Aurora Citizen

News & Views from the Citizens of Aurora Ontario

Aurora All-candidates Debate

Posted by auroracitizen on April 21, 2011

Last night was a spirited event, well attended by supporters from all sides. In general, it was positive both for the audience and the candidates. Given the differing opinions it was nice to see 4 candidates — all passionate about their positions — engaged with each other in a respectful manner.

There were some good questions both from the panellists and from the floor. As always, the Yes/No questions were difficult to answer and left both candidates and audience wanting more.

Alison Collins-Mrakas did a very nice job moving things along and keeping the odd audience member in line who stepped out of bounds. Overall a very well run and enjoyable evening.

What were your thoughts? Did all the candidates acquit themselves well? Was their a clear winner?

Importantly, did any of their answers firm up your position or cause you to change your position?

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22 Responses to “Aurora All-candidates Debate”

  1. Tim the Enchanter said

    Some of the comments regarding our local candidates seem rather curious.

    Obviously we’ll each have our opinion on personalities; who presents well, who seems friendly or confident-
    or not.

    What’s curious are questions regarding where a particular candidate stands on an issue.

    There’s usually no need to ask – just visit that candidate’s party website or read the brochure. If the issue that you’re interested in isn’t mentioned it is probably safe to assume it is not on that party’s radar.

    If absolutely necessary I suppose one could ask. “Ms. Long, what is the Green Party stance on X ?”

    I’m sure Vanessa Long will gladly tell you the Green Party position.

    “Lois is a parrot”?

    Really? Lois Brown is a Conservative Party candidate – the party website outlines their platform. What do you expect her to say?

    Candidates aren’t there to present their own ideas. I believe in the political business they call that “going off-message”.

    The particluar issue at hand or even the party involved matters not.

    If you aren’t sure that’s true then take a look at the rural riding NDP MPs that, having supported killing the gun registry because that’s what their constituents wanted, and indeed having first voted for the Conservative bill, suddenly were “convinced” by these same constituents to reverse themselves, supported Layton and the party and voted to defeat the bill in final reading.

    Needless to say, many constituents in those ridings were just a tad miffed.

    The point is when push comes to shove – Party comes before constituents – we all should know that by now.

    • Vanessa said

      Too true. We do all push our Party platforms, and the idea that Ms Brown or Mr Peterson would vote against their respective Parties was somewhat ludicrous. I believe I said something to that extent during the Rogers debate.

      The beauty of the Green Party is that all of our policies are based on six core values. Even if I don’t know a specific policy, I can easily speak from the six values that I share with Greens all over the world and chances are I’ll be ‘on message’. It’s why I don’t really have to look at my briefing notes. That, and our platform doesn’t change from election to election, Vision Green is available every day of the year on our website. You can read the values here: http://vanessalong.ca/green-party-values/

      The cool thing about being a Green MP in the coming Parliament is that I would have more power than any major Party backbencher and I *would* be able to speak for my Party and my constituents as a major Green player.

      That would be very exciting. Thanks for including me in the review. πŸ™‚

      –Vanessa

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Vanessa..With no hard feeling..That was something that did concern me, because you did seem to be reading from something most of time .if it not briefing notes what was it..(watch the tapes)..Hmmmm.It would be cool to be a GREEN MP As i would have more power than any other Party backbench er and that *would* be exciting :)..those comments scare me along with our Green PARTY platform not change from election to election,*well* the country of Canada’s needs normally do and* NO* no platform in the world is perfect

    • Vanessa said

      Hi John. I wrote down my opening and closing statements. They weren’t briefing notes issues by the Party but an attempt to keep the butterflies at bay.

      I disagree that the needs of Canadians change from election to election. We all still need clean air, food and water. We still need accessible health care. And we still need to have a social support system that will be there for us when we call upon it.

      We update areas of the platform that require it, and we update our budget to keep it current. My point was that you can access our ‘platform’ Vision Green any time to learn more about the Green Party. Built on values, we don’t play to whatever the hot topic is in a particular campaign, but instead consistently put forward our vision for Canada.

      I’m not sure why it would scare you to have an MP who had more freedom to advocate for Newmarket-Aurora…

      And I’m sorry if my smiley-faces bother you. I probably do over-use them but I find them the easiest way to counter-act the tendency of online forums to sound angry.

      –Vanessa

  2. Such names of comentators indicate where their minds are and experience proves — how limited you are. I did mean Lois will get a role as a minister. The country is going Conservative. Majority. The Liberalsd will fragement, unitl they get a leader likely from La Belle Province or less Quebec votes. Jack the Flash has hit his mark which bothers Marquis Duceppe.

    • Anonymous said

      Only one factor kept the conservatives from a majority in the last election, and may keep them from one in this election.

      Steve Harper.

      Even though he’s lost a few pounds I and a lot of other canadians don’t trust him as far as we can throw him.

  3. R. Cummins said

    At the meeting our communities were described as rampant with crime. It was both an insult and the opposite of the truth.

    Despite no overwhelming police presence on the streets there was not one person in the room fearful about going out into the parking lot after the debate and getting into their cars, not one person afraid of getting out of their cars when they got home and not one person afraid of walking home.

    The lack of truth is important but the insult is lethal.

    How can the Mayors and the Councillors of our Municipalities and our Region stand by and not counter such an insult? How can they let our brands and our people be run down so publicly and so prominently?

    Stand up for our towns please. You are the closest to us. You know our towns. You know us. Stand up for us please.

    • Vanessa said

      Excellent point. Fear-mongering may be an effective tactic for right-wing Parties but it does have long-term negative consequences on community-building and trust.

      I love Newmarket and Aurora and I do feel safe here. πŸ™‚

      –Vanessa

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      To R CUMMINGS.. Bold testament to make , im sure you not know every one in the room or what area they live, TO say our community’s are free of rampant crime, do your homework( look outside of your box) and talk to police,talk to business owners, talk to citizens. Some residents are fearful enough of their neighbors actions and comments police are called,break ins n theft is rampant at times and assaults do happen here and in the region I do not see you or Vanessa Long asking to reduce the Police numbers or their presence in the near future .. Mayors and Councilors of towns and region probably know crime is a issue and will be in the future and that it was not a insult to speak the truth on this issue. rather stupidity not to :)..I just hope recent comments by some, that York Region is such fearless happy ,easy going place, does not make us a easier target in criminals eyes..(free lunch)

  4. JOHN H SARGENT said

    Its seems like the Liberals and there supporters are not about to try and even work with a new Harper minority if that was the out come of May 2..That is evident by Iggy s remark Tue of, Harper may not even get past the throne speech if he (Iggy) comes in second and the constant heckling and failure of respect by Liberal supporters when Lois Brown had anything to say , other supporters of all parties clapped for all candidates, but not the Liberal group, it a free country ,yet a obvious observation..Dorian Baxter was worth the price of admission:) and you have to respect Vanessa Long for her commitment and believe in her journey of hope for a country which she has lived in all her life

    • Opinionated said

      Lois Brown contributed nothing to the group and certainly did not deserve respect; possibly some consideration, but not respect.

      I’m not sure whether she has ever had an original thought or opinion; seems to speak from the “Great Play Book.”

      Vanessa Long was incredibly impressive and could have a serious future in politics, or in anything.

      Lois – go home and stay there. It makes me sick to think what you are paid as an MP – not what you earn – what you are paid.

    • Broderick Epps said

      Opinionated is certianly entitled to his opinion.Watching the debate and listeneing to all the promises was interesting.Love to hear the innocence of well meaning novices vying for our vote as they forget the lines of Federal/Provincial/Municipal Jurisdictions. Shows a luck of understanding of our political system.

    • Vanessa said

      Thank you very much for the comments. It is great to hear that I reached people during the debates.

      And, Broderick, if you were referring to me as not understanding jurisdictional boundaries I would ask you to be more specific so that I can respond appropriately. I believe it is a common political cop-out to say that ‘this issue or that’ is another jurisdiction but the federal government can have profound influence on every jurisdiction through funding choices and regulations. Family Law, Health Care and Education are just three provincial jurisdictions that have overarching national policy frameworks and funding formulas.

      I remain, as always, available to answer any questions.

      –Vanessa

    • JOHN H SARGENT said

      Yes Opinionated is entitled to his opinion..but only certify s the disrespect i was referring to in my post..further more for one to lay out such opinionated disrespectful comments about another person without showing ones own name is disrespectful in itself and makes me sick :)..You can dislike someone, be scared of them in power,not vote for them,find falter in them,what ever and still retain respect of yourself and others.. Obviously thou some are so narrow minded not have the ability or the respect to do so

  5. Anonymous said

    I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Baxter’s humour and, regardless of his motives, he was pretty articulate too.

  6. Peterson knows this is a get to know you period for him. Long will learn passion doesn’t mean wisdom. Baxter is there to make the Liberals look good. Where is he getting his money from?

    Lois Brown sounded and answered questions like a seasoned, honest Member of Parliament. I forsee a ministerial role.

    • Anonymous said

      “I forsee (sic) a ministerial role”

      You may be confusing her with Reverend Baxter.

    • Obviously delusional said

      What pray tell is a “seasoned, honest Member of Parliament” in this day and age?

      Obviously delusional is my only explanation.

    • Anonymous said

      OH PULEEEEZE. Are you really being serious? Lois the parrot?

    • Vanessa said

      Passion is what drives me while I acquire more wisdom.

      But it doesn’t take any more wisdom that I already have to know that I need to be in a Party that has values, and values I agree with. The Green Party has that and has been making countries work better all over the world. I can hardly wait to do that here.

      In fact, I’m not. Whether or not I am elected I will continue to work in the community to bring about a higher quality of life for all our residents.

      Thank you.

      –Vanessa

  7. KA-NON said

    Not sure that there was a winner necessarily, or that the format even allowed for a “winner”, but certainly Vanessa Long impressed me the most. The passion she has for the Green movement and all that it represents is very clear. While she was “on message”, I got a sense that she was telling me what, and how, she really felt. Lois Brown and Kyle Peterson were also staying on message, but not sure I got the same sense of who they really are from their performances.

    Found it hard to take Mr. Baxter entirely seriously. On the one hand, he claims to want to represent Newmarket-Aurora, and on the other, he recently ran in Vaughan against his erstwhile good mate, Julian Fantino. If there was any chance at all that he would get elected, I might be accept that he simply wants to do good work in parliament on behalf of Canadians, whatever the riding. The fact that he has no chance of winning, in my opinion, suggests that maybe he is just an attention seeker? Kind of fits the apparent M.O. – “thank you very much”.

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