Gabriel Yiu is a new friend whose thoughtful comments, insight to
Chinese language community and presence I have enjoyed while working
together on the BC Coalition for Head Tax Payers, Spourse and
I share here, his commentary that he sent to me in an e-mail.
I'm pleased to
share with you my recommendation for this federal election, something I've
been doing in the past 10 years. Agree or
disagree as you may, democracy is about rational discussion and informed
Past Recommendations, Present Decisions
Gabriel Yiu, 20.1.2006 Global Chinese
I have been providing media commentary on current affairs since
1995. In almost every election from
then on, I have given my analysis and recommendation to my listeners and
readers. Here are my election
recommendations in the past ten years, for the record.
Provincial election 1996. I urged voters to support the B.C. Liberal
Party, because I saw a great many problems in the way NDP Premier Glen Clark
governed the province.
re-elected, but at a terrible cost, for it led to the devastating defeat of his
party in the following election.
Federal election 1997. I
recommended that my listeners vote for the Reform Party, mainly because I could
not accept a party that worked to separate the country, Bloc Quebecois, taking
up the mantle of Official Opposition.
Federal election 2000. Even though I was very dissatisfied with our
arrogant and authoritarian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, I equally distrusted
the capability of the leader of the Canadian Alliance, Stockwell Day. Day was the rising star in that election
and won a historic 80,000 votes in B.C.
Prior to the voting day, I openly stated that I simply could not make a
choice between those two leaders and I was not making any recommendation at
all. After the election, some of
the most senior CA MPs, extremely dissatisfied with Day’s incompetence, left the
caucus and formed a new block in the House.
Provincial election 2001. In view of the great fall of the NDP, I
vehemently discussed the important role of opposition in the legislature and
urged the public to consider voting for the NDP. The election resulted in merely 2 NDP
seats left in the House.
Federal election 2004. I was not involved with the media that year and
did not offer any suggestions.
Provincial election 2005. Greatly discontented with the B.C. Liberals’
extreme right-wing government (the lack of opposition being a major cause), I
joined the NDP and ran for office. I was not a commentator, but my position in
that election was very clear.
In this federal election, 2006, I recommend voting for the
The Liberals have been governing for 13 years. They are a party that has
lost its way, and they offer no new ideas.
They have lost sight of ideals that can run and sustain this
country. They are merely fighting
to cling to power. The Liberals’
corruption must be punished; otherwise, that kind of malpractice will spread
across the country.
Prime Minister Martin often boasts of his great achievement in abolishing
the federal deficit. But the
negative aspects of this “great achievement” should not be overlooked. In order to balance his budget, Martin
drastically cut government spending and grabbed the surplus from the
Unemployment/Employment Insurance Fund and put it into the treasury. With the drop of interest rate, the
interest payment on the $600 billion national debt also decreased
significantly. As Romanow’s report
has indicated, funding shortage is one of the major causes of the decline of our
public health system. Our cities
have been facing a great many problems which could also be traced to the lack of
government funding. As for the
UI/EI fund, the Liberal government’s continuous effort to tighten legibility
requirements has created an enormous surplus of $48 billion. This fund belongs to the working people.
Instead of reducing the premium or increasing support for the unemployed
workers, Martin simply seized it.
The Conservative Party’s recent surge of support has little to do with
Stephen Harper’s leadership; it is merely an expression of people’s
dissatisfaction with the Liberal Party.
As the Official Opposition in the last parliament, the Conservatives had
a dismal record. Harper’s slips of
the tongue often diverted public attention from the Liberals’ problems. In the areas of monitory the government,
new ideas and policy offerings, the Conservatives are way behind NDP, a party
with merely one-fifth of the seats of the Official Opposition.
The Conservatives managed to release new party policies in their campaign
almost continuously. These policies
may be able to reflect the party’s beliefs and philosophy, but similar policies
have been proven a failure in the previous Conservative government in
Ontario. There was a good reason why Mike Harris’
“Common Sense Revolution” was
used in the Liberals’ political
advertisement to attack Conservatives.
In the 308-seat parliament, the NDP occupies merely 19 seats. Under the leadership of Jack Layton, the
NDP played a significant role in the last parliament. It exercised its muscle in pounding on
the Liberals’ sponsorship corruption.
The recent RCMP’s investigation on the Income Trust leak was also exposed
by the NDP.
The Liberals proudly talk about their child care program, but their 1993
promise could only have materialized due to the pressure of the NDP last
year. Likewise, it was the NDP who
forced the Liberal government to cancel generous tax cuts to large corporations
and invest the money on advanced education, city building, public transit and
social housing. Early in this
campaign, the premier of Alberta,
Ralph Klein, credited Jack
Layton with being the only federal leader with a genuine stand on protecting
public health care.
has been governed by the Liberal Party and by the Conservative Party, and they
both have intimate, intricate connections with large corporations. Prior to 1993, the Conservatives had no
less corruption nor fewer scandals than today’s Liberals. The NDP is the only party with the
mandate to defend the interests of the working people and fight for social
justice. The Chinese head tax is a
good example. The NDP helped to initiate the redress movement in 1984. Although
political faces have been changing throughout these years, the party’s position
is firm and consistent. It has rightly earned applause from the