First, let me give my heart felt sympathies to the employees of the local Elections Canada office. Right up until Sunday the 7, they had to pretend that there was still a by-election going down the next day. Anyway, Prime Minister Stephen Harper felt that the opposition parties weren’t coming to work and actually contributing anymore, so he did the only thing he could do: end it all. So apropos, that brings us to this week’s issue:
Question #3: How will you work to create a better, more co-operative Parliament?
Tom King: New Democrats come to Ottawa to make Parliament work, to put Canada on a progressive path that will meet this century’s biggest challenges. We want to balance the books and pay down debt, but we also recognize our obligation to the future. In Parliament, New Democrats realize that we are not here to scandal-monger over the latest headline. We are here because this country is crying out for progressive solutions to the challenges of the century ahead. The NDP will not let Canadians be taken for granted. They deserve better than what Liberal and Conservative governments delivered.
Gloria Kovach: Like every Canadian, I see media reports and wonder what is happening in Ottawa. However, despite what we see in Question Period, the fact is that the Harper government has made great strides in two and a half years with a minority government for Canadians – such as improving our economy, passing improved crime legislation to ensure safer communities, healthcare advances and making us a more respected and responsible player on the international stage. Every elected official should ensure they represent their communities’ needs, be a strong voice and take the responsibility seriously and show up to vote.
Mike Nagy: Have you been to the House of Commons? It behaves deplorably. I've seen more constructive, sensitive and honourable behaviour at day cares. Canadians don't deserve this. The Green Party is the only party that can create a better, more co-operative Parliament. Why? Because we are the only ones without partisan baggage; because Canadians of all political stripes and colours like us whether or not they have voted for us before; because I want to set an example in Ottawa by fostering respect and co-operation, building consensus, and celebrating common ground.
Frank Valeriote: The amount of rancour going on during Question Period is embarrassing for all Canadians, but it can change if each and every MP pauses and remembers to behave in a civilized fashion before they speak. Glen Pearson and Bill Casey are excellent parliamentarians and their example is what all politicians should follow. I think if MPs make an individual, conscious decision to be more respectful to each other, then Parliament will become more co-operative.
What about the others…?
With the general election now in full-swing, the playing board is wiped clean. The four majors will keep going, but there were four other “third party” candidates in the running too. So far, only Karen Levenson of the Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party says that she’s going to keep going. Guinness World Record holder for most elections contested, John Turmel, also plans to stay in the race in either Brant or Guelph. Turmel says he’s leaning towards Guelph, calling Brantford “undemocratic” after he was escorted from a provincial election debate last Fall. Libertarian Philip Bender and Marijuana Party candidate Kornelis “Brother Kase” Klevering had not yet stated their intentions by deadline.
Yes, you will have to vote again if you went to an advanced poll. If you were one of the ones that had cast your ballot before the September 8 by-election day, you will have to fill out another ballot on October 14. All the ballots already cast have been boxed up and shipped to a warehouse in Ottawa; just like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
For more information on the Guelph now-general election, visit my blog at http://guelphbyelectionbeat.blogspot.com/. Yes. It’s still called “Guelph By-Election Blog.” It’s a brand now, get used to it.