April 26th 2004
My son received a very nice letter today.
It came from the Canadian Government inviting him to vote in the Federal elections when they are announced.
The gist was that now that he was 18 he should pay more attention to who represents him in Ottawa and take the opportunity to make his voice heard.
I was very impressed with this. In fact I wholeheartedly endorse the Governments actions in contacting the youth once they have turned 18 and informing them of their right to vote.
The fact that they were only a year or so out of date was heartening as well. That means that my other son, who turned 18 today may even be contacted shortly after the coming election to invite him to partake of the chance to vote in some yet to be determined forthcoming future election.
I don't think that a little issue like the fact that neither of them are Canadian Citizens should matter that much either.
I am also sure that as the only Canadian Citizen in my house my letter from the Government is in the post as well. After all as a new Canadian I am eagerly looking forward to casting my vote shortly.
The Ottawa beaurocrats couldn't have forgotten me could they?
I did ask to have my name included on the voters roll and I am all starry eyed about the possibility of becoming involved in the democratic process as much as any other young person!
I think it is wonderful that the Government takes the time to contact them and ask them to vote.
Even if they aren't Canadians like me!
How truly democratic.
In fact I am reminded of my help at the local Provincial Elections where I was an Area Manager for Elections Ontario
Where we weren't allowed to ask people to prove that they were in fact allowed to vote in the elections. In case we ….well I don't really know why we weren't allowed to do that.
To my mind the fundamental issue at stake here is that you are a citizen of the country when you vote. No ifs, ands or buts. And especially no politically correct crap about sensibilities and minority rights or any other excuses used to justify the appalling lack of security I noticed taking place.
I probably won't be asked to go back as the Area Manager for my district purely on the fact that I made some decisions regarding peoples right to vote based on the rather simple premise that they couldn't prove that they lived in the area never mind that they were citizens.
Which is when I discovered that many of the immigrants out there are VERY aware of their “rights” when it comes to voting. Even if it is illegal. Having heard some scary stories about past elections it opened my eyes as to how incredibly naïve Canadians are when it comes to allowing their democratic process to be hijacked.
Interestingly mainly because of their stupid ability to crumble as soon as someone screams “racism”.
Which happened twice to me. And each time it was an East Indian. Who, I might add, seemed mightily surprised when I stood firm and denied them the opportunity to subvert the system. Racist scum that I was! Which I might add merely strengthened my resolve when it came to making a decision. And for those of you who are already getting on your high horse allow me to point out that bluster and bombast and accusations are generally indicative of intent to defraud in these situations, while people who are genuinely attempting to vote and have a problem will at least make an effort to be helpful themselves.
The saddest, as I have said before, being the Middle Eastern Woman who was a citizen, but couldn't vote as every piece of possible identification was in her husband's name!
Mind you, if I have to use the term sad then I should apply it to the Canadian youth who seem particularly apathetic when it comes to the whole process.
I have talked to many of them and there seems to be an attitude of defeat when it comes to their ability to shape events. Most are of the belief that their vote doesn't count and that the crooks in Ottawa will do whatever they want to no matter who they put in. I also got the impression that so long as they could “party on” then politics was of little importance.
One of the Canadian youngsters made an interesting comment though. It was along the lines that Immigrant children were more interested in the whole process. Active as well. So maybe this letter from the Government is indicative of their awareness of this trend. After all target the youth who have come from countries with little or no democratic process and you probably have a nice base of potential supporters.
Us older immigrants generally being more conservative in our outlook. Or so their thought processes would appear to go.
Actually I think that the letter is a good idea. Anything to get the youth off the couch and into a booth in order to ensure their future must be applauded.
Only let's just make sure that the invitation is extended to citizens only.
April 4th 2004
This weekend the Conservative Party of Canada elected a new leader.
Something that appears to have sent the Liberal Party and its press attack hounds into a panicked frenzy. At least judging by the tired, cliché ridden editorial posted by the Liberal version of Pravda here in Toronto.
If I am interpreting their propaganda correctly I am forced to believe that it is better have a bunch of liars, cheats and incompetents in Ottawa than to elect Christian right wingers who …gasp…are anti abortion, homosexuality, immigration and any of the other pet projects so beloved of the left wing do-gooders.
Of course during the many debates leading up to the leadership vote in the Conservative Party none of these issues were of any importance and this is merely old news being dredged up to support a point. Incorrectly but that has never bothered those intent on brainwashing the masses now has it?
Think SABC. Past and present.
What I do get out of the reaction to the election of Stephan Harper to the position of leader of the party is that the Liberals are a lot more frightened than they would like everyone to know.
This doesn't surprise me, given the steady litany of misdeeds being reported from Parliament Hill lately. Not to mention the polls repeatedly showing the Liberals slipping badly in the publics respect.
Come to think of it you can add in the internecine warfare that has broken out in the Liberal party itself as the old Chretien supporters are purged by Martinites.
Two very public spats have seen supporters of Chretien thrown out by the local Liberal apparatus. Both were nasty, vicious affairs characterized more by the venom thrown around than any serious debate on the lack of morals in Government.
The most interesting being the fight in Hamilton East where Sheila Copps was ousted. Now Sheila is a loud annoying brassy character much given to shouting over her opponent's debate and dragging the standard down to the gutter so she can participate, but even I felt a little sorry at how she was taught a lesson in pure gutter politics.
No I didn't actually.
She deserved every bit she got, come to think of it. A case of the biter bitten. Hard. And like all good losers in Canadian politics she gracefully whined about the unfairness and mused about going to court. Or joining the NDP. So predictable.
Oddly enough the other election was in Mississauga where Carolyn Parrish was elected. She was the person who made the stupid comment about Americans last year. She is a Martin supporter however so her intolerance is forgiven apparently.
Such is the way of Canadian politics.
Interspersed amongst all this has been the whole “Ad-Gate” fiasco.
Basically it boils down to the fact that millions of taxpayer's dollars were given to various friends of the Chretien Government for reasons that are either spurious or downright dishonest.
This week we had Alfonso Gagliano “taking the stand” to put his side of the story out.
Gagliano being the chap who was originally caught with his whole arm in the pie and shipped off to Denmark by Chretien. No doubt as punishment for being caught.
Martin fired him from that position and bought him home and this week was “damage control” week for him.
At least I think that was what he was trying to do because from my viewpoint he not so much as implicated himself as made every effort to hang himself as well.
I haven't seen a more blustering bullying performance than Gagliano's for a long time. Even down to the threats to take legal action against a person asking a fairly reasonable question as to whether he, Gagliano, was a liar or ignorant.
I mean he must have been one or the other.
If he knew about the scandal and was involved then he is a liar. If he didn't know then he is an ignorant incompetent. Simple as that. And legal action isn't going to change that perception.
Heck. Even the Toronto Star asked the same question. Which is damnation indeed for a Liberal.
The trouble with the whole scandal absorbing so much of the public's interest is that in the meantime the lack of any clear political platform from Martin and the Liberal Party is going unnoticed.
It is all very well to have Martin being “terrible disturbed” about the lack of ethics in Government and trotting around the country to tell everyone he meets that he is distraught at what happened but where is the platform and direction that is so urgently needed to right the wrongs?
“Martins rhetoric of reform was, and has remained since he became Prime Minister, miles wide and not an inch deep”
That was written by a LIBERAL commentator! As was the following:
“In the early aftermath of the sponsorship scandal, the Martin Government has looked, to put it kindly, disorganized and untested. Fewer people will now take it on trust”
Which given that Stephen LeDrew is a Martin supporter is damning indeed!
He was also the President of the Liberal Party of Canada until 2003!
SO it is apparent that there is dissension and unease in the Liberal Party at the moment.
Which must increase now that the Conservatives have elected a leader and can go after the main prize of ruling the country.
I wonder whether Martin will in fact call an early election now?
The problem is that if he does, he faces the very possible chance of being relegated to the opposition benches or, at the very best, heading a minority Government.
If he doesn't then he will be seen to be trying to cover up the scandal and the suspicion that is growing in the Canadian public about the way the Liberals are treating them as fools will increase.
Damned if you do. Damned if you don't
Couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch!