Deciding who we will cast our ballot for in this election has been a tough decision for us.
We have always voted Liberal. We consider ourself a small-L liberal type, but have felt in recent years that the Federal Liberal Party has strayed from the liberal values which we hold as our own.
Whether it be pushing large tax cuts for corporations, the increasing arrogance of some Liberal Cabinet Ministers, or the scandal surrounding ad-scam in Quebec, it is clear to us that this is not what Canadian liberalism stands for. It has become clear to us for sometime that the Federal Liberals need to spend some time in the opposition benches.
In our riding in particular, it has been a hard decision. Though Edmonton Strathcona is a diverse riding which rides the south bank of the North Saskatchewan river. It includes communities such as Bonnie Doon, Windsor Park, Garneau, Windsor Park, Strathcona, along with the University of Alberta campus. The area represented provincially largely by numerous Alberta Liberal (including Alberta Liberal leader Kevin Taft and Alberta Liberal MLA Hugh MacDonald) and an NDP MLA (Raj Pannu), has consistently re-elected Reform/Alliance/Conservative candidate, Rahim Jaffer, since 1997.
We will not be supporting Mr. Jaffer for a number of reasons. First, we really couldn’t name one initiative he’s spearheaded since his election in 1997. Second, we couldn’t support his party in its current incarnation (for policy reasons). As we could not in good conscience support Mr. Jaffer, we looked to the other parties.
The Liberal candidate in Edmonton Strathcona is a good candidate. Andy Hladyshevsky holds a solid track record of community involvement and seems like a really bright guy. But as stated above, we just cannot support the Liberal Party in this election.
The Green Party candidate, Cameron Wakefield, is a really nice guy and we appreciated what he had to say at the various forums in the riding. We hope the Green Party grows and gains a larger presence on the national stage. Unfortunately, the Green Party post-secondary education policies are less than incredible.
The Progressive Canadian candidate, Mike Fedeyko, also impressed us. He spoke very well at all the forum, and presented a moderate and sensible standpoint in the Edmonton Strathcona race. We wish Mr. Fedeyko good luck on election day!
The Marxist-Leninist candidate, Kevan Hunter, was defiantly the most entertaining candidate at all the forums. Unfortunately for Comrade Hardinal Baines, we will be taking a pass on the revolution this time around…
The Marijuana Party candidate, Dave Dowling, didn’t show up to any of the forums and has a crazy website. He’s the Marijuana Party candidate, and he never showed up. He does have a pretty crazy website though…
Then there’s New Democratic Party candidate Linda Duncan. Ms. Duncan has been campaigning hard in Edmonton Strathcona since last spring. She has a surprisingly incredible amount of real world experience for any new candidate in this election.
Linda Duncan’s experience includes serving as the former Assistant Deputy Minister of the Environment for the Yukon, Vice-President of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, Vice-President of the Lake Wabamun Enhancement and Protection Association, Board Member of Alberta’s Clean Air Strategic Alliance, Active member of the Alberta Environmental Network’s energy caucus, and a Board Member of the Environmental Careers Organization. As you can see, she has a solid record on environmental issues.
Though we haven’t been incredibly impressed with her performance at the various candidates forums, we believe she is the alternative to another four years of Rahim Jaffer in Edmonton Strathcona.
On January 23rd, as a proud Canadian liberal, we will be casting our ballot for Linda Duncan. We hope you do as well.