So I’m still undecided on who to vote for on May 2 in the upcoming Canadian Federal Election…EDITORIAL by Jamie Gilcig – April 24, 2011

Cornwall ON – So it’s one week to show time for Canada and all of our futures.    It’s been the most anti-climactic and non-focused election I’ve lived through to date.

The Harper game plan is like a Jacques Martin hockey plan; get a lead and hide and hold onto it.  I can’t argue that, but it certainly doesn’t inspire me.

I have to be honest; I can’t imagine voting for Mr. Harper so I won’t fake it.  I voted for Mr. Mulroney.  It was the first time I was of age to vote in an election, but that was the last time I voted Conservative so far.

My problem is that I am not sure if there’s any other party I can vote for at this time?    I’m officially still a free agent.

I’ve dabbled in Green; used to be proud Liberal, and have never voted Orange.   I see many merits in all of the platforms; even a few of the Conservative points.

Personally I think the problem is the system.  While I originally didn’t support proportional representation I’m more open to that now.

What matters to me as a voter  most is Medicare.    Well the NDP, Greens, and Liberals all have said some positive thing on that subject; ranked in that order.

A guaranteed minimum income for Canadians?  So far I only see that with the Greens.    Balancing the system and maybe, just maybe blocking those loop holes that send billions of our Canadian dollars off shore while Rich people and large corporations complain about minimum wage or other income supports?   Well I would have to nod to the NDP.

Leadership and the ability to govern?  Well that would still probably go to the Liberals.

It’s been an interesting campaign to date.  While the Liberals have had a bit of a push the NDP seem to be eating up the headlines and media buzz this holiday weekend with the Quebec Surge becoming a reality.  Kudos to Thomas Mulcair for that one btw.  We had Mr. Mulcair on as early as a year ago talking about the reality that Quebecers could have an option besides the hated Liberals and Conservatives, which the Bloc essentially are; Conservatives masked as Soverignists….

Can you see how bewildering this can get?   Leaders?  Well as much as I dislike what Mr. Harper stands for I give him full credit for execution; not only of Canada, but of his ideas and game plan.   Mr. Ignatieff I don’t have much time for.   I felt he was a poor choice for the party and was totally discombobulated by his refusal to be interviewed by The Cornwall Free News.   I still have to give the party a full nod for running a very strong campaign.   Mr. Harper has refused to be interviewed by us also, but I can understand that one a bit more than Mr. Ignatieff??

I really do like Mr. Layton.    I was chatting with a very loyal Conservative and both of us couldn’t think if anything really bad that Jack would do to Canada if election PM?   Mr Layton also had the courtesy to grant a phone interview when this paper was starting out; same with Ms May and I’ll always appreciate that courtesy.  We’ve grown a lot since then as a media outlet.  I’ve always felt that if you treat people with courtesy and respect they usually will respond with the same.  Those that don’t, well…..

Which brings me to my main dilemma; one which has I believe, been one of Mr. Harper’s strategies which is to have the left split and run up the middle like John Riggins in the 80’s for the Washington Redskins, and get his majority.

And this scary scenario seems to be playing out.   Canada is playing chicken with a Harper majority.

Locally I’m not that enamored with the performances of the Candidates.  Yes, Wyatt Walsh of the Greens has sucked the oxygen out of the rooms during the debates, but he seems more like a second Conservative candidate than an actual Green?   He certainly sounds more Conservative than Mr. Lauzon has.

Mr. Lauzon has been exposed in the debates, but have enough people noticed?   For Bernadette Clement to take Mr. Lauzon’s seat some major magic has to happen in SD&SG this week.   I’m not sure if she has a big enough magic wand or enough time?

Looking around Canada I see Thomas Mulcair holding onto Outremont.  I see Elizabeth May winning her riding which means the Consortium will have to find a new and creative reason to hold her out of the debates next time around.

So I think it comes down to me being open and undecided.  Convince me Canada.  Convince me Candidates.   I was at the NDP rally at the Olympia theatre in Gilles Duceppe’s riding this weekend and it gave me hope.

As an escapee from Quebec it was amazing to see so many young people politically active.     It was great to not see speakers booed if they mixed in some English with their French.   Mostly it was amazing to see focus and hope.  The music was great too.

I’m hoping for a minority government.  I really am and I have great hope for the possibilities to get things moving forward for our country.    A Conservative minority would probably spell the end for Mr. Harper and I can handle that.   The Conservatives have better candidates to replace him; some of whom might actually work with the other parties and not be held in Contempt.

It’s going to be an interesting week to be working in the media.

What do you think Canada?  You can post your comments below.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

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  1. A vote for the NDP is a vote for NO SPP and no NAU, a vote for NO Canadian fresh water being diverted to the U.S. A vote for our sovereignty back. For two years now the NDP has been fighting the Harper government trying to stop the SPP and NAU! (Paul Martin got the SPP in action). It’s also a vote for safe food and keeping our food clean. The Harper government has tried to lower our standards of food to the U.S. standards as far as GM food goes. If the SPP and NAU go through we loose our country’s sovereignty having to go to Washington for permissions on certain issues like energy, oil, water, and more! Want to know more? check out the video’s on my FB page!
    Does that help? 🙂

  2. As much as I’d love to see the NDP form the Official Opposition, I fear that every vote for the NDP makes a Harper majority more likely….and that possibility makes my blood run cold. The Libs don’t deserve to do well. As Layton said in the English debate, Ignatieff has been Harper’s best friend for the last two and a half years. Unfortunately, the only hope we have to prevent a Harper majority is a strong turnout for the Libs. Sad, really.

  3. Author

    Furtz that’s not true. There are some ridings where it’s the exact opposite. I think that stategic voting will be a multi edged sword. For example in Saanich you want to vote Green. Here in SD&AG you might want to vote Liberal and in many other ridings NDP is the way to go. I think it comes down to looking at individual ridings and make sure that when it’s close that Mr. Harper doesn’t sneak through up the middle.

  4. It’s true in any riding where there is a close Lib/Con race, and that’s a lot of them. I agree that in ridings where the NDs have a chance, by all means, go for it. As a life-long Dipper, it pains me to say it, but that’s the reality with our asinine FPP system.

  5. Author

    Furtz that’s a two way street. There may be some ridings where people will most likely have to vote NDP….

  6. I’m all for preventing a Harper majority. Unfortunately, in most ridings, it means holding your nose and voting Liberal. The trick is to vote for whoever has the best chance at defeating the Con, riding by riding. I’m hoping that this strategic voting idea takes off and works.

  7. It is a waiting game this week. As the NDP are growing in popularity, who knows.

  8. I hear that the turnout at the advance polls this weekend has been huge. This is a good sign that voters are engaged, and not happy with the current government. Oh, the suspense!!!

  9. Given the current voting system, Furtz and admin have my vote for the best way to neutralize a Harper dictatorship.

  10. Sorry to say it but I am a Conservative and even though I am not a huge Lauzon/Harper fan………I can not loath the fact that we could have Iggy as our leader! He is completely unreliable…gone to the US, absent from parliament more than any other party leader and the fear monger is trying to convince everyone that raising corporate taxes will help our country or small businesses…….please!

    P.S. – Do think the HST is helping our community it is supposedly saving my business thousands of dollars and I was told my costs and many other retail goods prices would drop! All I see is job losses, increased prices and whole lot rubbish from the liberals.

    On a positive note I love Bernadette Clement but unfortunately a vote for her would elect a tax and spend government and that is not what we need at this time!

    Mike Bedard

  11. Those thirty-odd months of Harper’s pre-election attack ads really did work on a lot of voters.

  12. Your right there Furtz, I have read many articles written by reliable journalists, pollsters, and scholars that state emphatically that for a huge percentage of Canadians the only political opinion they form is from attack ads. I believe those opinions to be true. and as we all know the CONservatives spent untold millions of dollars assassinating Stephane Dion’s and then Michael Ignatieff’s characters continuously pre-election. The CONservations spend ridiculous amounts of money both their own and that of the Canadian taxpayers on negative opposition or self supporting spin, whether it be attack ads,Action Plan Propaganda, or Guy Lauzon type fliers, filled with loaded questions skewed in such a way as can only be answered to support the CON party line by any person with morals. That’s why I prefer to line my bird cage with Mr. Lauzon’s face, at least that way the fliers have a practical use….lol

  13. Author

    geez, if only they’d spend some of those ad dollars here! It’s funny; but we’ve actually had two reporters work for us who were Conservatives and Mr. Lauzon and friends still refused to speak with them because they work with us and then we get slapped as a partisan rag???

  14. Re attack ads… Someone once said that the intelligence of the masses cannot be underestimated. I honestly believe that the last sixty years of television has reduced our ability to think.

  15. Considering the Liberals and NDP are willing to spend, money they should first tell us where they will get the revenue.

    It sounds like a win situation right up until someone needs to pay the bills

    There are claims it will come from corporate tax dollars, It is a good idea however would that not expedite the companies leaving for less taxes elsewhere, followed by layoffs, increased money needed to pay for the people not working and not paying taxes?

    It is a vicious circle but a pretty obvious decision. One party held us through most of this recession and maintained the system as it was built to be run.

    Green, well that is a lost vote.

  16. Spin it however you wish smee, but previous corporate tax cuts have not led to jobs. However they have led to higher bonuses for rich executives and increased cash reserves for the large corporations. see: or As per the leading us through the recession, don’t forget the bank system that weathered the storm was created by Paul Martin and the Liberals and it was Harper’s Love Boat of spending that sailed through a $13 billion surplus straight onto a $60 billion Gilligan’s Island of debt. Now he want’s to give even more back to his buddies at the corporations, build his own Air Farce of $30 billion engineless glider jets and a bunch of shiny new Mega prisons to hold his In and Out scamming cronies and top advisers….lol Where’s that money coming from smee?

  17. This one is for Mike Bedard:

    You say you are Conservative. What kind—Progressive or Reformist? If Progressive, you are much closer to the Liberals than to the Harper crowd.

    You allude to fearmongering. Who are the real fearmongers among the parties scaring voters with their tough-on-crime/build-mega-prisons platform, when statistics show that crime rates are dropping?

    You refer to raising corporate taxes as a Liberal fearmongering tactic. Check with accredited economists and you will find that lowering corporate taxes (Harper’s plan) affects wages, does not create jobs, enriches CEOs and helps to pay down the US deficit (Source–Armine Yalnizyan in the Hill Times, April 25th, 2011).

    You are positive about Bernadette Clement. With good reason. She represents the party that upholds democracy and human rights; that respects the individual; that stands for fairness, decency, tolerance, and compassion in Canadian life; and also, by the way, has been a far better economic manager than the Harper Reformists. Facts: the Liberals handed Harper a surplus of $13 billion; Harper has racked up a $56 billion deficit for you and your children. So, which of these two are the big spenders?

    Hope this helps.

  18. Besides, Mike, Bernadette has an excellent record as both lawyer and Cornwall City Councillor. She listens and delivers.

    In contrast, what has Lauzon done apart from clapping hands in Question Period, obstructing parliamentary committees, shameless photo-ops, and stuffing our mail-boxes with junk mail?

  19. @PJR I agree with just about all you say, but there is a problem with the Libs right now. As Layton said, Ignatieff has been Harper’s best friend for the last two and a half years. The NDP has been the only real opposition for quite a while now. I held my nose and voted Liberal at the advance poll, not because they deserve my vote, but to help prevent a Harper majority. Sad, really.

  20. left-or-right
    Statistics and namely stats Canada could use a little update on the information. Take a quick look and you will see just how anyone can manipulate stats, I wonder what the sample deviation was in this case.

    I agree the bank system in place, proir to Martin I might add is what aided us quite a bit. However I can assure you had it been the liberals they system would have been altered to do what they do best..spend

    The Jets are not for an other five years as the existing jets reach their life span. However if you would like to fly jets in a comparible manner to the helicopters ,Sea Kings, please feel free.

    Wasn’t it Martin who bought the submarines for our navy from the UK. You must remember the sub that ssank on the way over.

    The money comes from tax payers, you know the people we have working in industry that still exists cuz of tax breaks.

  21. Furtz, you make an excellent point. Like you, I am persuaded that preventing a Harper majority is every decent democracy-loving Canadian’s duty. Sad, perhaps, but essential.

  22. @smee you use the typical CONservative smoke screens lines, deny and deflect….
    Of course many credible journalists and leading economists are just wrong when they reveal the fact that lowering the corporate tax rates have not created jobs but instead corporate wealth ($86 billion in corporate cash reserves since lowering corporate taxes began)…Why?…because the CONservatives say so.
    Of course the Liberals would have altered the sound recession proof banking system they had diligently created and which also handed the “Harper Government” a $13 billion surplus which was completely squandered buying votes even before the recession, which Jim Flaherty denied was coming, arrived …Why?…because the CONservatives say so. (Wasn’t Flaherty the finance minister who left Ontario in a multibillion dollar deficit, after actually announcing his party had created a surplus?)
    Of course we need yet unavailable, un-proven, un-costed, un-tendered, single engine, first strike, short range “stealth” F35 fighters to “declare our presence” while on patrol our sovereign arctic skies instead of available ,proven, cost effective, tendered, less expensive, twin engine, state of the art, long range fighters such as the EF Typhoon…Why?…because the CONservatives say so. (Just like Harper’s platforms, the CONservatives will fuel future deficits 5 years into the future and beyond.)
    Of course we need new multibillion dollar American style Mega-prisons even though statistically crime has been decreasing in Canada and even though this style of prison has proven to be a prime training ground for career criminals, while at the same time closing down prison farms which have proven to be one of the most successful rehabilitation programs in history…Why?…because CONservatives say so. (I wonder if these prisons will have executive suites for In and Out scammers and influence peddling top advisors)
    Sorry smee, the HMCS Chicoutimi had an electrical fire on its maiden voyage from England. No one was injured and it is in full military service today. It was one of four used subs purchased from the UK by the Liberals for the very prudent price of $750 million or around five F35 jets. The UK had opted to go to a complete nuclear type sub and sell their diesel, electric versions.
    As far as all this industry that still exists due to tax breaks to already profitable banks, insurance companies, oil companies, and various other industry that you refer to, where is it locally, I mean here in Mr. Lauzon’s riding, where is it hiding? Under those two stacks across the street from what was once CIL? No the money for all this big future spending will come directly out of the average working tax payers’ pockets for untold years to come. You know the ones working in the newly created Action Plan funded low paying service jobs, without pension plans or benefits. Many of these new jobs are only full time if they are lucky as many new jobs are merely part time causing many people to have to take on additional jobs to survive.
    So pardon me smee if I don’t believe the CONsevatives…. just because they say so.

  23. “Wasn’t Flaherty the finance minister who left Ontario in a multibillion dollar deficit, after actually announcing his party had created a surplus?” Bingo!! That’s why we now have legislation in Ontario that requires a full audit of the books prior to our provincial elections. The fact that Flaherty lied through his teeth about this phony surplus never seems to be mentioned.

  24. left-or-right, pardon me if I don’t believe you just because you say so….the sub purchased from England that caught fire in mid-Atlantic did have but ONE fatality. It was a certain Lieutenant that died of smoke-inhalation….I remember that.

  25. @L-or-R In print and online I have read numerous articles that refute the opinion of the ‘Operation Maple’ link you provided. A few moments reading a few articles and it is readily obvious Operation Maple is with a leftist bias entrenched as that of the CBC. Enclosed is a opposite viewpoint by a source a little less bias but also in opposite direction…

    You talk of big corporations and executives with bonuses, however many and I would venture to say most corporations are small business and not large corporations. I myself remember a few years ago paying a 22% corporate tax rate with a small business and three employees. Many small businesses incorporate for liability reasons, not because they are big or making pockets full of money. Small incorporated business likely can not not move to a more friendly tax locality but big corporations certainly can and do. Tim Horton’s is one corporation that moved its head offices back to Canada… Parent company Tim Hortons Inc. (TSX:THI) announced Monday it has filed documents in the United States that would shift its corporate ownership back north of the border. Its current Canadian headquarters is in Oakville, Ont., west of Toronto.

    Tax and spend philosophy of the left I believe stifles growth and profits. Growth and profits is with ability to generate greater tax revenue via income taxes, consumption taxes, employment taxes and increased cash flow with consumer goods.

  26. I apologize, Stan… the original article I pulled my information from what was a first news report of the incident and it had stated a number of casualties on board with no fatalities, however upon further investigation I found in a follow up report that an officer indeed did succumb to smoke inhalation later while being transported to a hospital in Ireland via helicopter so I stand corrected, thank you, I never meant to mislead. However, I stand by the rest of my opinions, believing them to be credible.
    Congratulations Garfield, you are one of the fortunate small businesses to actually post profits (or at least admit it) because many never post enough profit to pay much in the way of corporate taxes or don’t show profit through expenditures and a good accountant. I do believe yours is the type of business that need the breaks, because yours are the true employers with job growth potential; especially because you will remain in Canada and will not follow the tax rate to whatever country offers the lowest. Yours are our future and need special attention. Unfortunately it is the profitable big banks, insurance and oil companies who ultimately gain the most. Many articles I have read state that in fact over the last decade, the cash reserves of big profitable corporations has grown expeditiously as job growth has declined. It has been sufficiently proven that our tax base was by far low enough to be totally competitive before the latest giveaway.
    I can post article per article refuting every one you post. We can spend the day refuting each other but it would boil done to you believe what you want and I’ll believe what I want and let the readers decide what they want to believe.

  27. @Left-or-Right Your reply has me chuckling… not in a factitious way, but rather in appreciation of your logic and insight. I thought I was smart in having further posts, links, rebuttals in reserve however you are correct, the day could be spent refuting only to have at days end each of us believing what we believe.

    Perhaps sounds contradictory but just want to say there are some sectors of the economy where I see obscene profits that seem not to be adding to the economy such as the banks and insurance companies. If their mega profits are the result of a monopoly gouging average Joe citizen and adding to reserves then I conflict with my earlier premise and question why they require tax breaks. As it is with many issue, it’s not always black and white… in between are varying shades of grey!

  28. Yes Grimmie. We have to assume that everything we post is being monitored.

  29. lol @ Grimalot and Furtz …. should some of us keep one eye on our ‘puter screen and the other out the window?

  30. We are on the same page in many ways Garfield…not all corporations deserve tax breaks, but some, such as yours and other down home truly Canadian mom and pop companies, deserve far more. No grey are there my friend!

  31. Sorry IThat’s grey area…I suffer from FKS “Fumble Key Syndrome”…lol

  32. @left-or-right…Even Rita MacNeil had a file on her because of some of the songs she sang.
    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you. 🙂

  33. @left-or-right says:
    unbelievable and uninformed….why because you says so in yor post

  34. @smee….I doubt I can be accused of being uninformed, however I have freely admitted to making an error. I failed to do a thorough search on an incident which occurred on October 6, 2004, and I have apologized for my mistake. I don’t believe that these forums serve anyone if rather than debate each others point of views, in some cases passionately, we lower ourselves to personal attacks. As far as uninformed was it you who posted, “Wasn’t it Martin who bought the submarines for our navy from the UK. You must remember the sub that sank on the way over.” A fact that is clearly untrue as the men and women of that “sunken” sub, the HMCS Chicoutimi, serve our Country proudly at this very moment. I suggest you look at yourself before throwing stones.

  35. Smee does row his boat in circles at times.

  36. left-or-right and Garfield, you both are a treat to read. You are both well informed and gentleman. I look forward to read more from both of you in the future.

  37. gee whiz willie…now I’m blushing……lol…thanks for the compliment

  38. ( Disclaimer in the failed Canadian Education system someone along the way forgot to teach me grammar, sentence structure, and all that other useful English stuff. Hope to teach it to myself some day….. I can remember hearing my grandma’s voice when I was a kid always correcting the way I spoke.)

    It’s laughable really,

    I would rather have Queen Elizabeth The II running this country, the good old days when Monarchy Ruled over all Corporations kissed ass to be given permission. At least then I knew who I had to run at with a pitch fork. Now a Government Committee starts suggesting taking away their precious profits and they scream ” We’ll pass that on to the Consumer ” with a Harper Grin. Governments need to grow some balls before the wedge between Low Income and the Filthy rich becomes absurd. Anyone ever heard of Henry Ford? Why do we follow the Wal-Mart rat race of stuffing out the middle class, and not the Henry Ford style of pay your works a decent wage and guess what they can buy your product. What a revolutionary idea? What happens when you sell the majority of manufacturing over seas to create minimum wage Jobs? Lets see $25.00 / hr Benefits and Pension vs Wal-Martized Minimum wage No Benefits , No Pension. Even working for Galen Weston ( 2nd richest Canadian Operates Largest Grocery Store in Canada Weston Foods, Loblaws Inc. ) I can’t afford to buy the food of the shelf never mind pay rent, never mind the Walmart Invasion, Slash hours , Slash Wages? Anybody ever stop and think before using the Self Check Outs at Safeway or Wal-mart or Stupid Store? IF you do pat yourself on the back your doing big business a favour, now they can layoff / fire that many more employees! And these guys need a bigger Tax Break! Canada’s one of the lowest in Corporate Taxes, even the US is at 35 % . The Irony is when we can’t afford to live anymore money will be worthless and it won’t matter if you have 1 buck or 50 zillion you can shove it! Money only has a value so long as society makes it so. If we choose a new way of scaling what is our time for another form of trade ( back to bartering, I knew I didn’t play all these videos for nothing I’ve already learned that skill  ). Perhaps society will get a clue that are petty problems are far from the real ones. Asteroids, Aliens? just to name a few. If you don’t believe aliens exist get a map of the universe try fitting a 1 : billion scale across the entire globe and when you can’t manage that, tell me again how there’s no way life didn’t pop up anywhere out there.

    Sadly we will have to follow Star Trek and have World War III that brings us to the brink of extinction in order for humanity to take a hint.



  39. Left to Right,

    I love your enthusiasm but stay respectful! Your comments ring of the same disrespectful attitude that just killed the “Liberals”! Just because people don’t agree with you does not make them less intelligent than you! I disagree with many but still hold the utmost respect for them! You can not enforce your will and this historic low for the LIBERALS only reflects it’s leader and my earlier comments were obviously shared!
    ……………………….Anyone is BETTER than Ignatief!

    I am proud to have been one of very few outted Conservatives on this wonderful site: THE CORNWALL FREE NEWS!

    Good Luck Guy and I hope you find new ways to improve on your last term!
    Mike Bedard

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