Saturday, September 20, 2008

On the Trail

Hi everyone. Sorry to have left the blog for so long. Things get kind of busy with 2 kids in school, a newborn in the house, a job at UNBSJ, and a campaign. That said, with the awesome team of volunteers we have, things are getting done.

There is a definite change in the air right now. People have seen my face on the signs and they have read my musings in the papers - I am a known quantity, not some radical upstart.

As a team, we have been here for local issues. Not because it is important to wave an orange banner, but because there is so much opportunity in this province and in this riding. I see it as the correct thing to do and, wearing my economists' hat, the efficient thing to do. Indeed, for many things in this world, it is a question of efficiency.

We have two opponents in this coming election.

1) Big Business: I'm sure we can all guess some of the bigger names in our province. As an economist, I have no problem with big business. I do have a problem with big business if it infiltrates government, tells people that we need less government, and then gets government to make it easier for big business to get bigger. If you think this is a bit "out there" consider the massive (some say it could cost in total, a TRILLION dollars) rescue package for US financial institutions. PRIVATIZED PROFIT and SOCIALIZED RISK. Right now, work in the Athabasca tar sands is phenomenally profitable (in part due to a complete lack of environmental regulation).

So why do already astronomically rich companies need to forgo BILLIONS in taxes so they can expand faster? This is exactly the gift Mr. Harper gave them while cutting funding for literacy, women, seniors, and veterans.

This isn't capitalism, socialism, communism, or pragmatism. This is neo-liberalism which I also see as rampant corporatism. It is BIG government run for the benefit of BIG and EXISTING corporations. It leaves labour, the self-employed, and small-to-medium business behind in the dust.

As I see it, we have to invest in our communities - hardworking families, farmers, foresters, fishermen, and our small businesses. These investments in our local economies will have larger payoffs in the long run.

2) Tradition: More here than anywhere else I have been, people vote by colour. Indeed, while covering the last federal election, CTV's Lloyd Robertson said, " ... look at the NDP in Fundy Royal - that's Canada's most conservative riding!"

As a candidate from a "non-traditional" party, it is my job to provide a credible alternative and a real reason to change. I know that my approach to economics has got people talking positively, so credibility is not an issue. I think change is absolutely needed in Fundy Royal, and in New Brunswick, because we know the old way is not working at the kitchen table so to speak. I mean, we have a government that is willing to increase taxes on the poor, give big corporate managers a tax break, and we'll still need to cut investment in social programmes. This is lunacy. It is a waste of taxpayers dollars and goes against the principles of investment in sustainable economic growth. Pardon my bluntness, but "Throw the bums - the corporate welfare bums - out!"

That's exactly what I am off to do today. Canvassing blitz in Quispamsis today. Next Saturday we'll do Hampton. Contact the office (832-0570 or if you can help out.

In the meantime, please talk to your friends and neighbours. Let's seize this opportunity for positive change.

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