On Campus (Almost) All Candidates Meeting

Thursday, September 25, 2003

  • Polley, Valcke, Sandals, McDonald

    Polley, Valcke, Sandals, McDonald

Written by Laura Shaw

Though not as dramatic as last Thursday’s meeting of the local candidates for the upcoming election, Tuesday’s “All Candidates” Meeting at the UC was informative and entertaining. Unfortunately, not all the candidates were there, as Brenda Elliott, the current Progressive Conservative MPP for this riding was unable to attend.

The candidates who did grace us with their presence were the same four as Thursday’s downtown meeting: Ben Polley from the Green Party, James Valcke representing the NDP’s, Liz Sandals, a proud Liberal and of course Alan McDonald, our favourite Family Coalition Party representative. The meeting began with an explanation of why Brenda skipped out; upon hearing an excuse about “scheduling conflicts”, the room burst into laughter, and smiles spread across most of the other candidates’ faces. The fact that Brenda didn’t see speaking to university students about the election as a priority shows a complete disregard for youth voters.

As the candidates began their opening speeches, Alan made some quick enemies when he immediately declared his views on same-sex marriage and abortion. As he ended his spiel, one woman shouted, “so you’re a homophobe?” The heckling ended there. The other opening speeches were less controversial, mostly bashing the Tories and addressing post-secondary funding and other topics relevant to students. Ben ended his speech by comically quoting Kermit the Frog, “It’s not easy being green”, much to the delight of the crowd.

  • Too see some pictures of the meeting, click here.
Moving on to the question and answer period, each candidate was given two minutes in which to address questions conjured up by the crowd on the spot. The questions were about post-secondary funding, disillusioned youth, the immigrant retention centre, urban sprawl, mobility and transportation and Ontario Hydro.

The NDP, Green Party and Liberal Party followed suit on many of the above topics; the differences were really in the philosophical reasons for their actions, and the degree upon which they were willing to act upon certain issues. Liz’s stance on most issues was basically a friendlier PC-type stance; plans to fix but not change radically. The NDP stance was much more intense, focussing on giving more power to the public, and the Green Party was something completely different altogether. The Green Party resembled the NDP except with a lot more long-term plans and many inventive ideas, including a total reconstruction of property tax, more conservation and preventative measures.

The message of the afternoon was clear: students should vote. At one point, Liz said that although she’d obviously prefer we vote Liberal, she’d rather us vote for anyone than not vote at all. In order to get rid of the Tories, students absolutely have to vote, since the Tories count on student apathy, they have a better chance than some of the more idealistic and promising parties who
actually want change and not just wasteful tax cuts and plans to privatize everything. Ben made one comment that stuck - that our system currently rewards strategic voting: voting against instead of for. While this can work, it is not what we need to revolutionize our world. This October 2nd, take the time to look over all the parties’ platforms and vote for who you feel best represents your ambitions and political stance. If you don’t want to vote for a specific party because you don’t think anyone else will, that’s not a good enough reason; if a thousand people feel that way, change will never happen. But by
all means, vote, because if you don’t, who will?

| More


Back to Top

No comments

Share your thoughts

Bookstore First Year