Since the editor of the site is the same as the publisher, I am given tremendous latitude in who I endorse around here.
In Saskatoon West where I live, I have a choice between:
- Randy Donauer: Conservative
- Lisa Abbott: Liberal
- Sheri Benson: NDP
Of the three, the NDP were the only ones that knocked on my door. A gaggle of Conservatives walked by my door, looked at the address, checked their database and kept walking. Apparently they were not interested in either Wendy or my vote in this election. I wasn’t even robo-called called by the Conservatives or the Liberals. So yeah, thanks for the effort teams.
For me the decision comes down to the Liberals and the NDP, both parties are outside of my federal comfort levels. I have serious problems with both of their platforms but nothing compared to the problems I had with the Conservative campaign.
I also have been poorly served by Kelly Block’s office. When I used to contact Carol Skelton’s office, I always got a personal follow up from Skelton, even when she was a minister. The one time I contacted Kelly Block’s about a serious issue, I was sent Conservative Party talking points by an assistant.
I have watched Randy Donauer as a city councillor and I was greatly disappointed in the change I saw from the time he announced his candidacy until now. He was always a fiscal conservative which is needed but to see him pander that almost exclusively in council meetings was frustrating. From the time that he announced his candidacy, I called on him to resign his seat on council (just as I did when Councillors Paulsen and Hill did when the ran for the Liberals) which is the same as other some other cities require.
As for the Conservative record.
- Bill C-51 when the United States has proven that local police will abuse powers.
- Elimination of the Mandatory Long Form Census
- Botched military procurement (which to be honest, isn’t all their fault)
- Seeing military procurement as a job builder rather than equipping the Canadian Forces with the best gear possible.
- The Mike Duffy debacle
- The Pamela Wallin debacle
- The decision to shut down the senate without making a serious effort at reforming it.
- Lack of participation with the Premiers
- Cutting funding to the Homelessness Partnering Program
- The feud with the Supreme Court of Canada
- The lack of desire to fix unsafe water conditions on Canadian reserves.
- Muzzling of scientists then lying about it.
I grew up in a Conservative household. I was part of PC Youth. I still defend Grant Divine when push comes to shove but I can’t defend this record. Part of me thinks that if another Conservative government had acted like this, Stephen Harper would start his own party… oh right, that is exactly what he did do.
I thought Lisa Abbott has run a great campaign. So great that it may cause an unfavourable vote split between the Liberals and the NDP but that it the first past the post system. She has run the best Liberal campaign I have ever seen in Saskatoon West since I moved here in 1984. Her candidacy (and the Justin Trudeau campaign) have made Liberals relevant in Saskatoon West for the first time ever. I can’t speak highly enough of how she carries herself in this campaign.
As for Sheri Benson, she has been working on issues that political parties ignored during this campaign. Poverty and homelessness for years through the Saskatoon United Way. She has brought different social agencies together (it’s like herding cats but harder) and brought focus to issues that few care about. If Lisa Abbott has been helped by the Trudeau campaign, Benson has probably been hurt by the mediocre NDP campaign (the phrase “You NDP’d that up” for when you should win but don’t is now entering our lexicon).
If I lived in Saskatoon Grasswords, I would vote for Tracy Muggli and in Saskatoon University I’d vote for Cynthia Block. Both are excellent candidates that deserve to be in Ottawa.
Living in Saskatoon West, I am going to endorse Sheri Benson. She has shown the ability to move local issues that few cared about forward and that is what we will need in Ottawa. In a minority government, all parties will need people who can bring people together. Sheri will do that for the NDP.
That being said, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Lisa Abbott for her campaign. She would also make a great MP from what I have seen and if either one of them are unsuccessful, I hope they run again either provincially or federally.