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Monday, December 20, 2010
The arrogance of Ignatieff's new "boutique parties" discourse is akin to Harper's "you can't beat me so you're stuck with me" general line. Maybe it's time to send both of them into political retirement, so they can continue this kindergarten battle outside of the public arena.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
If Rick Mercer is an accurate source, then Laurie Hawn just said that Canadian soldiers will be so safe in Aghanistan they won't need flak jackets. Are you aware of what exactly you are saying, Mr. Hawn? Do you have any idea of what you'll do if proven wrong? Disgusting.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
2) A door-knocking and literature-distribution campaign was successfully started. We are constantly looking for new ideas for the brochure, as well as volunteers to adopt an area throughout the campaign. The contents of the current brochure are reflected on the front page of the campaign website.
3) A weekly radio show was started on Leduc Radio in August and has proven a very good way to get the message out. The show runs every Wednesday from 6:30 to 7 pm MST and can be listened to online at www.leducradio.com . Recordings of several previous shows are available on our website. I welcome your feedback and ideas for future shows/guests.
While it is still unclear when the next federal election may be, I would like to encourage you to get involved in the campaign. I believe that we are on the right track, but we cannot afford to slow down, which is why we need volunteers to design and distribute literature, write letters, arrange events and meetings, assist in communication work, move our online presence forward and conduct research. If you have any time at all, please contact me. I appreciate any help you can provide. The various ways you can contribute to the campaign are listed in the "Volunteer" and "Donate" sections of the website.
Once again, thank you for your kind support. I look forward to hearing from you! All of my contact information is shown below. Please feel free to forward this update as you see fit.
Monday, October 25, 2010
As a human being, I cannot see any normal way in which a person can go from A) adamantly stressing that he will not enter into any bargains with an illegal "court" as such a bargain would legitimize the process that he was put through, to B) lowering his head and saying "yes" to every accusation thrown at him.
After all, this has all happened before. Milkmaids and schoolchildren had "confessed" that they had been plotting to kill Hitler. Hard-line communists had "confessed" to a Stalinist "court" that they were really monarchists trying to overthrow the regime. Christians had "confessed" that they erred in their beliefs in Roman "courts".
I have no idea whether Omar Khadr is or isn't guilty, but that's not the point. The point is that the thin line separating Guantanamo from totalitarian butcher-shop court-marshals is no longer clear. Shame on Obama for failing to live up to his promises! Shame on Harper for serving as a willing accomplice to such a disgrace! For humanity to have apparently gone a long way from the justice of the stone age and feudalism and then to throw it all away is a disaster that will linger with us for decades.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Friday, October 8, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Sunday, August 22, 2010
As neither I personally nor the riding association have ever engaged in anything like this before, we would really appreciate your feedback and input.
Either leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks in advance!
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
I just hope, with all my heart, that what has been happening in the Gulf for the past 3 months will not go down in history as a victory. Yes, a lot of people are doing their best now to end the crisis. Yes, if new oil finally stops getting out into the Gulf, it will be excellent news. But no, this is not the main point nor should it be.
Friday, July 2, 2010
I mean, really?! Four days after what happened in Toronto?
Friday, June 18, 2010
1.) Do you see a problem in the democracy we have in Canada, where only 50-60% of eligible voters vote? Explain.
As you’ve correctly mentioned in your question, there is definitely a problem with low voter participation, but I wouldn’t say that it’s the core issue at play here. There are two issues that, to my mind, build up a serious crisis of the democratic system in Canada. First of all, there is a great disconnect between federal politics and federal politicians and the rest of Canada. Much of the time, politics is filled with discussions that are difficult to follow, language that is hard to understand, and issues that don’t always strike home for the voters. This makes many people annoyed and eventually disinterested in politics. The second major issue is the fact that our electoral system disregards the votes of millions of Canadians. The first-past-the-post system that we have is similar to the first-come-first-served system. If you’d voted for the candidate that came first, then your vote is important. If your candidate came one vote behind the leader, then the system couldn’t care less for your vote. As a result, we now have a federal government elected by 15% of the population. These issues together bring about political apathy and low voter turnout.
2.) Why do you believe Alberta has essentially only elected Conservative MP’s for the past 30+ years?
Well, one of the reasons is the undemocratic electoral system that I mentioned just now: in our riding of Edmonton-Leduc, the Conservative MP was elected in 2008 with 33,000 votes – there are over 100,000 voters living here. Another reason is that over almost half a century people in Alberta are being told again and again that this is Conservative country, that this is a Tory stronghold, that no one else stands a chance. If someone tells you something for decades, you might as well believe it. But I think that the situation is going to change. A very hopeful sign is the election of Linda Duncan in Edmonton-Strathcona. The Tories are visibly losing ground in other ridings in the province as well. In South-West Edmonton, in Leduc, in Devon, when I go door-knocking or when we organize public events, there are always new people that come up to me and say “Thank you for showing that the Conservative ideology is not the only one, that we have a choice.”
3.) When did you first start getting into politics? Why?
I first got into politics when I was 15.5 years old. I had just graduated from school, when I found out that the government of the region I was living in at the time had decided to build an oil refinery inside a protected area. That’s when I went right into battle to do my best to prevent this from happening.
4.) What did you do when you first started getting into politics?
At the time, I was helping local environmental and human-rights groups with leafleting, door-knocking, organizing events. We also created human chains to stop construction from starting. In the end, the local government backed down. The natural protected area is still there.
5.) Why did you join the political party you are now going to run for?
I have been with the New Democratic Party of Canada since 2006. I was doing my MA at the time and my field of research is actually political discourse, the language of political parties and leaders. The language, if you look at it closely, can reveal a lot about a person or a group. When I listened to or read Conservative and Liberal speeches and press releases, I felt that these parties do not stand for the values that I hold, they contained a lot of self-congratulation for the work well done, whereas those prepared by New Democrats were about real problems and real challenges faced by Canadians, such as poverty, hunger, homelessness, unemployment, the cost of university education, quality of health care services etc.
6.) What motivated you to run for MP?
My basic answer is that it’s the best way to get to know your neighborhood. But seriously, when I moved to this riding, all I could hear about local politics was that this was a Tory wasteland and nothing anyone did would ever change that. When someone tells me that something cannot be done no matter how hard one tries, I don’t believe it. It’s just like the favorite Conservative lie about the New Democrats – “They will never form government”. The people of British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Nova Scotia have shown that it is not true, but the lie keeps going. Change is possible if you really try. I believe that Canada needs change from the arrogance and short-sightedness governing us now and that is why I initially sought nomination as NDP candidate in Edmonton-Leduc.
7.) Do you or your party have any plans to change the downward trend of eligible voters voting in Canadian elections?
Yes. The first step is opening wide debate about changing the electoral system so that the voice of a New Democrat or Liberal in this and other ridings is worth as much as the vote for the Conservative Party. I personally favor proportional representation, in which each party gets the same percentage of seats as the popular vote. The second step is making politics interesting again – greater accessibility of our elected representatives, making recall of MPs and MLAs possible, changing the way that political discussions are structured so that the language and the issues are closer to real life.
8.) What can a young voter do to be engaged with Canadian politics?
There are a lot of ways to get involved. You can organize events to discuss current issues. Write to your local newspaper when something is close to your heart. Participate as a volunteer in a candidate’s campaign. Write a blog on how decisions in Ottawa affect you and your family and friends. Most importantly, encourage people you talk to to vote, and once you are 18, you can vote as well.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Last week, the Liberals have vigilantly passed another Tory budget, marking the 100th time they had supported a major piece of anti-social and anti-common-sense legislation. This week, they have alertly put a big "X" across the Afghan detainee documents issue by hyper-attentively agreeing to a deal that would likely lead to these documents being released to no one and the truth being known by no one.
I just wanted to say, Mr. Ignatieff, you and your friends can keep playing this "probation" game, but I'm sure Canadians, including liberals, have grown tired of listening to Liberal explanations on why the official opposition party is opposition only in its official title and why you let the Tory minority rule as few majorities govern elsewhere.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
As a representative of the NDP at the meeting, I stated that the New Democrats support electoral reform to make every vote count and that some form of proportional representation was probably the way to go. The Greens, as far as I understand, have a similar viewpoint on the need for electoral reform. As correctly noted by one of the people today, Tories would be the last party to ask to support electoral reform, as they are quite satisfied with the first-come-first-served (aka first-past-the-post) system. But what is the position of the Liberals? Is there a centralized viewpoint on this among them?
I personally think that before any talk of a coalition between the parties can be started, this needs to be cleared up. Electoral reform may well be the uniting or separating factor in the next federal election. With every new election when the issue of making each vote equal is swept under the rug, the injustice is perpetuated further, damaging our democracy and turning people away from taking any interest in politics.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Gaining seats and popular support with each election? Demonstrating full ability to govern, to take responsibility for complex decisions, to find compromise and work with other political forces? If there is a meaning to this phrase I'm not seeing it. I, for one, am proud to be a New Democrat and a federal candidate for the party.
If there is anything I'm fed up with it's the Liberal circus of being voted into the House of Commons as Liberals but voting as Tories ever since.
Monday, June 7, 2010
But really, how can it? In the past week, the following news items have come up repeatedly:
- 1 billion dollars
wastedspent on G8/G20 security alone
- Political staffers and aids to ministers no longer permitted to testify before Parliamentary inquiries and panels
- Three Tory ministers came uninvited to a Parliamentary hearing and acted as self-assured bullies
- Canada is one of a very small number of countries in the world that appears to see little or nothing wrong in military attacks against civilian vessels in international waters
- Each and every speech, presentation, answer, phone call, event etc. organized by anyone linked to the federal government may first need to be vetted by PMO
- Millions of dollars spend on "infrastructure" projects "linked" to G8/G20 but nowhere in proximity of the two summits
- And, last (for now), 2 million dollars are being spent on making an artificial show-off lake (aka "Harper's Folly") in Toronto
Reading either one of this gets one uneasy or troubled or puzzled or at least curious as to what the federal government is doing to our economy and our democracy. Why not?
ADDITION: I may be wrong in my pessimism! Hurray! NDP at 20.7%.
Friday, June 4, 2010
I would have expected negation of the voices of millions of Canadians from a reactionary paper. Until this week, I had no idea Edmonton Examiner was one.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Another is the formation of a certain new life structure in some situations. For example, a visit to a farmers' market used to be just casual, now there might be someone who comes up and asks "Aren't you the NDP guy in Leduc?" or says "Sorry, are we friends on Facebook?" The latter is my campaign's unofficial motto =) which kind of shows the peculiar nature of online social networking - there are some people whom I know quite well in person but who aren't my online friends, and vice versa.
Going to Banff early tomorrow morning. No politics - just a day in the mountains. And then comes a new week, with only 10 days to go until our AGM on the 26th. Preparing a speech, of course.
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Any thoughts on this?
Friday, April 30, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I was wondering if you could provide your thoughts on the subject of canvassing and door-knocking outside of an actual election. The word I've been getting both while engaging in these activities and also in talks with politically savvy and non-savvy individuals is rather confusing. I would say it's about half and half for "If a candidate doesn't show up at my door at some point before the election, then I won't support them" and "I don't want to be bothered". The latter option, of course, also includes those that don't want to be bothered at their homes at all. I'm being torn by these two trends of thought. Any advice/comments?
Friday, April 23, 2010
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Went for a walk from the Provincial Legislature grounds along the River Valley parks. Enjoyed the sun, as I hope you have too in the (finally) warm weather we are having now. Several people have let me know how good this weather is for canvassing, which is rather ironic when I compare it to the thoughts expressed above =)
The blog is picking up speed, and I'm grateful for the first comment and the first follower.
I hope your day went well and wish you best in the new week (yes, to me the week doesn't start on the second day of the weekend but starts on Monday).
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Meanwhile, I had an unusual day today, as I went to a town hall meeting with our local Conservative MP James Rajotte. It was a good crowd, although the lecture part was not exactly inspiring. The best part of the meeting was a person who asked an entire series of sharp and emotionally-charged questions about Afghanistan, prorogation and Omar Khadr. From her voice and her remarks during and after Rajotte's anwers to those questions I gathered that the answers did not clarify the issues, nor was she expecting them to. It's nice to see such a level of interest in current issues as well as outright courage in asking a Tory MP why there was such a shameful campaign against Colvin, how much money was wasted on the annual Harper prorogation (wait, no, that sounds as if Harper was prorogued...), etc. I really hope that person keeps up the fire. Rajotte did not seem too pleased with this approach.
Had a chat with James Rajotte after the meeting (having asked him a few questions on EI, poverty, prorogation and crime earlier). It is with great conviction that he once again stressed the reasons neither he nor anyone else from the governing party should be attending public events outside of an electoral campaign if there are representatives of other parties present. It is as if we all pretend he isn't Conservative while he pretends to be a true representative of all the constituents, never mind the first-past-the-pole system.
Keep working away on the Twitter and Facebook. A few people have let me know before I set up the blog that the blog should not repeat other media as much as possible. I will try to stick to that, although, of course, there will be a link between the different online presences I have.
Will call it a day for this first post. If anyone is reading - thank you for your kind attention and I look forward to your comments.