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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. Ian Macpherson says:


    Resorting to name-calling like ‘privileged’ doesn’t lend credit to your position.

    Canadians have plenty of experience with the FTA and NAFTA and know how the TPP will work. The fact is that the Trudeau Liberals are on record as favouring this trade pact.

    The fact remains that the Liberals voted for Bill C-51, want closer ties with the U.S. government and will decimate the Canadian Armed Forces.

  2. Fred says:

    A vote to any party away from the Liberals or Conservatives is a huge benefit to Jodie Jenkins.

  3. Susan says:

    Ian you must be privileged to have seen the TPP agreement details that Harper has not released to the public. At any rate I doubt American or Asian companies will be in the County repairing our roads.

  4. polistinker says:

    or Fred, Neil and Justin may thank me same difference

  5. Ian Macpherson says:


    We’re both right, except that the TPP will mean that all our tax dollars for infrastructure work will go to U.S. and Asian companies. The work will have to be tendered and the tendering process will have to comply with the TPP.

    It doesn’t seem like a great plan for Canadian taxpayers to go into debt so that we can line the pockets of foreign corporations.

  6. Susan says:

    A vote for the Liberals is a vote for infrastructure work creating jobs, a return of the old age pension to age 65, and aid to the middle class away from the rich.

  7. Ian Macpherson says:

    A vote for the Liberals is a vote in favour of Bill C-51, in favour of the TPP, in favour of bringing us closer to the Americans and in favour of dismantling the Canadian Forces.

  8. Fred says:

    Hey it’s your choice. Jodie and Stephen thank you.

  9. polistinker says:

    Sorry Fred I simply can’t in good conscious vote for the self-serving liberal cabal or Harper at least if I vote for any other of the three candidates I’m expressing my displeasure for both twiddle dee and twiddle dum

  10. Fred says:

    But an NDP vote here is like voting for Jenkins as it helps him get elected. The only way to stop Harper is a Neil Ellis vote.

  11. polistinker says:

    Fred Flinstone:”Well then you would have to look past both the Conservatives and Liberals in order to grant your wish.”

    You’ve got that right Fred thankfully there are more than 2 choices on the ballot

  12. Chuck says:

    Strategic voting is catching on and the group leading this was out in force in Picton today. The strategy is to make your vote count. An example is right here in Bay of Quinte. As much as NDPers believe in their cause, a vote for Cassidy is really a vote for Jenkins. NDP cannot win here this go around but they can assist in booting Harper by voting for Ellis. Under our present system it makes the most sense.

  13. Emily says:

    We have a special election treat and National recognition for our new Bay of Quinte riding. As of this evening as reported by the race between the Cons and Liberals here is virtually tied and too close to call. Closest race in the entire Country.

  14. Mark says:

    When Stephen ends his campaign at a Rob Ford party it kinda tells you something.

  15. Susan says:

    Politics have been dirty, self serving and ridden with patronage since it was invented. That’s why it is a positive step to change the crew on a regular basis. Yes we had the Liberal sponsorship scandal, and we had Mulroney grabbing bags of cash in dirty sleazy hotel rooms and grabbing up a few million from Canadians when challenged! It’s time for Stephen to go.

  16. Fred Flinstone says:

    Well then you would have to look past both the Conservatives and Liberals in order to grant your wish.

  17. polistinker says:

    Interesting the past president of the federal liberal party owned a wind turbine company and received a lucrative contract from the ontario liberals, Dalton Mcguinty is now a board member of a Quebec construction company that could benefit from federal infrastructure
    programs and as noted the liberal co-manager of the campaign resigned because of influence peddling for big oil.

    The National Post notes: “Trudeau’s close relationship to Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, in combination with his pledge to unbalance the balanced budget, also gives us pause. Ontario’s enfeebled state should have served as a warning as to the dangers of promising governments so big only borrowed money can sustain them. That Trudeau has apparently taken the opposite lesson is cause for concern.”

    Lets hope regardless of political stripe conservative or liberal we do not grant a bunch of shysters a majority

  18. Susan says:

    When Harper took office he looked Canadians in the eye and said he would not appoint another Senator! He then proceeded to appoint 59, including Mike Duffy who he used to fill Tory coffers on the speech circuit and Pamela Wallin as well. How do you take that back Stephen? You are not scaring me!

  19. Fred Flinstone says:

    National polling site has the Bay of Quinte riding to close to call.

  20. Chuck says:

    Rob & Doug Ford are hosting Stephen this weekend! Should be quite the party. Lol

  21. kawartha dave says:

    GO BLUE GO!!!!!!! YEAH BLUE!!!!!

  22. Gary says:

    Harper is still spewing mistruths and promoting fear among Canadians while he runs around with his cash register and bags of Tory money. Perhaps editioning for a job on the Price is Right! Hurricane Hazel scolded him for trying to scare seniors.

  23. Sue3 says:

    @Paul – that is one of my major concerns with the liberals. Look at what happened provincially with hydro one. The same people are running the federal campaign. If the liberals run the province this way, what are they going to do to the country? I really have a hard time believing that all of the liberal lies, omissions, corruption etc., are going to stop at the provincial level.

  24. Bill says:

    If Trudeau gets elected, it will be an embarrassing day for Canada, as he will need adult supervision!

  25. Susan says:

    I believe after Monday, Mr. Harper will be gone either from a boot by the electorate or by his resignation.

  26. Paul Cole says:

    To be perfectly honest it isn’t what Mr. Harper says his party will do so much as its what they’re not telling us that concerns me..

  27. Chris Keen says:

    I guess desperate times require desperate acts. Although he slams Trudeau at every turn for his position on marijuana, Harper is counting on any votes a former mayor, who is an admitted crack cocaine smoker, and well known for his misogynistic and racist comments, can deliver. Talk about holding your nose!

  28. Paul Cole says:

    And the one and only reason I would vote Liberal is Justin’s hair do… 😉

  29. Gary says:

    Harper cut the old age security pension from 65 years to 67 years eligibility. Trudeau puts it back in place. Harper sends universal child care $$ to huge wage earners. Trudeau puts it to the people that need it. Harper will not meet with Premiers, Trudeau will. Harper likes to separate Canadian rights. Trudeau is inclusive and is the only one who is putting $$ to our First Nations who have been disgracefully ignored. So when you see the Blue Harper signs just envision a Blue Duffy sign right beside it!

  30. Paul Cole says:

    Mr. Harper and the Con’s have had 10 years 2 minority and one majority term as Governing party and they have not accomplished much of what they ve promised except embarrass Canadians and themselves…Its time another party had a kick at the cat and I prefer my leader to have a nice hair do…

  31. Marnie says:

    Bravo, Ken.

  32. Emily says:

    Easy and simple to argue. We have a PM who has lied, deceived and continues on an agenda to divide Canadians and promote fear. Power is everything to this man far ahead of the free Country.

  33. Ken Globe says:

    Saw this today, felt I had to share.

    Posted by a CTV viewer
    Too good not to share: POSTED BY A CANADIAN SOLDIER: More about why I won’t vote liberal . . . I find that many “progressives” are concerned with $90,000 paid back to taxpayers, yet unconcerned that one Liberal senator owes more than all the conservative senators combined, Mac Harb.How about Liberal election fraud? A couple elections ago ad-scam was the biggest financial and election scandal in the G8 yet you still support the Liberals like Ralph Goodale who were involved in it. There were no criminal charges. No senators other than the Conservative senators have been forced to pay back money. Tom Mulcair misappropriated $3,000,000 and you have heard not a peep. You never heard much about Liberals already breaking election law at advance polls for this election. Trudeau skipped out on his job in the house of commons to give paid speeches to charities despite being a multi-millionaire. He has never been employed full time but you want him to run the country. Tom Mulcair pledged to ban the bulk export of Canadian water. Harper has already done that. He pledged to get rid of the senate, which he cannot do. Similarly he has sworn to get national day care which requires provincial agreement, and the provinces have said no already.
    Trudeau is planning to spend our way out of debt. Ridiculous. He has pledged to create a false economy by spending money on infrastructure which we cannot afford and which artificially supports industry for short term job growth before that industry collapses when funding runs out.
    Despite having the best cared for veterans in the world, and despite the Harper government being the first in my lifetime to properly equip the military, you think the Liberals will do a better job; the same liberals that denied us heavy armour in Afghanistan (where they sent us). They also denied us heavy weapons, mothballed our artillery, sold our tanks and heavy helicopters and rewrote the veterans charter which you blame Harper for.
    Harper bought us transport planes, trucks, weapons, new tanks, heavy lift helos, artillery, uniforms, ammunition, took the handcuffs off us in Afghanistan and brought us home when we completed our mandate. But you call him a warmonger.
    Trudeau and Mulcair both want to get out of the fight with ISIS. They want to negotiate and give aid. According to Trudeau the Boston bombing happened because “someone didn’t feel included.” I too want change. I want people to stop being consumers and start being citizens. I want people to stop being citizens of convenience. I want people to get a hand up, not a hand out. I want us to fight alongside those who need our help against forces of evil like ISIS, al Shabbab, Boko Haram, and al Qaeda, all of whom actually exist and, believe it or not, want you dead. I believe in immigration in a controlled manner and enabling others to stay home and sort out their own country rather then importing their problems to ours. If they won’t fight for their home they won’t fight for ours. I’m 43 years old, I pay my taxes, I’ve been unemployed and never collected a dime I didn’t earn. I always pounded the pavement to get another job so I could make my own way. I’ve been in 23 countries. I’ve served my nation for 25 years. I’ve been in synagogues, mosques and churches, prayed at the worlds holiest sites but give no allegiance to those support groups for the weak of faith that you call religion. I believe in free enterprise. I have friends of every colour and lost many of them while fighting alongside them. I have dined with princes and gone days without food. I believe in free enterprise, not union mob rule. I believe in earning rights not demanding them. I believe in standing up for what you believe in but if you break the law to do so, then facing the consequences. I don’t call 911 when my family is at risk; I may inform the authorities later though. I don’t think prisoners should have the right to vote, but the left does (and Trudeau Sr basically ensured it). I say Merry Christmas, not Happy Holidays. If you wish me a Happy Eid, Kwanza or Hannukah I will thank you. My family didn’t come to this country—we made this country. I think there’s a difference between schooling and education. I will never vote Liberal. Part of the reason is that I will not support any group of voters that refers to any democratically elected leader of this country as a dictator or that compares him to Hitler. I am tired of Liberals saying im a bigot because of how I vote. I would never degrade them in that manner, though I’ve defended and secured their right to vote. If you don’t like my stance, fine. If you can’t have an intelligent discussion about policy then you shouldn’t vote. If you hate me, fine—I’ve been hated by better. Im a Conservative and these are the reasons why. Argue that.

  34. Ian Macpherson says:

    Dear Mr. Campbell:

    Thank you for publishing another provocative column.

    With all due respect to you and the many thoughtful citizens who have responded so far, I think that you are all talking about economic deck chairs on a national security Titanic.

    The other day, al Qaeda released a video of two Canadians being held hostage, with machetes brandished behind their heads. The number of adherents to ISIS (sworn to destroy Canada) grows daily. It is almost exactly a year since two Canadian soldiers were assassinated on home soil. The Russian government has conducted cyber-hacking of Canadian infrastructure, including our electricity production. They have also staged a military force in the Arctic that matches our entire land forces in size and have announced that the Arctic is on a par with Crimea in military importance to them.

    In the face of these threats, I don’t care whether Hazel McCallion is afraid of Harper. I don’t care whether Daryll Kramp answers his phone. I don’t even care whether income splitting will save me or cost me an extra 100 bucks a year.

    Governments can try to regulate economic matters, but usually businesses and people just adapt. It can be argued that provincial governments have much more to do with economic matters than the feds anyway. But, on national defence, there is no second level of government and there is no margin for error. If Ottawa fails in its “first duty of government”, we will have no second chance.

    In the face of this, Justin Trudeau has announced that his government would never purchase F-35s to replace our CF-188s, thereby inviting a lawsuit from Lockheed-Martin that will tie up the procurement process for decades (google “Cretien Sea King” for the last time the Liberals pulled this stunt). The NDP will “review the entire role of Canada’s military”. It’s a safe bet that neither party will double defence spending to the 2% of GDP that we committed to under NATO and to which almost every other industrialized nation adheres. Instead they will cut our meagre defence spending and readiness.

    Islamic extremism and Russian militarism are real threats to Canadians. If we don’t vote for a government that protects us, one of two things will happen: Canadians will lose citizens, treasure and territory to those threats, or Canadians will lose their sovereignty and identity as the price of protection by people from another country.

    I’m sick of Harper too, but we face an existential threat and Trudeau and Mulcair will dismantle what defences we have.

    Please stop arguing about deck chairs. There’s an iceberg on the horizon.

  35. polistinker says:

    correction petri should read petro boys

  36. polistinker says:

    breaking story Dan Gagnier Trudeau’s campaign co-chair resigns due to influence peddling for the petri boys. He has roots in the provincial libs as does Justin’s other senior advisors

    Funny Harper is seen as the puppet master pulling the strings on the other hand we have Justin the puppet whose strings are being pulled by back room boys/girls many having links to the Ontario Liberals. I wonder if like Pinnochio his nose will start to grow

  37. Paul Cole says:

    Doug and Rob Ford Mr. Harper is getting desperate

  38. Mark says:

    Well Paul, Stephen is up to it again! His latest ad has him trying to smile and saying the election is not about him. He says the other parties would like to make it about him but that is wrong.

    Well who was it that got personal and made it about Justin for the last year and a half in an attempt to discredit him in anyway and say he is not ready but has nice hair though.I guess Stephen doesn’t think turnaround is fair play. LoL

  39. Paul Cole says:

    The Conartist Party of Canada has conned a few people apparently…

  40. Lynda says:

    ” It also burns my butt that American-style politics is wheedling its way into Canadian politics.”

    If anyone is using American style politics, it is Justin Trudeau. He is even using Obama’s talking points…tax the rich for one, which will just create more class warfare and division in the country. Everyone should be treated as equals in a democratic society. If you’re smart enough to make a fortune, good for you and the heck with all the jealous ‘I’m entitled’ bunch. Case in point…why aren’t Torontonians getting their fair share of wind turbines?

  41. Mark says:

    I think voters are looking at anyway to rid themselves of Harper even voting against tradition. Truly hope he is removed.

  42. Hildagard says:

    Kramp did a wonderful job of helping the fishermen save their livelihood at Pt. Traverse! Kramp is just a yes-man for Harper, the dictator! What did Kramp ever do for this County!
    The federal Conservatives are responsible for the insufficient funding of health care transfer payments to the provinces. If you are not familiar with Bill C-51, then you should research it and see what a mess the federal Conservatives have made of a once democratic country! Imagine voting for a disc-jockey from a radio station who has switched allegiances from one party to another like one flips pages in a book! Strategic voting is the only way to go to get rid of Harper!

  43. Ken Globe says:

    So, what is good for the goose is good for the gander?

  44. Emily says:

    Like Mulroney right Ken? At least Hazel is putting fact to Harper’s mistruths and his strategy to scare seniors.

  45. Ken Globe says:

    nah, she’s made her millions along with her son in many backroom deals for all the land in Mississauga. She’s set.

  46. Emily says:

    I just love Hurricane Hazel McCallion’s Liberal ad asking Stephen if she looks scared! His fear campaign hasn’t worked on her. Lol

  47. wevil says:

    It is time for Harper to go,this is not Russia. As for Trudeau not being ready,who is ready for a job like this.You do not know hoe someone will do the job unless you give them a chance.One must take a chance on one of these people,but not on Harper.We have seen what he has done for us.It is time for some younger blood in there and hope for some good change.We need some change and not dictatorship

  48. Chuck says:

    Have to disagree with you Sue3 and I sense many others in our Country will as well. There comes a time when you have to remove someone from power and that time is now for Mr. Harper. I will spare you the long list of inadequacies and his contemptuous dealings as they are well documented. Justin Trudeau if nothing else brings a feeling of hope and a desire to return Canada to one that respects it’s citizens including first nations and immigrants. His vision is one of growth and inclusion of all as opposed to the alternative which is one of fear and a self proclaimed right to power. Canadians are tired of these tactics and the Liberal wave is catching on.

  49. Sue3 says:

    Steve, you’re one person I usually agree with, but in this case, I can’t.
    After living through the disaster of the provincial liberals, and watching Trudeau following in Wynne’s footsteps, and being guided by the same people, there is absolutely no way I would even consider voting liberal in this election. And Wynne’s little bribe to Ontario yesterday was inexcusable. Sorry, but it would be tragic to see Canada end up like Ontario.
    Unfortunately, democracy is already gone in Ontario.

  50. Snowman says:

    Best column you’ve ever written. I wish we could vote for multiple Candidates. I’d vote for Kramp and Cassidy and Chris Rodgers (a County Boy running against Harper’s top henchman in an Ottawa area riding) in a New York minute.
    Yes, I just named a Con, a Liberal and a NDP, that I would vote for. Then all the successful candidates would go to Ottawa and vote for a Prime Minister.
    I think we’d get a lot more accomplished, with a whole lot less BS!!!
    Alas, I’m forced to vote for Trudeau, whose views on some issues I don’t like. Why? because I fear for Democracy if Harper has 4 more years.It’s as if he is hell bent to see the Conservative Party rule forever, as if by divine right. Time to go Mr.Harper

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