I have some very definite ideas on today’s federal election. I will be voting. Will you let me speak for you?

Agree with me or disagree with me, please vote! The polls are open until 9:30 p.m. so you should be able to work it into your day.

This spring, we have witnessed people across the Middle East standing up to their governments for the right to vote. Many have been killed or injured trying to get the right to do something that we take for granted and many choose not to use.

Osama bin Laden is all over the news today. Why? Because he tried to change the world by force. His success made him the most-wanted man in the world. His death is being celebrated. I would suggest the best way to rebuke his methods is for the democratic system to flourish. Vote!

Information on Voting

Looking for information on where to vote in Waterloo Region including Kitchener Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo? Elections Canada gives you everything you need to know just by punching in your postal code.

You don’t need your voter’s card. You don’t even need to be registered to vote.

In 2008, Karen Redman lost by 339 votes to Stephen Woodworth and Andrew Telegdi lost to Peter Braid by 17 votes. Your vote counts! In the recent municipal election, Frank Etherington won over Debbie Chapman by a single vote. Every vote counts!

Looking to decide how to vote in the federal election?

Here are my thoughts:

Stephen Harper doesn’t want you to vote

Stephen Harper has spent the last five years appealing to his core right wing supporters by doing things like cutting corporate taxes so the oil and gas companies can make more money. Rather than broaden his base of support by moving to the centre, he has chosen to grow his base by micro-targeting specific demographic groups that he needs to tip enough of the right ridings in his direction. The leaked memo that described ridings as “ethnic” or “very ethnic” was one part of that strategy. Other examples are any of the targeted tax credits that have been introduced.

Harper’s campaign has been called a classic front runner’s campaign that avoids risk. That’s true but Harper has taken this tactic to an extreme. He has deliberately avoided doing anything or saying anything that might make any news and get people out to vote. Harper knows he can’t get a majority of people to support him but that he can get a majority government by getting his base of supporters out and keeping the rest of Canadians unmotivated so that most stay home and the rest split their votes between the Liberal, NDP and Green parties. It worked pretty well last time when 800,000 Liberal voters stayed home and allowed Tories to get elected that otherwise would not have been elected. Kitchener Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo are excellent examples.

Something funny happened along the way. Canadians decided they were interested in this election Harper calls “unnecessary.”

Let’s show Stephen Harper that it is not the Harper Government, it’s the Government of Canada. Vote! And take back your government and prove that the election is necessary.

Need some extra motivation?

Here are a few examples of what Stephen Harper’s government has done and why we need a new progressive alternative:

  • Proroguing Parliament twice to avoid being accountable to Parliament (our elected MPs!)–once to avoid certain defeat in a non-confidence motion
  • Ending the long form census
  • Spending $20 billion dollars for security for the G8/G20 summits last year (including $50 million in Parry Sound-Muskoka that was pure pork barrel politics)
  • Inserting “NOT” into a document to fund Kairos that had already been signed by the bureaucrats responsible
  • Refusing to provide Parliament with proper information on the costs of new jets and a mega-prison building spree
No wonder the Harper government is the first one that has been found in contempt of Paliament–a decision that sparked this election. It’s re-election is rewarding them for their contempt and giving the green light to continue to trample over our democratic system when it suits them.
Vote for what you believe

I want you to vote for what you believe. I’m not asking you to make a negative choice or to vote against something. My criticism of the Harper government is to illustrate the need for change. I want you to vote for change. I want you to vote for a progressive alternative and to feel good about it.

If you are dedicated to the NDP, Green Party or another alternative and/or if their platform reflects your core beliefs, vote for what you believe. For me, I believe that the Liberal Party which reflects the centre of the Canadian political spectrum is the best choice.

But many people decide election to election who gets their vote. To those people, I ask that they decide whether they like Stephen Harper, his right-wing philosophy and his autocratic style of governing or if they want a change. If you prefer a change, vote for the candidate who has the best chance to beat your local Harper candidate. In Kitchener Centre and Kitchener-Waterloo, I am confident that Karen Redman or Andrew Telegdi is the best choice for these voters–and a choice that they can feel good about making.

But once again, the most important thing is that you vote–whether you agree or disagree with me. At a minimum, I’m looking for an increase in voting from 2008 but ideally we’ll see the highest voter turnout that we have had in any federal election since 2004. Let’s make it happen.

Leave a Reply