As some of you will know, I have been helping to run a campaign during this Federal Election.
From the icon on my Twitter Avi, to my tweets, it hasn’t been hard for people to find out that I am a Liberal… however, I have kept my Blog out of it… feeling that this was not the venue for me to vent, as there are many aspects of this Election that I cannot fathom. (Why Conservative lying is being rewarded… why Conservative and NDP campaign platforms spending doesn’t have to add up… Why people believe that prisons are more important than pensions… Why Canada needs to be at the front of the queue to get untendered fighter jets that aren’t fully developed yet… There are LOTS of things I don’t understand.)
But I have held my tongue.
Partly because I haven’t had time… but also because every day there are so many things I help write. Letters to constituents, speeches, answers to questions… Lots of writing.
We get a lot of letters from different sources: individuals, organizations, charities, groups and clubs. A LOT of letters.
But one special letter came by e-mail yesterday, and it caught my eye:
I am a Canadian grade eight student. In this email I have included an article on the Conservatives, which was written by my mother and I. We have it in two languages: English and Simplified Mandarin. I hope that you would take the time to read it. If you agree with what we have written, please help send it out to all your supporters. By using this method we wish to mobilize all of Canada as well as Chinese-Canadians, who normally do not come out and vote since they have no idea how much impact their one vote can make. They do not know how Mr. Harper is spending billions on fighter jets, cutting down immigration programs and much more. Using this method we hope that we can make all Canadians come out and tell the government what they want and let their voice be heard in the upcoming election.
Thank you very much!
Below is her article, which I am posting as a guest post on my Blog:
ELECTION 2011: WHAT’S AT STAKE FOR CANADA
My daughter, in Grade 8, and I wrote this together, because we love and are proud of Canada. As a mother, I teach my daughter that people, not politicians, decide Canada’s future. People vote for Members of Parliament. A Prime Minister has to work with all the elected MPs, including the Opposition that actually represents the majority of Canadian voters. Parliament, not one Prime Minister, represents the people of Canada.
Unfortunately, our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has shown no respect for Parliament, shutting it down twice, and not giving MPs full information on his spending plans. Politicians have bickered in the past, but never before has a government been judged in contempt of Parliament twice.
We don’t want an election, but this one was caused by Mr. Harper’s undemocratic behaviour.
Canada’s priorities should be daycares, a strong Canada Pension plan, a national pharmaceutical drug program, affordable post-secondary education, and help for those in genuine need. This should be at the top of the list: the wellbeing of Canadians.
Instead, Harper wants to spend more than $ 35 billion on more fighter jets and more prisons.
Look at your family. These decisions will affect children, students, and grandparents. If you want the government to have the right priorities, you have to come out and vote. If you think this election is not important, check the Conservative website and see their plans:
- Corporate Tax Cuts
Harper wants to give tax cuts to corporations like banks and oil companies now, and tax cuts for families much later (only when the government budget is balanced, four or five years from now.) He wants to continue to give extra subsidies to oil companies, since he is from Alberta, the home of the oil sands.
Corporate tax in Canada will be cut to 15% next year. This compares to corporate tax of 35% in the US and 25% in China. It is not necessary to keep Canada competitive. It will cost us over $ 4 billion per year.
Mr. Harper says it will create jobs. Most economists disagree. Previous tax cuts resulted only in higher corporate profits and more money for CEOs. Only 6% of corporate CEOs in a Globe and Mail survey said they would use the tax cut to hire more employees. (Globe Report on Business, 21 March, 2011)
- Support for Programs we care about is at risk
Harper plans to cut spending by at least $ 4 billion per year. He claims that he can do this through efficiencies. But when he came into office five years ago, Canada had a surplus. After Harper’s tax cuts, it became a deficit, which he has been unable to reduce. So either he has not yet tried to govern efficiently, or billions in savings can’t be found simply through efficiencies.
Instead, the savings will have to be found through cuts to programs Canadians rely on. But Harper refuses to tell us which ones he will cut.
He has already started to cut funding for settlement services, like language training that helps immigrants get jobs and integrate in Canadian society. The total cut is over $ 50 million across Canada, but over $ 40 million in Ontario. Why does this Alberta-based PM care so little about Ontario?
- What kind of country will Canada be?
Harper wants us to agree with his Every Man For Himself philosophy, based on American values. Before he became a politician, he once told an American audience that Canada was a third-rate socialist country, and Canadians were proud of that. He’s too smart to say this in public now, and the Opposition parties have stopped him from doing everything he wants. But if he gets a majority, nobody will be able to stop him from changing this country in the image of the US.
Look at his policies: he’s like George Bush the Second:
Eliminate gun control (even though Canada’s chiefs of police say it helps them fight crime)
Build more prisons (crime is going down, but he still wants to spend at least $ 5 billion on this – most likely more because he only gave Parliament an estimate and refused to itemize the costs.)
Buy 65 stealth fighter jets from the US (The original cost estimate was $ 16 billion, but experts now estimate at least $ 30 billion – if you want to picture how much this is – think of 30,000 stacks of a million dollars each! That will cost EACH PERSON in Canada $1,000.
Why do we need so many sophisticated fighter jets? Which country do you think we need to attack?
Some people say this election is a waste of time. But we believe Canada is at a turning point in its history. If you want our nation to become more and more like the US, stay at home on May 2 and let Harper get elected with a majority government. But if you don’t want to see the country you love changed beyond all recognition, please vote.
Poll stations are not far from your home. Spare a bit of time to help your country.
If you agree with us, please forward this to as many people as possible.
If you need information on voting, google ‘Elections Canada’
In my opinion, I think Stephanie and her Mom have said what I feel, better than I could say.
On May 2nd, please Vote!
People all over the world are fighting for the right that too many Canadians cast casually aside.
Get involved… learn about the issues… and Vote.
And, if you Vote LIBERAL, so much the better !!!