Who Should I Vote For?

Are you asking yourself, "Who should I vote for?” Some people enjoy digging into the candidate’s and political party’s details, others, not so much. For those of you who are not information junkies, I offer this straightforward Election 2015 overview.

The Conservative's 'Protect Our Economy' slogan was created to mislead us. The Conservatives are hoping you haven’t noticed Stephen Harper’s lost decade of six straight budget deficits, two recessions and more than $125 billion added to Canada’s national debt. That plus, the Harper Government has badly damaged Canada’s international reputation.

The Liberal’s 'Real Change' is another misleading slogan. After decoding, their slogan reads Chrétien, Martin and Trudeau Junior. Repackaged ideas from all too familiar Liberal names. When I saw Chrétien and Martin, I flashed back to the $100 million, Sponsorship Scandal. That plus, Justin Trudeau is the least qualified Liberal leader in my lifetime.

Clearly, after 148 years of Conservative and Liberal corporation-focused BS, the time has arrived for actual CHANGE. The Canadian people deserve better governance. The NDP has always had the best ideas and today, they’re electable.

The NDP’s ‘Change that’s ready’ slogan is perfect. Tom Mulcair is an impressive leader. He’s ready. The NDP has wonderful MP candidates. They’re ready. When they’re elected, they will become a motivated team, that is ready to serve us and govern. Working together, we will create the Canada of our dreams.

Change that’s ready.

For the first time in my life I'll be voting for the NDP. Millions of our fellow Canadians will do the same. Join us!

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Liberal to NDP

Liberal to NDP - Justin Trudeau boxing

I was recently asked,
Q: “Why did you switch from Liberal to NDP”?
A: Justin Trudeau, the least qualified Liberal leader in my lifetime, is hoping to buy your vote. Here’s the twist, he wants to use your credit card to fund his promises. Our current national debt, per citizen, is about $30,000 and Canadians pay over $800 interest, every second. Justin knows we can’t afford his planned multi-billion dollar deficits, but he lusts for the office his father once held. This election, priority #1 is to defeat and remove Stephen Harper. Historically, when Canadians tire of the Conservatives, we turn to the Liberals. Paraphrasing Peter C. Newman, “the Liberals have chosen to follow a name, instead of a leader”.

the Liberals have chosen to follow a name,
instead of a leader
.

For the first time in my life, I’ll be voting NDP, not Liberal. The NDP have:

Join me, vote NDP, together, we can build the Canada of our dreams.

Background: The best political move I ever made was Liberal to NDP. My wife’s uncle was President of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) for two terms (PET era) and a Liberal Senator. My parents were members of the LPC. My wife and I have always voted Liberal. When the Liberals selected Justin Trudeau as their new leader, we said, “That’s it, we’re finally done”.

Burnaby North Seymour 2015 Election

The Burnaby North Seymour 2015 election holds extraordinary promise for the NDP. I suspect the result of the 2015 election vote will be a big surprise and great disappointment for Stephen Harper.

Q: Why?
A: My prediction is that our Burnaby North Seymour NDP candidate Carol Baird Ellan will be elected.

The Harper Government created a new federal electoral district, Burnaby North Seymour, in 2012. Their electoral-boundaries redistribution was a demonstration of Conservative, do-anything-to-win, gerrymandering. I suspect the Harper Government’s thought process was that by manipulating electoral district boundaries, North Vancouver Conservative voters would outnumber Burnaby’s progressive voters, thus favouring Harper’s chances of forming another majority government. Big mistake, many, if not most, North Shore residents have had their fill of the grumpy Conservatives and their oil.

Carol Baird Ellan
Carol Baird Ellan

Carol will become the Member of Parliament for Burnaby North Seymour because she:

  • is a mother of five and a grandmother of one
  • is a lawyer
  • is a retired Provincial Court Chief Judge (first female Chief of the BC Provincial Court)
  • believes “childcare should not be a privilege only the rich can afford: it’s an essential service which gets parents like me into the workplace. I would have never been able to do what I did without it. It is a basic right that every working parent needs in order to prosper. Ensuring access to affordable childcare will make us much stronger as a society.”
  • is “…deeply concerned about what we are doing to our environment and the planet. The climate crisis is here, and Canada is not doing enough. Under the Harper Conservatives, we have fallen behind, and are now one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to mitigating climate change. We need a strong government that emphasizes responsible, renewable energy programs. Oil is not the energy source of the future: we need to look past the easy money of raw fossil fuel exports and build a socially responsible economy, for the sake of future generations.”
  • worries “about the future of our children and grandchildren. I worry about our elderly; those who have served our country and worked hard all their lives. People are struggling just to make ends meet, while a tiny percentage holds far too much of our country’s wealth. We need fairer taxation, and renewed commitments to social programs that will promote a decent standard of living for everyone. We need a government that recognizes the strength of our youth and fosters universal education and literacy, and promotes health and social programs that invest in our children, who are the future of our country and the planet.”

The Harper Government’s moment has passed. They bet it all on oil and Canadians lost. The Conservative’s corporately-funded, propaganda campaign won’t work this time. Hopeful Canadians will do the right thing by voting NDP. The Burnaby North Seymour electoral district, Carol Baird Ellan, Tom Mulcair and the NDP will help all of us restore Canada’s soul. Canada’s Politics are changing!

Related posts:

Wealth Inequality in Canada

Stephen Harper photo courtesy of Rabble.ca
Stephen Harper
photo courtesy of Rabble.ca

Are you concerned about wealth inequality in Canada?

How do you feel about Stephen Harper? Almost every day, I ask myself, “How could he possibly be Canada’s Prime Minister?” I’ll bet there are a lot of people who feel the same way I do. Did you know that over seventy-five percent of registered Canadian electors did not vote for the Harper Government?

Party of One book cover

Have you read ‘Party of One: Stephen Harper and Canada’s Radical Makeover’ by Michael Harris? You may remember the author hosting The Harris Report on the CBC or recall his other books and many articles. Amazon’s book review teases: “… Harper… is a profoundly anti-democratic figure” and “… has made war on every independent source of information in Canada since coming to power. Party of One is about a man with a well-defined and growing enemies list… : union members, scientists, diplomats, environmentalists, First Nations peoples, and journalists.”

Q: How did we end up with Stephen Harper and a Conservative majority government?
A: Canadians weren’t paying sufficient attention! Many actually bought into his lower taxes, jobs and prosperity propaganda.

Canada has a long history of electing governments in teeter-totter fashion, when the Liberals are down, the Conservatives are up and vice-versa. Ask yourself a very serious question, “Does voting Conservative or Liberal make sense with the wealth inequality we’re facing”?

Are you sick of Stephen Harper’s political direction? What’s your plan? Are you planning to vote Liberal? If so, remember today’s Liberals:

  • are fiscally conservative
  • placed third last election (trailed the Conservatives by about three million votes and trailed the NDP by about two million votes)
  • are led by Justin Trudeau.

It’s absurd that Justin polled as well as he did in 2014. He’s young, has his mother’s hair and his father’s name. That’s not enough to be the Prime Minister of Canada. Canadians who answered pollsters calls, clearly weren’t thinking. Leading up to the 2015 election I’ll bet Justin’s numbers will plummet.

Have you noticed that when we elect right-leaning politicians, be they Conservatives or Liberals, the corporations and folks who are already wealthy, get richer and the rest of us lose ground? It’s been getting worse for decades. Please watch the following four-minute video titled ‘Wealth Inequality in Canada’.

Canada needs to change course! Stephen Harper has had his moment. I’m certain you will agree that it’s time for a new leader, but who will lead us? Ask yourself, “Who is the smartest guy in the room”?

Tom Mulcair photo courtesy of NDP.ca
Tom Mulcair
photo courtesy of NDP.ca

If you put Tom Mulcair and Justin Trudeau in a room, there’s absolutely no question that Tom Mulcair wins, hands down. Tom:

  • has a hopeful vision for Canada’s future
  • is very well educated, but is still immensely likeable
  • is a compassionate, honourable gentleman with deeply held Canadian values
  • will work for your family and for mine
  • has a made-in-Canada plan that will begin to address inequality, as quickly as possible.

Q: What’s holding the NDP back?
A: Unfortunately, far too many Canadians have a many-decades-old perception that the NDP are communists.

Bluntly, that’s absolute nonsense. If you fear political parties other than the Conservatives and the Liberals, you need to smack yourself on the forehead and then educate yourself. Check out the NDP platform. Now that you’re up to date, put your knowledge to work.

Now, ask, “Which political parties created wealth inequality in Canada”? The Conservatives and the Liberals have served Canadian elites, the investor-class and corporations, for decades.

Hard-working Canadians have tremendous power when we work together, sadly, it’s been a while since the last time we did. Now’s the time, let’s remind the Conservatives and the Liberals who we are and that we matter. We will not allow wealth inequality to run riot. It’s time to restore balance and renew hope within our democracy.

Challenge: Correct wealth inequality in Canada.

Only you have the power to change Canada. My recommendation is to vote for the NDP and Tom Mulcair.

Happy New Year. 2015 will be a wonderful year for Canada’s politics!

The Conservative Liberal Teeter-Totter

Conservative Liberal teeter-totter

Bluntly, it’s time for Canadians to get off of the Conservative Liberal teeter-totter. There’s a better ride.

Canada’s federal politics have always been predictable. Voters alternate between The Liberal Party of Canada and The Conservative Party of Canada. When one party is up, the other is down, thus, the teeter-totter analogy. Get tired of one, elect the other. Many would argue that this habitual behaviour has worked well for our nation. I agree, it once did. Two parties satisfied the majority of us for well over one hundred years, but there’s a snag going forward. Have you noticed that Canada is moving to the political right? Today, both the Liberals and the Conservatives lean right. The direct result is that corporations and the rich have benefited while the vast majority of Canadians are being left behind. The ‘First Law of Holes’ states, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” If there was ever a time for real change, this is it. Swapping Liberals for Conservatives won’t cut it.

Recent Canadian political leadership polls hint that Stephen Harper’s support is in decline and that Justin Trudeau’s stock is rising. I’ve written about Justin before, but this time I’m asking, “Why should we consider voting for The Liberal Party of Canada and specifically, is Justin Trudeau likely to get us out of the mess we’re in?”

Why are the Liberals currently leading in the polls? The two most obvious reasons are:

  1. Canadians are embarrassed by the Harper Government
  2. Canadian voters remember the ‘Trudeau’ name.

If you’re anything like me, it’s easy to understand our collective embarrassment, the last eight years have created a Canada I barely recognize. Regarding reason number two, I have fond memories of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, but, stating the obvious, Justin is not his father. So, what does Justin have going for him?

  • he’s a Liberal
  • the Conservatives are falling out of favour
  • the ‘Trudeau’ name
  • he’s fluently bilingual
  • he’s young and has a nice looking family
  • he has “great hair”.

What goes against him? From my vantage, Justin, a son of privilege, is unqualified, but his biggest problem is that he’s leading a political party that looks more and more like the Conservatives with every passing year. The Liberal mantra is “fiscally conservative and socially responsible”, but Trudeau’s party has become overly corporation-friendly hoping to solicit funding and the Liberals appear to have forgotten their social responsibility pledge.

If not Justin Trudeau, who? Isn’t there an even better alternative to Stephen Harper? Absolutely, yes there is. It’s the current Leader of the Opposition. Unlike Justin, Tom Mulcair, is ready to lead. With our support, the New Democratic Party of Canada can get rid of the Conservative majority and work toward:

  • making life more affordable
  • reducing household debt
  • lowering credit card interest rates
  • capping ATM fees
  • getting rid of The Senate
  • ending the muzzling of our climate scientists
  • protecting our fresh water and our coastlines
  • making Big Oil work for us
  • ending gas-price gouging
  • reducing greenhouse gases.

Canada is very fortunate to have an abundance of natural resources, but multinational corporations, including Big Oil are taking home almost all of the money. That’s not right. It’s time that someone stood up for Canadian families. Tom Mulcair and the NDP will stand up for us.

Somewhat ironically, the best way to create ‘Jobs and Prosperity’ is to get rid of the Harper Conservatives. Hopeful Canadians can make a difference in 2015.

Mulcair’s NDP Video

Tom Mulcair photo
Photo courtesy of Reuters – Wattie

The Harper Government’s attack ad, ‘Mulcair’s NDP’ makes it glaringly obvious that Stephen Harper is, figuratively, wetting himself, again. Mr. Harper has a long history of nervous incontinence. Mulcair’s NDP video isn’t the Harper Government’s first attack ad, you’ll recall their mean-spirited ads attacking Stéphan Dion, Michael Ignatief and then, most recently, Bob Rae.

Here’s the ‘Mulcair’s NDP’ video:

Q: Ask yourself, “Why is the Harper Government so nervous?”

A: Although, it’s true that Tom Mulcair and the NDP bested the Conservatives in a recent nationwide popularity poll, that’s not the Harper Government’s biggest worry. They’re most worried about a simple but very powerful idea. Canada’s natural resources should benefit all Canadians and Canada’s environment is not for sale. The Harper Government sides with multinational, corporate greed. Tom Mulcair and the NDP side with Canadians.

The Conservatives are also well aware of a trend that poses another significant threat to their power. A growing number of people don’t like the Harper Government’s style of governance. I’ll bet you’ve heard some of the descriptive words folks are using when they mention the Harper Government. I’ve listed some of the polite words here, but I’ve also written an entire post about the Arrogant Harper Government that you might find interesting.

I won’t critique the Harper Government’s attack ad except to say:

“Risky Theories” like putting Canadians and Canada’s environment ahead of multinational oil and gas corporations, pipeline corporations, foreign workers and China is not a reason for concern. There’s certainly nothing risky there, in fact, Tom Mulcair’s ideas are a breath of Canada’s fresh air.

The Conservative’s biggest pitch is always, “We can’t afford… (insert opponents name here)”, they want you to be nervous when you walk into the polling station. Have you noticed the Conservatives are always fear mongering? It fits their agenda, that’s why they’re always yammering on and on about guns, jails and fighter jets.

When you walk into a polling station in 2015, or sooner, you won’t need to be worried about things like the Harper Government’s scary, petro-state, guns, jails and greed-focused agenda, instead, you can smile a big smile and think about Stephen Harper wetting himself. 🙂 Then you’ll be able to vote for a positive vision of Canada and hope.

Canada is blessed with an amazing abundance of natural resources, most, if not all, of the rest of our world would love to be in our position. It’s time for Canadians to benefit by electing leadership that has a hopeful, altruistic vision and a solid plan. In the next election, vote NDP.

Update 20120710: Here’s the NDP’s initial response to the Harper Government’s Mulcair’s NDP video attack ad.

Related article:

  1. On carbon pricing, the Tories aren’t just battling Mulcair

The Enbridge Conundrum

Q: What is the Enbridge conundrum?
A: How can a corporation once named one of Canada’s greenest companies be responsible for delivering about 318,000,000 litres (84,000,000 gallons) of crude oil per day? Yes, I know about their CO2 sequestration, solar power, waste heat recovery and wind farm initiatives, but they’re still a major player in the fossil fuels marketplace. How is that green? To be fair, Enbridge is doing exactly what I think we should be doing with the tar sands, they’re using profits from oil and gas to transition to green technologies. Unfortunately, they’re also promoting a really bad plan that will inevitably lead to an environmental catastrophe.

I first became aware of Enbridge™, years ago, when I watched a newscast referencing an oil spill from one of their many pipelines (they have over 13,000 kilometres of pipeline). Recently, like all other residents of British Columbia Canada, I’ve been bombarded by their public relations blitz for their Northern Gateway Pipelines. Enbridge is currently investing up to five million dollars ($5,000,000) to convince BC residents that their planned pipeline is “a path to our future”. I suspect Big Oil is contributing additional funds to ensure the pipeline becomes a reality as soon as possible.

Q: “What kind of PR campaign can you buy for about $5,000,000?”
A: You can hire a team of designers and copywriters whose job it is to brand a heavy crude oil pipeline and oil port as something magical, wonderful and hopeful.

Ask yourself, does the combination of the designer’s beautiful artwork, pretty colours and the copywriter’s cleverly crafted story alter the fact that multinational oil and gas corporations have asked Enbridge to build a pipeline through BC’s pristine wilderness? Does it change the fact that when the heavy crude oil arrives in Kitimat, it will be pumped into enormous supertankers that will then travel along BC’s world-renowned, Pacific coastline, loaded with heavy crude oil?

Q: Do Enbridge pipelines ever leak?
A: Yes, according to Enbridge’s own data (via the Polaris Institute), they’ve had at least eight hundred and four (804) spills. The USA’s EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) reported that a recent spill, from a 30-inch pipeline rupture, dumped 819,000 gallons of heavy crude oil into the Talmadge Creek and some oil travelled about 30 miles downstream in the Kalamazoo River (Michigan USA). The Kalamazoo spill occurred a couple of years ago and they’re still cleaning up the mess.

Q: Do supertankers loaded with oil pose a danger to BC’s coastline and the Pacific ecosystem?
A: Have you watched ‘Dead Ahead: The Exxon Valdez Disaster’? If you haven’t already watched it, look for it on HBO Canada.

Over six thousand (6,000) well-intentioned, well-motivated people work for Enbridge and I have absolutely no doubt that they are doing everything possible to prevent and mitigate an environmental disaster. That said, Enbridge exists to make money for their shareholders and it does so by working hand in hand with multinational oil and gas corporations.

Questions:

  • do you think the Northern Gateway Pipelines will experience spills
  • do you think we’ll see 270 and 350 meter long supertankers leaking massive volumes of heavy crude oil just off the BC coastline
  • why isn’t more money from oil sands profits being channeled into green technologies here in Canada
  • why aren’t we refining heavy crude here in Canada
  • why is Canada still importing over forty percent (40%) of the oil we use
  • and finally, why are we squandering Canada’s bountiful natural resources to fuel the development of Pacific nations who see us as their competition?

“First, we outsourced our manufacturing jobs and helped to make China rich. Now were planning to send China more and more of our natural resources. The Chinese must think we’re idiots.”

It certainly appears that the Harper Government imagines that its mandate is to do the bidding of Big Oil. Their pro-oil, anti-environment playbook makes me shudder.

I’m convinced that Tom Mulcair and the NDP are on the right track, so there is hope.

Related posts:

  1. The Enbridge Northern Pipeline
  2. Enbridge Athabasca Pipeline Leak
  3. Red Deer River Oil Deluge
  4. Dirtiest Oil on Earth Video

Related article:

  1. Enbridge slammed for ‘Keystone Kops’ response to Michigan spill
  2. It’s More than a Pipeline
  3. Enbridge faces $3.7-million penalty for Michigan oil spill

Tom Mulcair vs Alberta and Saskatchewan?

Mulcair Harper Redford Wall photos

If you were paying attention to the Canadian media this last week, you might have heard that war is about to break out in Canada, there’s apparently going to be a battle that will divide our country. It’s Tom Mulcair vs Alberta and Saskatchewan and from the gist of the commentary, it’s also Mr. Mulcair versus the rest of Canada.

Stephen Harper, Alison Redford and Brad Wall, all Conservatives, felt obligated to respond to Tom Mulcair’s recent Dutch disease remarks, referencing the tar sands boom, the Canadian Dollar and lost manufacturing jobs. To be fair, the Provincial Premieres Alison Redford and Brad Wall were actually quite diplomatic when they responded, it was the Harper Government that, once again, behaved badly. I’m frequently entertained by the Harper Government and its surrogates. They relish any opportunity to besmirch an opponent by injecting their negative-keyword-laced, talking points.

Have you noticed that the Harper Government loves to act tough? Now that they have a majority government they often behave like the playground bully. What does the Harper Government want to fight about this time? What’s going to divide Canadians? Perhaps it’s:

  • tar sands’ pollution and having Big Oil pay for the contamination that they’re creating every day
  • making sure that tar sands growth is sustainable.

Surely, there can’t be any disagreement there? The vast majority of Canadians, whether from the East or the West, would agree that the polluter should pay and that development and growth of the tar sands must be sustainable.

Clearly, there isn’t going to be a war. Talk of alienation and separation is just Harper Government, keyword, nonsense. The NDP prefers reasoned discussion and consensus. Do you remember ‘discussion’? It’s something we used to do before the Harper Government majority of 2011.

Topics for discussion:

  • changes to environmental laws
  • greenhouse gas emissions from tar sands oil extraction
  • groundwater contamination
  • pipeline safety
  • supertankers loaded with crude oil plying the, often dangerous, waters off of the BC coastline, which by the way is another, even more precious, resource
  • exporting raw resources to China and the USA
  • manufacturing jobs
  • foreign workers
  • the green economy and why Canada is lagging behind the rest of the world in going green.

Let’s start with something simple, why does the Harper Government revere oil and gas? Oil and gas reverence must have something to do with money, right? Is Big Oil where the Harper Government’s political contributions come from? I’m serious, I’d love to know where this reverence comes from, I really don’t get it. Wouldn’t you agree that there’s something smelly about this alliance between multinational oil corporations and the fuddy-duddy Harper Government?

I’d like to thank Mr. Mulcair for getting these fresh, hopeful, very important dialogues started. It was clever, of you to get things rolling so soon after becoming the NDP’s new leader. Thank you. 🙂