I’ve known Bill Chadwick for years and I like him a lot. Bill is a leading light in the local Liberal Riding Association and worries that I seem to want the election of a Conservative Government. 

Voters in Newmarket-Aurora are not faced with a binary choice between the two old parties, the Conservatives and Liberals. If they wish they can vote for the Greens or the NDP. Or Dorian Baxter. Or the PPC. It is up to voters to decide if their vote is “wasted” or not. 

What’s happening to the climate – especially in the Canadian Arctic – is getting a huge amount of coverage in the news. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Green vote increase. And after the blackface controversy, perhaps some previously Liberal votes will hemorrhage to the NDP. 

Election campaigns matter

On Monday evening I was at Ryerson University for a conversation between four leading political journalists on the election campaign at its mid-point. We are told – as if we don’t already know - that campaigns matter. The Toronto Star’s Susan Delacourt, who will be one of the moderators at Monday’s Big Federal Election Debate, says there is no single galvanising issue (or, in the jargon, no overarching narrative) at this point in the campaign. Martin Regg Cohn speaks about how the media typically views elections as a horse race (“horse racism” he says to laughter). They all wonder why the Greens aren’t getting more traction. TVO’s Steve Paikin says the NDP will be “creamed” in Quebec. Paikin also talks about voting intentions. He relies on a number-cruncher at TVO whose complicated algorithms predicted the Liberals would lose 25 seats as a direct consequence of Blackface. But, two weeks later, they’ve got half of them back. 

He predicts fewer young people will vote compared with 2015 with its promise of Sunny Ways.

What does all this tell me? The electorate is fickle and has a short attention span. And mid way through this Federal Election campaign there is still everything to play for. 

Strategic voting

Personally, I am not going to vote “strategically” – voting for one Party simply to keep another one out. 

I am going to vote positively for the person who is most likely to represent my view of the world in the House of Commons – even if, for the moment, it seems doubtful that person will be elected. 

Lois and Tony 

The 64 year-old Conservative candidate and re-tread, Lois Brown, is never going to set the heather on fire. She is a Conservative loyalist and the record shows she will do her master’s bidding, unquestioningly. Lois has a limited repertoire and if she is elected (as seems likely) we can expect more of the same.

The 69 year-old Tony Van Bynen discovered he was a Liberal only a few months ago when a vacancy arose. His record rules him out for me. He dissembles. He is not a leader. He parrots scripts written by others. But if by some miracle he makes it to the House of Commons we should not expect too much from him. He will coast serenely towards his second (or is it his third?) retirement.

Feel free to share my words

So Bill, as requested, I am passing on your views about Lois Brown.  You say “Feel free to share my words.”  And I shall. Perhaps Lois reads my blog and will be interested in what you say: 

From the slant of your Blog you seem bent on electing a Conservative Government. If this is not your intent, perhaps you might dedicate a similar effort to remind people that Lois was for many years the only Conservative MP to vote and cheer for every vote and action of Steven Harper, including all the cuts to Women’s Organizations, the muzzling of scientists, redirecting foreign aid away from needy countries that were not aligned with Business opportunities, destruction of the Long Gun Registry data, and much more. Below are some that I protested.

6 October 2015 Candidate Debate Question. My question is (to Lois Brown) in regards to the muzzling of Scientists.

Canada has some of the finest scientists in the world. Canadian prosperity, jobs, and health all depend on the unfettered work of our Federal scientist. Catastrophically, these experts have been muzzled by the Harper government, and their crucial work handcuffed by a climate of repression and fear. Scientists are not allowed to speak freely about their research. (Important science papers have often been delayed 6 months or disappeared entirely in the mandatory censorship process imposed by the Prime Minister’s Office). When will the Harper government remove this outrageous muzzling of Federal scientists? 

2nd June 2012 Speech to Protesters outside Lois Brown’s Office:

Bill C-38 is unprecedented in scope and impact on our future. We did not vote in Lois Brown to surreptitiously gut 60 different acts, including 170 pages of environmental axing, Old Age Security, Employment Insurance, repeal of the “Fair Wages and Hours” act, food inspection, and much more! Where is the consultation with the Provinces, stakeholders, and all Canadians? Where are the fact-based decisions? Why is debate being muzzled? Why is Harper so afraid he has to bury his dirty laundry inside a budget bill? Do Canadian’s want to give dictatorial powers to Harper’s “yes gang” of puppet ministers? No way! Are we like the frog sitting in a pan of warming water, naively sitting still while our goose is cooked? Or are we here to demand accountability from our MP? Are we prepared to tell Lois Brown……. we want this bill split now for fair debate!     I say split this Bill! So lets hear it. What do we want: Split this Bill! 

Open Letter to MP Lois Brown, 4th November 2012.  Subject: The Delisting of Deadly Weapons

Ms Brown, I was appalled to discover that you are supporting legislation that delists deadly weapons like the semi-automatic that was used in the Montreal massacre, as well as guns specially designed to launch armour piercing rounds, and sniper rifles built to assassinate at ranges up to two miles. Now in all good conscience I am appealing for your help in correcting this flawed legislation before its final vote.

Prior to the Long Gun Registry these guns were subject to sales restrictions including mandatory tracking of ownership. The Long Gun Registry took over this tracking. Now you are supporting untracked distribution of these weapons of terrorism and war through the unrestricted scrapping of the Long Gun Registry! To add insult to injury, the legislation also proposes scrapping the valuable information gathered on gun ownership. The RCMP published a long list of cases where the Long Gun Registry has led to greatly enhanced public and police safety, including the tracing of gun smuggling, suicide and domestic violence prevention, theft tracing, and more. 

The Long Gun Registry was painstakingly compiled using extensive police work and taxpayer funds. Destroying these records was never mentioned prior to the Federal Election, and I doubt the Canadian people support the foolhardy destruction of valuable crime-fighting information, or the delisting of weapons not needed for any legitimate purpose other than mayhem.

If you and the Federal Government are sincere about being “tough on crime” you will action this issue.

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