Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Better Know A(n Electoral) District: Vancouver South

I was going to write my own post about why Ujjal Dosanjh is the only vote for the Vancouver South riding but my partner, CoW_mAn - Ba(Hon), a political scientist, has a reputation for writing up great posts for specific districts about the various candidates which sums them up quite nicely. Below is his latest post:

Background (or why should I bother voting?): A recount was ordered for the 2008 election results. Dosanjh led Conservative challenger Wai Young by just 33 votes, which automatically qualified for a judicial recount. After the official recount, Dosanjh’s margin of victory dropped to 22 votes. However, Young appealed the results on the basis that only 28 of 184 ballot boxes were recounted. Dosanjh won by 20 votes after a second full recount in what became the longest recount in Canadian history.

Conservative – Wai Young
The issues section of her website contains exact copies of the issues pages of the Conservative Party website – she clearly doesn’t think for herself or have any specific issues that she thinks are important. And given the way that Harper has shoved the HST down our throats by buying off the BC Liberals with taxpayer dollars I don’t see how completely hanging your hat on the Conservative Party is enough to convince informed people to vote for you. A vote for Wai Young is a vote for Stephen Harper who drops funding for the arts, is a disruptive influence at environmental conferences, shows contempt for the laws the affect him, wants to rename the Canadian Government “The Harper Government” and tries to control and limit the media. If you like art, breathing, freedom, or democracy don’t even think about voting for this empty suit in Harper’s army.
Liberal – Ujjal Dosanjh
Ujjal has a law degree from UBC, he taught ESL at VCC, and he founded the Farm Workers’ Legal Information Service which led to the formation of the Canadian Farm Workers’ Union. He was elected MLA in 1991, re-elected in 1996, held cabinet portfolios as Minister of Government Services, and Minister of Multiculturalism, Human Rights and Sports. In August 1995, he was appointed as the province’s Attorney General. He became Premier in 2000 and was the first Premier to appear in the gay pride parade and before leaving office implemented tax cuts which I personally benefitted from. After losing his bid for re-election he returned to practicing law. In 2004 he won election as MP and was appointed Minister Of Health in the federal cabinet, he was re-elected in 2006 and was appointed National Defence Critic, later becoming the Foreign Affairs critic. I know the man – I’ve met him on several occasions and watched carefully his role in both provincial and federal politics and I can’t think of a time when I found myself in disagreement with him. Particularly as Premier and Health Minister I felt he was passionate about protecting key aspects of the Canadian identity such as universal health care and equality. I find him to be reasonable, rational, well informed, intelligent, and I find his policy stances agreeable. Recently he has been defending health care against Harper’s efforts towards privatization (see Tim Horton’s Health Care).
NDP - Meena Wong
Meena Wong doesn’t have an official website as I am writing this. She only has a LinkedIn profile. She works at Vancouver Coastal Health – her public life has been focused exclusively on the Chinese community. Traditional media is convinced that she isn’t on the ticket as a serious candidate in the riding but rather was nominated to help NDP candidates in OTHER ridings. The argument is that her strong ties in the Chinese community will bring out Chinese voters for the NDP in other ridings. I haven’t seen a single lawn sign or any other public show of support for her in the area. Personally I hate identity politics – don’t vote for someone just because they look and talk like you, vote for someone with good ideas, experience, and integrity (see Ujjal Dosanjh).
Green - Jodie Emery
Not a serious candidate. I think the Greens want this riding to go Liberal after the close call in 2008.
If you care about the Arts, Health Care, Freedom, Responsibility, and Democracy there is only one candidate: Ujjal Dosanjh. In fact as far as I’m concerned he’s the only serious candidate no matter what you care about – he’s the only voice of experience, education, and reason on the ticket.

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