like socks every day!
    … election is waste of our time and money.
    JOHN H SARGENT well said.

    Anna 🙂

    Note to moderator, what plugin do you use for comment notification and subscribe to this site, shown right below the Post Comment button. Thanks in advance.

    • abacus said

      Instead of two sets of attack ads, calling opponents dirty names, impugning the respective opposition forces, to the betterment of none, Canada should move from minority governments to coalition government.

      If you take the best of the Conservatives, the Liberals and even the NDP, you could probably come up with a far better cabinet of people who are properly qualified, instead of the many weak-kneed, scandal-ridden and quite stupid people who now serve and who screw up

      regularly.

      This would require party leaders to suppress their often offensive personalities and control-dominated manner for a collegial partnership. The individual parties might lose something but Canadians as a whole would win.

      Is this too simple a concept?

    • Evelyn Buck said

      Oh My !!

      “election is waste of our time and money”

      In parts of the world, on this day,people just like us, are being shot on the street by their own governments’ forces.

      They have learned from the social media how things are in countries like ours and want only the same for themselves.

      When I came to Ontario, I quickly learned I had probably, inadvertently, chosen the best place in the country to raise my family.

      It just got better.

      I learned something of the Province’s history and came to realise the Premier who had the most influence was Leslie Frost, a lawyer from Lindsay.

      He was a Conservative,who achieved what he did with skill and wisdom and working hand in hand with a Liberal government in Ottawa.

      It is individuals of principle and determination who make good things happen.

      They wear passion on their sleeve, set political dogma aside and work together for the betterment of the community.

      They pay a price but the opportunity to make a contribution to the greater good is satisfaction enough. It has to be.

      Because there’s more than enough of the other stuff.

      In my view, it comes down to the person who holds the reins of leadership.

      Is it the secretive one who is afraid to show his face, is tightly scripted and literally keeps people at a distance?

      Or is it the one who reaches out to draws us in and invites us to be part of the process?

      For me the choice has to be,the one with sufficient confidence to present himself, who doesn’t need handlers to keep a distance between him and the people, the one most likely to use the best and the brightest to discover solutions the countries problems.

      It is not the incumbent. A secretive personality does not inspire trust.
      Scurrilous abuse of the competition does not engender respect.

      We need positive vibes now more than ever before.

      Contrived photo opportunities and singing Beatle songs don’t cut it for me.

      Ignatieff will be my choice.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Re EVELYN BUCK *Oh MY* Yes my dear a unnecessary election is always a waste of time and money and has nothing to do with people being shot in the street here to-day ,but not to say it wont be happening here when all us blogger s are long passed on..Just look to last g-20 summit-no deaths but that was Ontario government of the day that allowed it to proceed –You are allowed to vote as you please,but being the seasoned politician that you are i just thought you of all people would see Igatieff for what he is,a man who returned to Canada to be Prime Minister :), If and i mean if the Cons get a sizable majority will Iggy sell his condo and leave Canada again?? or if he gets elected will you see more handlers around him than you have ever seen before… Does a past Major of Aurora come to mind, we all thought she was the cats meow and kicked out Tim Jones,i have a feeling Ignatieff will be much more of a the same(i am god) dictator type given the reins 🙂 EV

    • auroracitizen said

      Anna, about the plugin, not really sure. Sent a wee note to the tech people and hopefully they can shed some light.

    • Thanks Auroracitizen.

      Re Evelyn, the problem I have, I don’t think Ignatieff is a true leader, he is shaped to be one by his party minds. When I look at him talking on TV, its like he is talking to the ground, there is no eye contact, I don’t see connection (someone else help me here, or am I seeing things?). I find Harper a bit more strategic leader, he does not pretend to be anybody else. Harper is decision maker with help of his masterminds, where Ignatieff’s master minds are decision makers for Ignatieff (in my opinion). We need government to work together with opposition, but how can they work if opposition has an agenda to oppose everything.

      If everyone tried to be part of the process, we should all run the country and make decisions. I think there still should be some barrier for those who lead. They usually see the whole picture.

      I have too much on my plate, so I rather have government do their job so I can do mine.

      I prefer that people don’t challenge me too much on politics too, may be I still have lot to learn, but I definitely I know where I am casting my vote.

      Good night!

      Anna 🙂

    • fed up said

      Living in Aurora.ca says: I have too much on my plate, so I rather have government do their job so I can do mine.

      Even if that government is “corrupt”?

    • Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

      Living in Aurora:

      “I don’t think Ignatieff is a true leader”.

      i understand what you are saying about Mr. Ignatieff, but what surprises me more is why you don’t think the same about Harper? Mr. Harper has spent the past few weeks blaming the Carson debacle and other missteps on staff and CPC underlings. In my experience working with politicians of every stripe, the one thing that always tells me whether or not someone is a real leader is how they accept responsibility.

      Accepting responsibility does not mean blaming staff for problems, and harper has made a habit of blaming defenceless underlings for a number of years now. On that point alone I would never vote for the guy, nor can I understand how anyone would want to vote for aomeone who is quick to refuse responsibility and cast it on those that can’t defend themselves. That is cheap, and that is not leadership material.

    • Fed Up I think you will agree on this one with me: not only governments are corrupt, government on each level is, government agencies, businesses, and citizens. We all screwing each other on the end, something I don’t want to think about because I get very angry for trying to do everything right. No matter how good team you choose, someone will screw up somewhere for you. This is something leaders/managers don’t have control over it, unless they micro-manage, and still you get screwed …

      Kron Prinz Ferdinand good point. The problem in this picture is that Ignatieff right now has nothing to accept responsibility for. If he becomes PM, just watch, he will be blaming Conservatives for all the doings, and telling us that is why taxes need to go up (this is my assumption only, and I could be TOTALLY wrong). But for now I don’t see true leadership in Ignatieff (just me I guess), and may be Harper does not have it either, but right now he is PM and to have all three parties to be against him isn’t easy fight to have. I am surprise that he is still standing … I am not trying to by sympathetic, but he is still my choice for Canada.

      PS lol I think I need to retire from my 101 politics, or quit … too stressful

      Anna 🙂

    • “…Harper does not have it either, but right now he is PM and to have all three parties to be against him isn’t easy fight to have. I am surprise that he is still standing … I am not trying to by sympathetic, but he is still my choice for Canada.”

      So Anna, all the attributes you ascribe to Ignatieff in your last statement you also at least allow that Harper may have them too, and if I understand your last statement correctly, you are choosing Harper for PM because is already our PM. Well, that pretty much defines conservative so I guess no one can really argue against that. 🙂

      I hope you don’t retire from your 101 politics. This sort of civil discourse is important. Too many people have already “retired” and the voter turn out from last election was a record low as a result. The important thing is to respect other peoples political choices as we respect their religions, and keep the discussion on policy rather than personality. (At least with regard to the people you are arguing with). This thread is about the most civil and respectful political discussion I have witnessed on this site. Yeah!

    • Darryl, thank you.

      You said: ‘… you are choosing Harper for PM because is already our PM. Well, that pretty much defines conservative so I guess no one can really argue against that.’ – in deed you are correct lol. I don’t like flip flapping. It isn’t healthy for anyone. It always gets me that people want result NOW. There is no such a thing. This also tells us how impatient society we are.

      Lol, ‘I hope you don’t retire from your 101 politics.’, and thanks. I was cautious with few lines to post, and see where I am now :). I don’t think I will retire from voting, just the debates in here can be very exhausting because I still think I have so much to learn.

      Thanks again,
      Anna 🙂

  30. JOHN H SARGENT said

    A vote for a local candidate is a vote for the party they are in is it not, as the way i understand it they can not vote against a motion their party is supporting if they want to stay in good standing with their peers, no-matter how the riding they represent feels about it..Would you not prefer a scripted person ,rather than one who changes their mind to suit you ??..Also i do believe the Liberal government prorogued parliament a few years back (true or false)–Any minority government would appear in crises if they continuously have to worry about being shut down if they not please the parties not voted in by public ..Maybe it is time to change the way democracy is viewed in CANADA..It would help if a Mp was allowed to vote in the house the way they say they will while canvasing for our vote and not the way they are told to//

    • Broderick Epps said

      JS wrote “Would you not prefer a scripted person ,rather than one who changes their mind to suit you”
      Good question. During the Lebanon Israel war Michael Ignatieff was first quoted as saying he wasn’t going to lose any sleep over the killing of innocents in Qana during a war. Taken to task for his insensitive comments he moved forward and condemned Israel for war crimes. Again taken to task for only blaming Israel he recanted and said both sides were guilty of war crimes. He also appeared at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto to apologize for saying Israel committed war crimes. I guess to some this was not scripted and Ignatieff is the decisive polished politician.Earth to Canadians. They are all scripted not one less than the other. Thats why the Rhino party is the way to go.

    • Sprite said

      Seeing all these passionate and divergent opinions on the subject of the federal election serves to spotlight the wonderful thing that occurred when this fractious group came together to evict the former mayor. Thank you each and every one.

      Okay, roll up your sleeves and go back into the fray.

    • Anonymous said

      Geeze Sprite…

      Why does every topic here have to come back to the “Evil Former Mayor”? Another example of the 1-way agenda of most here.

  31. Elizabeth Bishenden said

    I disagreed with the decision for the Maternal Health Care Program to not fund abortions. One thing I can say in favour of Lois Brown is that she at least responded to my letter with a package. Letters to Belinda Stronach were met with echoing silence. Letters to Maurizio Bevilacqua got a personal response within days and always had a followup package of information.

    I definitely believe that I should look at the person first and the party second.

    A party that would prorogue is a government in crisis. With no crisis extant at the time, I have to say that they don’t have my vote. To prorogue is to suspend democracy. That needs to be done with a good reason.

    Whoever has my vote has to answer some questions. Kyle Peterson did well when he came to my door, but I will always try to see what the other candidates have to offer.

    For now, I guess I am undecided, but I have for sure eliminated the incumbent.

    • Broderick Epps said

      EB. I am normally find your points of view very insightful. The post above though sounds eerily like someone who has their point of view shaped by a very Liberal Media. The Tories have been painted by the media as being undemocratic for proroguing parliament.I get incensed when I read this. Firstly, the king of prroroguing was one John Chretien who effectively used this tool everytime there was a damning auditors report about to be released ie HRDC or Adscam. Furthermore he would call an election call the Tories racists and with a hidden agenda, and the people would buy into this spurred on by ie The Toronto Star. What bothers me is Chretien and the Liberals got away with it. As for the undemocratic part now worn by Harper. Ask yourself what leader was imported and appointed by the backroom political hacks and did not get DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED by the members. Why? Could it be this party could not afford another leadership convention where the anti-semetic racist elements well known within the party would re-emerge. Heck they already lost one candidate for this reason.Again where are the questions? Where is the media? Shouldn’t the Liberals be taken to task? You sure aren’t.
      Elizabeth on this we differ, but that is one of the benefits of democracy we so much enjoy. The freedom to see beyond the rhetoric and form OUR OWN opinions.
      BTW I am voting Rhinoceros!

  32. JOHN H SARGENT said

    I know my vote will be going to the party that has steered this country in the right direction allowing it able to go forth.. The other party’s have spent the last 3 years trying to bring down this government, rather than enhance it..NOW we hear promises ,promise and more promises..Were oh were is all this loot going to come from to fulfill them or are they going come into affect only after, if they get reelected 4 years from now ??…NDP says Conservatives could have lifted every senior out of poverty in their last budget? easy to say when you not have to live up to your words ??..Liberals say gas should not be the price it is to-day,-when they were in power their answer was they can not control the retail price??.. liberals were going to drop the GST ,hell they raised it..Liberals are in power in ONTARIO what are they doing for the less fortunate, oh ya raising more taxes in way they see fit, fixed our car insurance system to aid the insurance company’s in the disguise of helping the average folks..Liberals have more scandals going on that are costing millions,our hydro debt that was a set amount was paid off a year or so ago, but wait they still need your extra money until 2016 and will not open the books for anyone as Mr Frank Klee s pointed out.were the Liberals so just believe us and not intervene..LOL..Back to their Federal counter parts and their leader..listen to him speak, do you honestly believe him ?? No the media will not change my vote this time around..There are people that will vote per say poll results,and those that will vote green in protest while they better off to just not vote in that case..Just because i voting Conservative this time around,in no way saying they have my vote next time around..Despite a tough world economy i think Canada has fared quite well with the Conservative holding they rains in a minority government..Lets give them a majority and if they not to your satisfaction, vote against them in 4 year’s or do we want to tale a chance and start fresh when the world is still pocking back and forth..Yes there are those who want us to believe in their words and promised gifts to get in power,..vote for who you want but take a second to think,their are only about 2 countries that did not have to suffer a major depression or financial crises–CANADA and SWEDEN, do we really want to change coarse now and take the risk, the Federal government in power in Canada must be doing most right besides what the Liberals and NDP would have us believe they are doing all wrong ITS YOUR VOTE USE IT WISELY

    • Hogwash said

      I suggest you have a deep look at Sweden, underneath the travel brochures. Not suffering a financial crisis is no reason to fall in love with a country.

      Possibly you should do some serious research before you come out strongly for or against – anything. I believe a Swedish prime minister was assassinated, but does this condemn a country? On the other hand ABBA was an international hit, also from Sweden. So?

      Getting me started on Canadian politics is to unleash a hailstorm, so will hang up.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      RE Hogwash says…Do research before we comment.. Thank you for your response ..yet no one was asked to fall in love with Sweden or Canada for that matter,and as for the assassination of a Swedish Prime Minister, that was way back in 1986,while he and his wife were walking down the street with no handlers or body guards–he never had any??.. Hogwash no need to hang up or unleash a hail storm for that matter,:) we were all asked for comments on the current election or the way one may decide their vote. Lets not go back 20 or even farther years, because by the time we finish current election would be over, just by discussing Diefenbaker s, cancellation of avero arrow airplanes or Trudeau s Charter of Rights for ALL Canadians ?? In closing ,with all the plastic comments, i rather have a little plastic ,than a smooth talking wind up that will constantly break down demanding more money to keep it talking to you.Aurora is one riding in a vast country,and yes i agree with other blogs, Lois Brown does not have,that attention grasping appearance, the come to me gift of gab and is somewhat boring at the least so i am looking to-ward her present party when deciding to vote

    • Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

      John S:

      I respectfully disagree with your assessment on the CPC going in the “right direction.” The CPC has been spending our money like it was Kleenex for the past six years -which is bad enough- but to see them lie to us about the true cost of the F-35 jets, and then lie to us about what the proposed prisons will cost…and just in today’s papers the auditor-general came out and said that the harper government lied to us on the true cost of the G8 leaves me wondering how an intelligent person like you can say that the Harper government is going in the “right direction”.

      As far as i’m concerned, the harper government is the envy of drunken sailors everywhere in the manner that it has been spending our money, and it has got to stop.

    • Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

      John:

      “The other party’s have spent the last 3 years trying to bring down this government, rather than enhance it”

      hunh? Are you a new Canadian, because this is about as far from reality as any statement i’ve seen from someone familiar with politics in Canada of late. I’ve seen the CPC do nothing to work with the opposition to the degree that I expected them to, but the opposition has been very supportive of the government since the last election, as far as voting on budgets go. They just couldn’t abide by this last budget, and now that I’ve seen what the Auditor-General has to say about CPC spending in Parry-Sound Muskoka -in a report that the CPC was going to release AFTER the election, I’m surprised that anyone could say that the Harper government has been a steady hand at any time in the past few years.

      The only thing that Harper has done steadily is spend our money…and in Tony Clement’s riding, he spent it easily, likely illegally, and quite freely by misrepresenting the expenditures to Parliament.

      although I must admit that I’m stuck voting for the lesser of the evils, as usual.

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      KRON P F I hope you watched the debate to-night? Stephen Harper acted like a Prime Minister and Iggy like a man who does not like to be put in a spot when someone tells the truth him RE Jack Layton about Iggs attendance,what did he say he would do if elected?? spent to much on trying to make others look bad, is that what you look for in the roll of a Prime Minster in wanting?…NO i am not a new Canadian(61 years),but if i was, still not think i would take a chance on Iggy as my leader,yet i am just one vote and it will not be going the Liberal way this time around:) so I will retire from this debate and wait the out come of all Canadians

    • Kron Prinz Ferdinand said

      John:

      “I hope you watched the debate to-night?”

      I did. It was rather boring, but the French one was way more animated.

      “Stephen Harper acted like a Prime Minister and Iggy like a man who does not like to be put in a spot when someone tells the truth him”

      That’s a bit of a stretch, John. All harper did was try to ignore the questions and comments about the G* and G20 pork-barrelling he did, which really does a disservice to Canadians. In essence, Mr. Ignatieff would ask “How come people in the riding of Parry sound-Muskoka knew seven months before parliament even voted on the expenditure that they would be receiving $50 million” and Harper would respond by saying “Thank you for asking that question. The conservative government loves Canada, and loves Canadians, and we are doing everything in our power to remain on an even keel”.

      What I see happening is that Conservative supporters whose minds are set are trying to argue that Harper’s repeated obfuscation and refusal to address these questions somehow make him “Prime ministerial” when really it shows us all how contemptuous he is of Canadians, and that there is a certain segment of this country that enable him to act poorly by mindlessly voting Conservative…regardless of what the man says or does.

      Or better yet, what Harper doesn’t say and doesn’t do.

  33. Wisely said

    I find Lois to be as plastic and as scripted as Mr. Harper. I’m looking forward to meeting Kyle Peterson.

    • fed up said

      I’m still waiting for my free Canadian flag promised when she first got elected.

    • Anonymous said

      I agree with you wholeheartedly, Wisely.
      I have never heard or seen in writing anything from Lois Brown which was not just a verbatim “parroting” of the party line. I don’t think she has an original thought in her head.
      I also have no idea what she has actually done for her constituency. I am not aware that she has fought for anything for Newmarket-Aurora. If we get anything, it is only because it trickles out of the general pool.
      Stephen Harper scares me. His controlling approach and arrogance worries me. I can think of several throughout history who believed that they were above the law and that they could ignore the rules. Hitler and Stalin come to mind. We just got rid of a dictator at the municipal level; why would we increase the power of one at the federal level?
      I really don’t want to witness the dismantling of our democracy by the autocratic ambitions of one man. Our parliamentary system has served Britain well for hundreds of years whereas Canada, not even 200 years old is toying with throwing it away.
      I do not know much about Mr. Peterson or the other candidates but I intend to find out. I hope they show up in my neighbourhood.

    • Broderick Epps said

      After watching the debate, have to wonder is there really anyone more wooden or scripted than Ignatieff. The man reeks of insincerety.Against the jet fighter deal yet at the end says we need a competetive bidding process for them. Which one is it Iggy for or against?
      Also his scripted he will fund his promises by raising the corporate tax rate to 18% is absolutely bull crap. As a small business owner competing in a GLOBAL market, I can’t fathom how raising taxes will increase jobs. Perhaps it is because I don;t have the intelligence Iggy wants us to believe he has.His point about the corporate tax rate and for that matter super jails essentially says what fellow Liberal Dalton McGuinty is wrong a fact I’ll hold the diehard Liberals to come Provincial Election time when I’m sure they will spin it that these decisions are whats best. As for Harper Im still at a loss how his beautification of Muskoka helps Canadians as a whole. To hear Ignatieff talk about that though is like the pot calling the kettle black. John Chretien, the godfather of porkbarreling always made sure Shawinigan got the most Federal Largesse. Be it HRDC (17 projects) to Adscam and the golf course shenanigans.As for Layton his tax the rich to give to the poor mantra is wearing thin. Though he did reserve his best shots for Iggy on attendance and truthfulness.All in all this debate just re-inforces my contention
      politicians are only good at telling you what you want to hear.Follow through on nothing.Call me a cynic but we really have no one to vote for that has our best interests at heart and UNDERSTANDS HOW TO DELIVER.

  34. A suggestion said

    Harper should be in the asylum, not running it.

    Iggy should return to academe.

    Layton should retire.

    Duceppe should stay where he is doing what he does – which is nothing. But at least he does it for Quebeckers.

    We need, for the next five years, a CEO and a Board of Directors composed of people from all parts of society. They must have proved that they are intelligent, successful by a wide measure of accomplishment, understand our country and its total society and are not afraid to say no. They must be capable of accepting responsibility and of acting in the best interests of all the people.

    We do not need any more politicians.

    • Anonymous said

      Almost a year after Harper received a majority government, I can safely say that his election was one of the worst decisions we made in choosing a federal government.

      The one item that takes the cake is the introduction of his electronic snooping law -a law which runds counter to everything we have written about on this site with respect to privacy.

      However, Harper’s government takes it a step further and has come out and said that if we (us Canadians) don’t support this law, then we are in league with child pornographers! Bull-pucky! I don’t support this law because I DO NOT want to be in league with people like Phyllis Morris! The Copnservatives say that this law is to help police track internet abusers down…which under the hazy terms could mean anyone and everyone, not just abusers like child pornographers. We are being introduced to a Machiavellian government in dribs and drabs, and the above posts from conservative supporters during the run up to the election last year look pale and hollow given how this government has operated -in particular the manner in which we now find out that they shower oue money on their friends, and take helicpoter rides on our dime from their fishing lodges.

      How anyone can justify this government is beyond me.

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