Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Trinity-Spadinans: Not even worthy of our candidates

In the federal leaders debate we allow the separatists to participate despite the fact that they run candidates in only one (granted, the most important) province. In the local debates, we have the Green Party (running a child candidate who was charming in that "look mom, I'm running for office" sort of way), the Progressive Canadian Party (who formed when the "neocons" took over the Conservative Party), the Canadian Action Party and, of course, the Marxist-Leninists.

I knew it was going to be a bad debate when, rather than raising my ire, Tony Ianno's introductory comments bored me to tears. He seemed so down tonight. Maybe the waterfront debate on the weekend really took it out of him. Or maybe he just can't believe that he has to go through this again. It's like when you are made to reapply for your own job; how much zeal can you be expected to bring to the interview?

Sam Goldstein is fiscally conservative. Sam Goldstein believes in gay marriage. Sam Goldstein actually mentioned Darfur (without being prompted) and the need for a strong Canadian military to back up our "soft power". And yet, I can't vote for Sam Goldstein.

Olivia Chow was Olivia Chow. It is a measure of how much I loathe both Tony Ianno and Paul Martin that I will cast a ballot for this woman. Strategic voting is a nasty, nasty business.

Of course, the only thing more depressing than the candidates in Trinity-Spadina are its constituents. They burst out in hysterics when Sam said that he believes in equality of opportunity, not equality of result; and again at every mention of personal responsibility. When a woman got up to point out that she is both a mother and a grandmother (that's right folks, a double hero) and she was pleased to see that there was a least one female candidate on the stage, the crowd went wild! We are so progressive. It's 2006 and we believe women should run for higher office! You know, women are so peaceful and bring such a unique perspective to government.

And then there was the most telling moment of the evening: a woman got up and asked about Canada's trade relationship with China and issues of human rights. The Marxist-Leninist candidate smiled and pointed out that he wasn't really able to answer the question as it was loaded with anti-communist bias. Oh, the crowd did laugh and applaud! Hee! China's human rights abuses are a laugh riot!

There'll be another round at Hart House next week. Anybody up for it?


Sass said...

Oh Bitter Lemon, you missed the bit where the Marxist-Leninist candidate (responding to some boring social issue that I likely fell asleep during), woke me up by saying that he didn't believe the "State" had a role in the personal lives of its people.

The kinder, gentler Communist party...

Lemon said...

Well let's face it, there were too many great moments to list them all. I also completely overlooked the question by our friend who supports refugee status for the 'war resisters', the repeated mention of Canada's 'illegal occupation of Haiti', the serious consideration given to the man asking what the candidates would do about his wife's asthma, and of course the question by the guy (who did not appear to be native) asking how everyone could justify living on stolen land. You just had to be there!

David Simpson said...

Or how about the woman, who responded to the mention of the $1200/year childcare allowance said "You can't hire a nanny for $1200 a year."

If you can afford a nanny, why should the taxpayer be asked to pay for any part of their wages?

Paul said...

David, in fairness, it was Sam Goldstein who suggested that families could use the $1200 CPC "childcare" money to hire a nanny. The heckler from the audience was responding directly to Goldstein's claim.

Sass said...

It was a very one sided audience -- so I guess we can't expect any better. But still, an individual with just an ounce of common sense would know that the money could go towards a nanny, towards subsidizing a parent to stay at home, or towards daycare -- not to actually pay for any of those things in their entirety. Granted most of the audience probably thinks the government should be paying the entire cost of raising one's child; which makes me wonder just a little bit about the types of people these community debates attract. And makes me hope desperately that there's a whole population of more "sensible" individuals living in my riding that just weren't able to make the debate.