Politics Blogs - Blog Top Sites Blog Flux Directory Green Assassin Brigade: April 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Newmarket Debate review #elxn41

Last night was the Newmarket Chamber of commerce all candidates debate, well not quite all candidates as the NDP Candidate was unable to attend and the Animal Alliance Candidate was present but unable to debate.

At the big table we had Lois Brown (Con MP), Vanessa Long (Green), Kyle Peterson (Lib) and Dorian Baxter (PC)
Some one please email me a picture, my Camera was not charged.

For the most part the candidates were largely respectful, that is if you don’t consider lying to be disrespectful. It is after all the new norm in politics where facts are not facts, experts are not experts, quotes are not quotes and there is no shame in lying.

I’m not going to detail all the minutia of the debate but I will say that it was not entirely what I expected. Brown as always was frustratingly calm and totally shameless in not answering the question or robotically repeating her programmed talking points. I was rather annoyed that when asked about proportional representation she went onto a tirade about seat division which in my opinion is no where near as important as insuring seats are proportional to popular vote. I don’t get it, why not just say you’re against PR rather go on about conservative attempts at gerrymandering?

She also made a false claim that it takes a constitutional change to alter the voting system. As I understand it how we vote in not detailed within the constitution but simply decided in the House of Commons. It doesn't even require a referendum, referendums are simply ways of confusing the issue so much you can make sure it won't pass, as we saw in BC and Ontario.

I don’t know if it was simply an error or the sign of a new police state but Brown clearly stated that she supported police demands for funding that would bring give us 1 law enforcement personal for every 7 people in the country. WTF? Not only that but Peterson the Liberal supported the number unaware it was wrong or insane, lest he be seen as less tough on crime.

Other items I found distasteful from Brown were the claims that the Conservatives were making good progress on greenhouse gases and claiming the Copenhagen climate meetings were successful. Yes so successful that Canada received numerous Fossil awards for their lack of progress internally and our interference with progress internationally.

Dorian Baxter, the President and one of only 9 remaining Progressive Canadians candidates left was his predictable bombastic self attacking the Conservative party and Brown when ever he could. As a perceived fringe candidate he could make blunt and aggressive attacks on issues like government trust, lying and the contempt of parliament charge leaving Long and Peterson to look reasonable and stately which was a good place for them to be. On one public question about Canada’s changing role from peace keeping to regime change he called out the Liberals and Conservatives for involving us in unnecessary foreign conflicts, while they defended our foreign entanglements as just and necessary.

The biggest disappointment of the night was Kyle Peterson whose nervous speed talking, occasional stammers and obvious lack of policy depth left him the weakest of the 4 candidates on the stage. Peterson’s only “on his game moment” was a slam at Brown about Conservatives attempting to steal Guelph ballot boxes. Peterson does not seem to be the candidate that can bring Newmarket-Aurora back into the Liberal fold. I don’t know if anyone short of “star” quality candidate like Belinda could revitalize a local party that was desperately searching for a good candidate last fall, it would appeared from this debate they failed.

I won’t fixate too much on my Candidate Vanessa Long, she started a little nervous but with Peterson next to her turning beet red most people never noticed. Her answers were spontaneous and thoughtful rather than stale and rehearsed and the crowd, despite being well stuffed with Liberal and Conservative faithful seemed to respond well. Vanessa was strong on the environment, did a great job of explaining the mechanics and benefits of a carbon tax, the need for local strong economies, and electoral reform. She made a great closing statement and her “ask” for the vote was certainly the best of the night.

From the audience response and supportive comments Vanessa received, it’s obvious that when strong Green candidates get to talk about their long term vision it will resonate with many people. Whether that’s enough to break decades and sometimes generations of habitual voting we’ll have to see.

I hope I’ll be able to get some edited video to add to this post later in the week.

For those of you with Cable, the Rogers debate was recorded today so check your schedule.
The Aurora debate will be held at Aurora Town Hall Wed April 20 7:30

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada?

Considering we now have an AAEVPC candidate running for Parliament in Newmarket Aurora I figured we should have a quick look at them. First of all they need to come up with a shorter version of their name, AAE perhaps?

A quick look at their platform shows that every policy item is about the protection of an animal species not the environment as a whole. The environment is about balance and protecting entire ecosystems, plants and animals. This party seems more like the “we like animals party” (WLAP, that’s slightly better), which is all fine and dandy but it’s not a big picture environmental party.

I don’t want to delve into each issue but it would appear they disagree with many government sanctioned culls of such species as coyote’s, elk, moose and cormorants. I’m not a specialist in wild animal populations but I would suspect that the reduction in numbers of many high end predators in Canada (entirely our fault) requires that we occasional cull populations that are no longer fully controlled, especially those that are endangering people like the moose on highways in Labrador, and those destroying other species or their environment.

I’ve seen the damage a cormorant population can do and can’t help to wonder what original populations were like, size and destructiveness, and how their damage impacts other species. We’ve limited the range and populations of many species and because of that we have to limit their impact on each other up to and including the occasion culls.

I agree some culls have no purpose others however attempt to restore balance we’ve destroyed. I’m sensing they do not support any culls and I’m not ready to accept every cull is wrong,

AAE advocates better treatment of farm animals,

I’m good with that, we Greens support localization of our agriculture and believe feedlots and factory farms are unhealthy for us, create hard to deal with pollutions/runoff problems and are generally cruel and unethical. Greens want food to be smaller, local, organic and ethical.

Anti seal hunt, I believe we already have that one covered too.

Stopping the use of shelter animals for surgeries by vet students where the result is death, rather they should be kept after surgery, healed and adopted out.

I see that they want to be nice to animals but what about the problem that the shelters exist and are full most of the time? Where is the support for puppy and kiteeh family planning?
Where is the policy on
Transgenic species?
Invasive species?
Fish farms?

I’d say the AAEVPC is certainly more of an advocacy group than a political party but the paper work is done and Yvonne MacKie , one of seven candidates running in this election will be on your Newmarket-Aurora ballot..

7 Candidates is actually only 2 less that Dorian’s Progressive Canadians. I expect my next post to deal with the slow death of the PC party.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Newmarket-Aurora, the NDP sham continues v2011

I’ve often said that strategic voting is a mistake; I’ve also stated that no vote is ever wasted. I was wrong.

I still believe that people should vote their conscience even if there is no chance of winning but what I cannot condone is voting for a candidate that simply does not try.

In 2008 I blogged about the NDP and their local sham campaign and while I did hear a little second hand outrage about the post after the fact it does not seem to have to inspired them to do better.
The fact that this post is the top google result for the search "NDP Newmarket-Aurora" shows how quiet and ineffective the local party is.

This year's election is not much different, Kassandra Bidarian the NDP Candidate is not campaigning, there are no signs, no web site, no twitter account and only the slightest mention on her Facebook page that she’s even running. Last election the NDP had a late nomination but did eventually get some activity going, this time they’ve had a candidate for some time but she’s just not trying.

Errata, when I first checked web site was basically a place holder, its now a functioning site
I totaly missed the facebook page because Vote KB for NDP was not personalize enough to be caught in the search I did, I'd respectfully suggest she use her full name for visability.

I don’t even blame Kassandra, It’s the party and its disrespect for local voters that so angers me. IF you cannot find a truly local candidate (she currently lives in Toronto), someone who is willing to put some effort into the campaign and someone who can invigorate your local base you should not be running a Candidate.

A vote for someone who doesn’t try, someone whose own party lacks the confidece in them to run a real campaign is truly a wasted vote

I wasn’t planning to make this an issue again but people are asking me “where the hell are the NDP?” Apparently contempt for voters is also a local issue.

added after original posting

James Morton shows us that you can respect your opponent if they really try

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