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Hold your breath. This might hurt a bit.

Steve Campbell

Steve Campbell

One of the disadvantages of being a column writer is that I need to write and file this column before I see how I am pilloried by County voters for my last column. So, I’ll dig my hole a little deeper with a last minute probe into the election campaign.

I am about to do something I’ve never done before in print. I’m going to tell you who I’m voting for, and why.
I do this not to sway your vote. In fact, if I thought it would sway your vote, I wouldn’t write it.
But I have the curse of saying things out loud that other people whisper, so I’ll let the chips fall where they may.
As I mentioned last issue, I do not like the Canada Harper has created, and I don’t like the way he runs it. I acknowledge that I voted for Daryll Kramp – and thereby unwillingly made Harper think he was King of the World – but Kramp was a damn fine MP. We had open discussions; he helped me out by exploring several of my concerns with the feds, and, no matter how I contacted him, he would reply by phone within 24 hours.
Every time I am faced with this quandary – love the local guy; hate the leader – I invariably vote for the integrity of the local candidate, because he/she is my only hope when problems arise. Clearly, I can’t pick up the phone and dial Harper: “Hi, Steve? It’s Steve. I’ve got a problem …” I’d have CSIS agents at my door in minutes.

Being without party affiliations is a boon to me in my decision-making. In a typical County way, I judge a person by his character, not by his promises.
Promises mean little to me. Every salesman who has ever said, “Steve, have I got a deal for you!” does not have a deal for me. He has a deal for himself.
I won’t go into detail on my dislike for Harper, because most leaders today have gone to the McGuinty/Wynne Training School for the deaf, mute and blind, which encourages young demagogues to trust their superior brainpower, and listen to no-one else but their equally omnipotent advisors, high-powered lobby groups, corporate CEOs and the pollsters.
There were a couple of major mistakes during this campaign:
First, the absence of Harper’s candidates at several candidate meetings simply substantiates what we already know – Stephen runs a closed-door government, and he fears that ‘speaking’ to the voters will only cause trouble. Clearly Stephen has ‘trust issues’, but no other issues he wishes the voters to know about.
For a full list of Harper’s follies, please read Brian Flack’s painfully-assembled list in last week’s Times. Nice to know someone was keeping track.

Second: Trudeau would do well to toss his advisors into the street. Like Harper, his advisors are terrified to let Justin speak his mind and his heart … instead they study the polls and send out a dazzling array of messages in every direction. Small wonder that Trudeau’s public perception is more of oatmeal than steak.
If I were in Trudeau’s camp, I’d advise some kick-ass speeches in the ‘populist’ vein … tearing a page from John Deifenbaker’s playbook. He couldn’t find an easier target than Harper.
Oddly enough, the Tory ‘attack ads’, which started before an election was even called (how scared are you Stephen?) had the opposite effect on me. It actually endeared me to Trudeau, since I have this weird propensity to fight for the underdog. It also burns my butt that American-style politics is wheedling its way into Canadian politics. These are the tactics of a schoolyard bully, not a Prime Minister.
I was sorry to see the NDP join in on this “just not ready” kick … I thought they were classier than that.
The second big mistake for the Liberals? They should have immediately announced a willingness to work with the NDP. This is pure politics: Always go for the win; make no concessions. As a result, vote-splitting may put Harper back in the seat.

Now for Mulcare. This is probably the best NDP campaign I’ve seen … a close second to the days of Ed Broadbent. Tight policies, tough talk.
My problem is: I have “trust issues” with the NDP. It is indeed time we paid attention to domestic policy failures, and shore up our battered social programs, from day care to health care. But I worry about their policies being too aggressive, and too shocking to a society that has been leaning more and more to the right over the last 10 years.

So here’s my recap:
I’m done with Harper. Like the other two parties, I believe our role in the Middle-East war should be scaled back. Largely because the U.S. is running the show, and I don’t trust them to do the right thing. Also, when Harper finally speaks, he tells the whole world – including Putin – that we are a bona fide enemy. Way to paint a target on our backs, Stephen. Now, once again, we are lumped in with American foreign policy. That’s what you call ‘bad company’.

I believe Mulcare is a true statesman, and will offer some much-needed changes in the new government.
But I need to go with Trudeau. Surprisingly, I consider the much-touted ‘lack of experience’ to be a good thing. Maybe the 100-year-old “Good Ol’ Boy” way of doing things will seem strange to him.
Maybe when he hears: “And, of course Big Oil and giant corporations get everything they want,” he’ll say: “Why?” Oh well, I can only dream.
Missing from this picture is the Green Party, because I can’t remember the candidate’s name, but admire her tenacity.
And, on a closing note, here’s a shocker. If I were to vote my heart, I’d vote for Trueman Tuck.
I saw him in action at Picton United Church during the provincial debate in which Leona was dumped and, thankfully, Todd Smith took her seat.
I have to say, when Tuck spoke, there were more nodding heads in the audience than for any of the other candidates. Why?
Because he is a voice for returning to proper democracy, in which the people once again become part of the government equation. It’s not impossible. We used to see this odd sort of thing happen in the 1950s and ‘60s, before the advent of e-mail and facebook, mass media news coverage, daily opinion polls and lots and lots of money being poured into campaigns for one sole purpose: To get elected. Not to serve the people, mind you. But to get elected.
After that, as any Canadian senator would agree, let’s get the gravy train a’rollin’.

NOTE: Comment sections are now closed for election day on Federal Elections posts

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElseSteve Campbell

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  1. polistinker says:

    There’s nothing in the streets
    Looks any different to me
    And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
    And the parting on the left
    Are now parting on the right
    And the beards have all grown longer overnight

    I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I’ll get on my knees and pray
    We don’t get fooled again
    Don’t get fooled again
    No, no!


    Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss
    thanks to the WHO

  2. Fred says:

    Just listened to Trudeaus closing speech in BC. Amazing uplifting delivery providing Canadians hope and promise for the future. This is so refreshing for our Country after 10 years of fear mongering and divisive politics. Go Justin!

  3. polistinker says:

    hey Fred according to a commenter here the vote in the Bay of Quinte riding is too close to call so my vote to a third party could benefit either Ellis or Jenkins both of whose parties
    I find sleazy and can not hold my nose to vote for

  4. Gary says:

    We do not know the details of the TPP. However, if we do not negotiate well to join, where do we sell our goods. Are we disadvantaged? Yes. We pay much higher wages and provide astronomical costing services such as health care. Other than cutting our wages, social services and quality of life I’d like to hear the alternatives.

  5. Susan says:

    Not name calling at all Ian. I felt you were “privileged” to be able to have read and understand the details of the TPP that the rest of us have not been given the opportunity by Mr. Harper. Personally I do not think trade agreements of this magnitude should be signed during an election campaignn

  6. Ian Macpherson says:

    To CountyLive & Steve Campbell: Thanks for giving us a forum and food for thought. You help to create a community.

    To Everyone: Vote!

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