Many people are caught between voting NDP to remove the “Harper Government” and voting Green where their beliefs are better recognized. My suggestion is to remember the voting booth is not a confessional; it is the door to where we will be standing next week. Think ahead 20 years to what the children of today are going to be wishing we had done and let that be your guide. We have to Get It Together! I strongly urge the NDP and Greens to back each other in ridings where one of them is strongest. But all the political parties are too selfish by nature so it is up to us to act wisely and with the maturity that future generations are desperately hoping we have. I think we should vote on Facebook for the candidates that are close to our hearts, but not electable so we can know how big a group they represent. We should ruthlessly ignore the ones that are not seriously running. Using a federal race as a platform is inexcusable and wrong. We need to zero in with unfailing intensity on the people who can begin the course change we, humanity, desperately need. The global “authorities” are out of control and Steven Harper has named a democratic government after himself! The warnings signs are there, please, please don’t miss the obvious.
Over the past two weeks I have visited most of the federal campaign offices across southern BC to ask the candidates if they would stand up for us and protect our wild salmon from salmon farms. While my questions focus on salmon, this is about our communities and our ability to safeguard our resources, home and future. Today’s economy maybe booming, but it is jobless. We are no longer permitted to protect the lands we live one, nor our fisheries and we are last in line for the resources that our tax dollars manage. As the wild salmon go, so we go under these policies.
Meeting and talking to the candidates has been highly informative and I found myself wanting to vote for candidates across parties, but bottom-line, I don’t think the party led by a man found in contempt of parliament deserves our vote.
Each party is distinctive. The Conservative offices were generally empty, adorned with a few posters and a gatekeeper. They are hard to find, with no visible address, phone # or email. With one exception they have refused to say whether they could protect wild salmon. Paul Forseth’s office was openly hostile, promising a response that never arrived. Mark Strahl was passed the nomination from his father amid outcry from other Conservatives, again a promised response that has not arrived. Cathy Macleod met with us but was unable to answer our questions. At a packed All Candidates meeting in Courtenay, John Duncan was referred to as Mr. Invisible. His name card faced a jeering audience as he was given a token 15 seconds to answer each question. I have the strong sense Conservative candidates have their lines and campaigns strictly controlled from Ottawa. They certainly do not make it easy for the public to meet them.
The Liberals are hard to read as a party, because they are saying different things. Some want to remove salmon farms; others would let the industry churn away while calling for even more science. The Greens have two candidates that appear highly electable to me, with others that are worthwhile supporting, as they exist in Conservative strongholds. Adrian Carr’s office is bustling with all ages, sleeves rolled up and a sense of excitement. Elizabeth May is historic in her effort and ability. Since we depend on air, water, climate and food, someone has to represent the environment in Ottawa! There are other Greens that I think should step away from the platform, they are not serious and I don’t think the elections should be used for anything but forming governments.
The NDP are dedicated, speak clearly about their ridings and consistently support protection of wild salmon. Zeni Maartman’s office was humming, a woman handed her food knowing Zeni would not stop working. Zeni described a life of public service as did Don Davies and Fin Donnelly, who I know from his swims down the Fraser River to protect the river. Jean Crowder supported the people’s movement last spring that resulted in 1000s of people walking into Victoria to remove salmon farms. Denise Savoie is a strong voice for wild salmon as is Peter Julian.
Stephen Harper exhibits increasingly disturbing behaviour. Has he really removed photographs of previous PMs and changed the name of our government to bear his? These are warning flags. Are people voting for self-obsessed authority, because we don’t trust ourselves? Do we distrust the candidates that ask what we think, because that’s the way it looks. Please don’ t lose faith in yourselves and the people who listen to you. It is increasingly clear the authorities are out of control.
This has made some very tough choices for me, but here are the people I would vote for:
• Vancouver Island North (my riding) - Ronna-Rae Leonard (NPD), but Facebook support Sue Moen (GRN)
• New Westminster – Coquitlam – Fin Donnelly (NDP)
• Burnaby – New Westminster – Peter Julian (NDP)
• Skeena – Bulkley Valley – Nathan Cullen (NDP)
• Vancouver Kingsway – Don Davies (NDP)
• Saanich – Gulf Islands – Elizabeth May (GRN) with recognition that the Liberal and NDP candidates are also excellent, but May is the one who can take us away from the Conservatives and bring essential issues to Ottawa
• West Vancouver – Sunshine Coast – Sea to Sky – Brennan Wauters (GRN)
• Victoria – Denise Savoie (NDP)
• Vancouver Centre – Adrian Carr (GRN)
• Nanaimo – Alberni – Zeni Maartman (NDP)
• Nanaimo – Cowichan - Jean Crowder, (NDP)
• Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon - Gwen O’Mahony (NDP)
• Vancouver South – Meena Wong (NDP)
• Vancouver Quadra – Joyce Murray (LIB)
• Vancouver East – Libby Davies (NDP)
• Vancouver Centre – Adrian Carr (GRN)
• Surrey North - Jasbir Sandu (NDP)
• BC Southern Interior - Alex Atamanenko (NDP)
• Prince George – Peace River – Lois Boone (NDP)
• Burnaby – Douglas - Kennedy Stewart (NDP)
• Okanagan – Coquihalla – John Kidder (LIB)
• North Vancouver - Taleeb Noormohamed (LIB)
• Pitt Meadows – Maple Ridge – Mission – Craig Spears (NDP)
• Okanagan – Shuswap – Greig Crockett (GRN)
• Kamloops – Thompson – Cariboo – Michael Crawford (NDP)
• Esquimalt – Juan de Fuca – Randall Garrison (NDP
• Abbotsford – Daniel Bryce (GRN)
• Port Moody -Westwood-Coquitlam - Mark Ireland (NDP)