By E.P. Whinters
When I wrote my first article as a Guest Columnist for the Gateway Gazette many moons ago, I put forth my intention: to select every week some aspect of the coming election; to study, research and reflect without bias (as much as possible), in hopes that I can make an intelligent decision on the 19th and perhaps assist you in making yours. Well, I did not manage to write something every week, but each time that I did, I attempted to do as I said: to examine some aspect of the coming election without bias in hopes of making my own decision on the 19th. Well, the 19th is today. Today is the day that we, as a nation, put forth our request for what we want for our country and for our lives.
In a final article, I am going to share thoughts of others – why people have chosen as they have. These are not my words, but the words of others. If you have not yet voted, here are the reasons from people who know their ‘why’ … if you have voted, consider this a bit of trivia from other Canadians as to why they chose as they did.
PEOPLE WHO ARE VOTING NDP — In their own words:
- The NDP platform is actually quite centrist. Tom’s Plan involves moderate increases to large corporate taxes with decreases to small business tax, a focus on the environment and healthcare, as well as diversifying the economy by pushing into the green energy manufacturing sector.
- His policies align well with what I want in Canada – a peace seeking Nation with leading-edge social programs made up of a mosaic of people, not a cultural melting pot.
- I think that Mr. Mulcair would be a good leader for Canada. He has generally stuck to his platform points, and has not said too much that is contradictory. This shows that he has thought through his platform, is dedicated to it, and is well-trained enough in the public light to stick to his guns.
- The NDP is a fledgling party compared to the Liberals and the Conservatives; however, they have grown into a mature party that has tried to cater to a left-centrist voter. I think they did admirably this year as Opposition in the House. Mr. Mulcair consistently asked excellent questions, he has stuck by his campaign promises, and throughout the year voted in a way that ties into this election. That shows integrity of character.
- The NDP has continually fought for social support as the basis of a strong country, and this resonates with me. Keep your people healthy, and they can keep working. Keep the population learning, and you will combat poverty and grow as a society. Show empathy to your international neighbors, and the world respects you back.
- Working in the environmental sector, I value the environment. The NDP is promoting a cap and trade system, as well as more spending in green energy.
- The NDP have continually stuck to their values and beliefs, and have been less inclined to hide things from the public eye.
- The NDP wishes to bring Canada back to being a global peacekeeper and safe refuge for displaced persons. The NDP have promised 10,000 Syrians by the end the year, with 46,000 to be resettled by 2019. This is the kind of action we need to take in conflict, not dropping thousands of pounds of bombs on 4 people in a jeep.
PEOPLE WHO ARE VOTING CONSERVATIVE — In their own words:
- One of the few governments with no major scandals. The stuff the news puts on air is so minor compared to previous government that it tells me that this group is doing well.
- The Conservatives did a great job getting us through the economic crunch of these past few years.
- I also greatly admire the leadership of a government that will stand up for Israel even when many others won’t.
- I believe they are the only party with the know how to guide us though these tough times.
- The Conservative Government has not shown me that they are as bad as the other parties claim them to be; yes, there are bad seeds, there always will be!
- PC’s are the most fiscally minded in my opinion; that’s the first priority for me.
- Right now, times are tough in our world. All countries are struggling. I think Canada has done pretty good. It’s been tough, but I think we have had it very good in comparison to other nations. And because I don’t think things are getting better in the world right now, I don’t want a government that is going to spend today and have our children paying for it far into the future.
- I think Mr. Harper an effective leader, given what he’s working with. After all, he hasn’t had a majority government the whole time.
- I do not think deficit spending is a viable option/solution at this point in our history.
- Mr. Harper has shown that he is the only true candidate with any understanding or grasp of the situations facing or proposed to Canada.
- The Conservatives have delivered on more of their promises, than of those they did not follow through with. They brought the country through stuff times before. Starting right back to our first prime minster Sir John A MacDonald who was instrumental in the integration of Rupert’s Land and the North West Territory into Canada and created the North West Mount Police, and the likes of John Diefenbaker who gave status aboriginals the right to vote in federal elections. Over the years, the Conservatives have done a lot of things for Western Canada; we are not forgotten.
- The Conservatives believe in justice (they want to make longer sentences for criminals). They are also taking action to rid themselves of corrupt members. They believe in Western Canada and our resources. Mostly, at this moment they are the most cautious about the immigration.
- Mr. Harper stands by his convictions. He does not show boat. He works hard to get business for Canada. He seems steady and strong without giving in to media pressure.
PEOPLE WHO ARE VOTING LIBERAL — In their own words:
- This party is the one I’m most aligned with on most issues that are of concern to me, including the economy, health care, and the environment.
- Trudeau might not be the best, but we have to choose someone and I think he is the lesser of the evils as leader, and I support the positions taken by the party he leads.
- Under the two previous Liberal governments, the average GDP growth rate was double what it has been under the current government. They had 9 straight surplus budgets.
- The Liberals share my values of fairness, inclusiveness and pragmatism. They want to implement policy that will actually help people get decent paying jobs, support those in our society who are struggling, invest in our badly neglected infrastructure and get our economy growing again. They also understand that we can’t pay for it all without asking a little more from the wealthier among us, and especially of corporations who have shirked their fiscal responsibility to this country while making insane profits off of our hard work and resources.
- Mr. Trudeau has been open and honest about what he will do and he won’t. He’s shown respect for journalists and answered the tough questions. When the Gagnier affair happened, the Liberals addressed it within 24 hours and recognized that it was inappropriate.
- People are saying that Trudeau is not experienced enough. But there are some excellent people on his team that have experience – after all, we are voting for the party, not the leader.
- For me, it is important that all people feel secure here, not discriminated against because of religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other reason and that is why I am voting Liberal.
In conclusion, I started this with the intention to figure out who I am going to vote for. I have. I have made my decision – but I will not say who, nor will I slander one group in favour of another. I have thought long on what I believe and what I want, for now and for tomorrow, for myself and my countrymen, I have weighed the options and I have chosen. And I hope that in some small way, this has helped you, dear Reader, as well.
I do believe we are on the brink of change. Regardless of who you vote for, let me encourage you to know yourself and select according to your values, choose according to the future you want for your neighbours, your children, yourself. I believe when we vote with our hearts and our minds, we will choose well. “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.” (FDR)
The polls are open until 7:30 … join me – vote, and let your voice be heard. Prove that democracy CAN succeed!