Why I’m not jumping on the blue bandwagon

01.17.06

In a democracy, I have an absolute right not to discuss how I intend to vote with anyone. However, I’m choosing to waive that right, because politics is such an important topic on this blog, to discuss why, despite the corruption, scandals and aggravation, unlike so many Canadians, I won’t be switching my vote from Liberal to Tory this time around. This is the first time I’ve ever felt the need to explain my vote, and maybe that makes the vote all that much more important.

So why vote Liberal, you may ask?

Is it because I think the Liberals have done such a great job? Not really.

Is it because I buy into the scare tactics about Stephen Harper being George W. Bush reincarnated, prepared to turn us into a far right-wing theocracy? No, I find those ads amusing at best and ridiculously disastrous for the Liberals at worst.

Is it because I think that the culture of corruption that has set in amongst the Liberals is worth rewarding? Definitely not.

Is it because I’m voting strategically, in a riding where a Liberal vote would prevent a Bloc or NDP candidate from getting elected? Nope, my riding has been solidly Liberal since 1968 and even the sponsorship scandal won’t be changing that anytime soon. I could safely lodge a protest vote with little impact.

Is it because Martin convinced me in the debates? Not at all; in fact, he’s probably one of the worst debaters I’ve ever seen, and he got his butt kicked all the way to Ellesmere Island and back.

Is it because I agree with the majority of the Liberal policies and platform issues? Not even.

Is it because I believe that a Liberal victory represents the best chance to keep Quebec in Canada and to fight sovereignty? On the contrary, I think it will probably hurt a great deal.

So, you’re probably asking yourself, why on earth would I vote for this party?

Good question.

The answer is simple: Despite all the scandals, despite all the corruption, despite the promises I don’t believe and the policies I don’t agree with, the Liberal party still is the “best of the worst” in my mind. On the major things the government has done lately, I’ve been much closer to the Liberal point of view than to the Tory one.

Some examples:

  • The economy: Whatever else he’s done, Martin has balanced the budget and improved economic conditions. He did his best to stand up to people like Jack Layton against spending we can’t afford. He even stood up to Bono – and hey, if you can say no to Bono, you can say no to anyone. The Canadian dollar is up, unemployment is down, and while the economy is still plagued with problems, I simply don’t believe that Harper is better equipped to solve them than Martin is. The Tory promises to reduce the GST may play well in the media, but in practice there are plenty of other places worth cutting first.
  • Social issues: Gay marriage is probably the most prominent example lately. As I’ve stated many times on this blog before, every Canadian – gay or straight – ought to recognize this as an issue of fundamental human rights. Any of us who belong to any kind of minority should understand that if you can have a majority-rules decision against one minority, the same logic could be used against any of us. Martin and the Liberals were on the right side of this one. Harper and the Tories were on the wrong side. And while I don’t really believe Harper will reverse it, nor do I agree with electing a party that has dedicated so much time, energy and resources to fighting it. I think the Liberals took a courageous position on this one and I respect them for it (if for little else).
  • Voting for the candidate, not the party: Cop-out? Perhaps. But I like Marlene Jennings, the incumbent Liberal MP in my riding, well enough. Her voting record is often in step with what I believe (though not always), and she has been especially strong in defending Israel and in working to strengthen Canada’s ties with Israel, which is an issue of importance to me. And I’m comfortable having her represent my riding in Parliament, whether as a member of the government or as a member of the opposition.

So the upshot is, I’m not entirely happy to be voting Liberal and I’m not about to hit the campaign trail for Martin’s team. There are plenty of places where I flat-out disagree with the Liberals on policy, and there’s no doubt the party is about as corrupt as you can get. But I’m not going blue this time, for those reasons and for the reason that I simply don’t believe the Tories have presented enough of a positive platform. They’ve been stronger in attacking the Liberals, sure, but their policy initiatives haven’t won me over.

Okay, bring it on. I’m ready.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tré 01.17.06 at 6:41 PM

Israel a victim? This woman is either an idiot or an opportunist. Glad I don’t live in that riding.

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2 cliff from montreal 01.18.06 at 12:26 AM

Again Tre demonstrates for us her amazing grasp of …well nothing actually!

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3 Pauline 01.18.06 at 2:09 AM

I agree with you on the social issues and perhaps your respect for your MP is what tipped the balance for you; other things tipped it for me in the opposite direction but I respect your choice because it was made with a lot of thought.

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4 DaninVan 01.18.06 at 6:20 AM

Liberal accomplishments:
-gutting the helthcare system (30% reduction in transfer payments)
-imposing conditional sentences on an innocent naive public
-immasculating the Canadian Forces…then sending them in harms way without adequate protection and with antiquated equipment.
-giving your fellow Quebecers every reason in the book to flee Confederation
-turning Canada into a resort for terrorist organizations
-ad nauseum

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5 DaninVan 01.18.06 at 2:52 PM

*oops*…make that hell-thcare
Actually, to be fair, I’ve not experienced any really awful examples (myself), but Wifey spent 30+ years as an RN in a hospital environment, and regaled me with daily reports of its descent into hell.

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6 Lynne 01.20.06 at 4:21 AM

Voting for the best candidate is the only reason I see to give any liberal my vote. Does hands in my pockets ring a bell or struck a tune with you. That gay’s can marry does not bother me one wit! in fact I would argue they should, but many disagree with me and the last time I checked I lived in a democracy, does that mean majority rules?
I would just once like a politician to say what he means and means what he says!!!!
And last but not least I want to vote for the SENATE!!!! my democratic right as I see it.
Thank you

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