[kwlug-disc] Parliament adjourned ... bills dead (again!)?

Darcy Casselman dscassel at gmail.com
Fri Apr 1 14:17:32 EDT 2011

On Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 1:33 PM, Russell McOrmond
<russellmcormond at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 1, 2011 at 10:45 AM, Darcy Casselman <dscassel at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Russel, this may be a leading question, but as you've talked to him,
>> would you think we'd be more likely to get a favourable outcome if
>> Marc Garneau was the minister responsible for crafting the next
>> copyright bill versus the previous Clement/Moore tag team combo?
>  Apologies that I can't offer you the answer you really want.
>  I will pick 3 names from each of those two teams you want to talk
> about.  None of them in KW area districts so it shouldn't matter for
> your voting.  Remember: you should be voting for local representatives
> and not for a party or for the President of Canada.

Oh, I do; don't worry.  But you also have to be aware that your vote
contributes to an outcome.  And voting for a candidate you think best
represents your ideals may help generate an outcome that runs counter
to them.

Which is a travesty, but short of signing up with fairvote.ca, I don't
see what we can do about it at present.

For an unrelated example, take environment issues.  If you care about
climate change and the environment, whatever else people may have
thought of him, the Liberals under Stephane Dion represented Canada's
first real opportunity for progress is solving these issues in the
last election.  During the same election, the Green Party had its best
showing ever, demonstrating that a sizable portion of Canadians
actually do care about environmental issues.  But the outcome was that
the Liberals were crushed, losing seat after seat, including my
riding.  And now the consensus is that Dion's stance on the
environment made him fundamentally unelectable.

I note that the Liberals have said almost nothing about the
environment in this election.

I *like* the Green Party.  I would probably vote for Cathy MacLelland
except the result of my doing so means I get Peter Braid as my
representative in Parliament.  And, actually, I really like Andrew
Telegdi who, even though he's kind of bad with tech issues (if the
run-up to C-60 is anything to go by), I know he'll represent my
interests and ideals on things I care even more about, like
fundamental human rights.  Which, sad to say, has been a rare quality
in our leaders over the last decade or so.

Even though I tend to support the Liberals, I won't vote for a donkey
they've painted red and propped up against a podium (as they do
occasionally).  I'd never advocate anyone else should either.

>   It is better to have the best local MP in opposition that you can
> continue conversations with after the election than to have a
> government MP that won't talk to you.

I would like to agree with you, except that MPs have been increasingly
marginalized over the years, under both ruling parties, with power
being consolidated in the PMO.  And lately, parliament as a whole has
been marginalized, making our voice that much less relevant.  I don't
believe this should be allowed to stand.

>  This is what I wish for each of you: an MP you are on a first name
> basis with who sends you things proactively because he knows it is
> important to you. Someone you can have conversations with in his
> constituency office or on the street if you happen to meet up.  What
> party banner they are running under is really beside the point!

The trouble I have with this is Peter Braid is actually really good at
meeting with and talking to his constituents.  His party, as far as I
can tell, doesn't give a whit about what he or we think about
anything.  Even if you might have influence with him personally, he
can't do anything to change policy once his leader has made a


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