In the News: Recycling old policies, divisive issues and May opens flat
Driving home from work, I listened to the 6:00 pm news on CBC radio. While the United States' imploding financial system dominated the news, I took note of coverage of the Canadian election campaign. First up: promises by the Liberals and NDP for new childcare spaces, 125,000 and 150,000, respectively. Hmmm... haven't we heard this issue before? I think it was a policy put forward and started by the Liberals a decade ago. Will either party really follow through if elected? I'm not convinced.
The second issue: PM Harper's efforts to get tough on crime with mandatory prison time for gun offences (I forget the exact wording). Legislation, he says was not supported by the Liberals and NDP. With gun-related crime an almost-daily occurrence in Toronto, this is an easy issue to earn votes because the issue of crime is divisive. The Prime Minister seems to be doing a good job of pointing out what the opposition parties haven't done, slyly deflecting on what he and his government have failed to do. I will give Harper kudos for his apology to Aboriginal Canadians over the residential school fiasco, for giving Mayar Arar a settlement for the travesty of his imprisonment and beating in Syria, and even for cutting the GST to 5% (it's always nice to pay less at the cash register). But what about his poor performance, for example, concerning the environment, his disregard of global warming and climate change as important issues?
Speaking of the environment, Elizabeth May unveiled the Green Party platform today in Nova Scotia. I plan to look at her party's platform in greater detail, to see how her plan differs from the Conservatives and the Liberals. Interesting point: she was heckled by someone during the press conference, which appeared to fluster her. She disregarded the man, stating that he didn't have media credentials. This is a prime opportunity for May to show Canadians what her party has to offer, to finally, perhaps, have elected representatives in Parliament. But if she can't stand being heckled by one man, I wonder how she can possibly handle herself during the political debates when she faces not one man but four? I believe she has a right to be part of the debate -- and I expect a lot.