Election 08: Vote for Harper or NOT!

I won't be voting for Harper's Conservatives today.

There is an “Anybody But Conservative” mood in BC this week.  The Tyee has published it's story: Tyee's Strategic Voters' Guide: A riding-by-riding look at pros and cons of voting 'anyone but Harper' in BC, and the Georgia Straight has printed
The Straight slate to stop Stephen Harper.

First of all, I hate negative campaign advertising.  All I have been getting from Conservative ads are why the other guys are not vote worthy, without the Conservatives saying why they are vote worthy.

Last time around, I was much more involved in the federal election because I was part of the Chinese Head Tax redress campaign. 

In January 2006, Chinese Canadian organizations were urging the members to vote for Stephen Harper's Conservative government, so he could follow through on a pledge to address Chinese Head Tax Redress.   Harper saw Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin stumble on a botched Chinese Head Tax non-apology redress.  He followed the NDP, Bloc Quebecois and Green Party in acknowledging the importance of redress for the Chinese Head Tax redress. N See my January 2006 article:
Will Harper keep his pledge for Head Tax Redress? Chinese Canadian groups are asking him!

Harper came through with his parliamentary apology on June 22 2008, and gave a redress ex-gratia payment to surviving head tax payers and their spouses, but ignored 99% of remaining head tax certificates for deceased head tax payers.  Too bad for my grand-father and great-grandfather who would have to be alive at 140 years of age, if they wanted to see a re-payment of the ultra racist head tax money.  Too bad for the families who also suffered through poverty trying to work off the incurred debt that cost as much as a house – when no other ethnic group was subjected to a head tax for entry to Canada.

Harper's Conservatives have also slashed funding for arts programs.  I have received many emails about the many different facebook groups and news releases protesting the Conservative programs.

I haven't been blogging about this year's election, because I feel this is an unnecessary election.  Thanksgiving is a terrible time for an election.  Voting sites and Election Canada have found so many of the usual volunteers and employees taking the holiday weekend off.  Political parties and other groups have been desperate for people to help do phonings and rides for voters to help get voters out.

When I went to vote this morning, I felt sorry for all the scrutineers and Elections Canada people who had to be up at 5am this morning to help get the voting sites ready for 7am voting.  That really put a damper on relaxing Thanksgiving dinner on Monday.

This election has been about opportunism on Harper's part.  He was riding high in the polls, and he wanted to call an election before the impending economic crash hit us.  He was a month too late, even though he knew it was coming soon.  He didn't release his party platform until one week before the election.

Harper has also been an opportunist on ethnic issues.  The Conservative government apologized for the Chinese Head Tax in 2006 and in 2008 apologized for the Komagata Maru incident – but they did so on their own terms despite community groups asking for more consultation.  See my article:  Ethnic Issues and the Canadian Federal Election: Gabriel Yiu's
commentary about Harper, South Asian community and the Komagata Maru

So there it is… I am not supporting Harper and the Conservatives.

One thought on “Election 08: Vote for Harper or NOT!

  1. Anonymous

    Hopefully you learnt the lesson that should come form your experience with Harper and the Conservatives (which applies for all politicians)…. when you advocated voting for him on a solitary issue (Head tax redress) you were also voting for and giving him a mandate for the rest of his platform….. you can't have your cake and eat it too….. when you voted for the party that you thought was going to give you the redress your ancestors deserved (not you).. you were also voting for the increased military spending and the slashing of arts and social programs…..


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