LETTER: Not voting for Harper or Wilks

Reader Todd Kettner: "Vote for respect. Vote for democracy. Vote for compassion."

On Monday I will be voting for a local candidate and national leader who I believe has the most respect for our environment, for science, for First Nations, and for our international commitments.

I will be voting for a candidate and leader who believes in the open and honest debate of true democracy by keeping parliament open even when faced with opposition, who trusts the will of citizens, who has committed to the deeply democratic principles of proportional representation, and who invites contrary opinions.

I will be voting for a candidate and leader who demonstrates compassion for children, youth, adults and seniors who are living at or below the poverty line, who welcomes refugees fleeing war and oppression, who cares about the plight of missing and murdered women, and who offers real solutions for those struggling to overcome addictions.

I will not be voting for local candidate Mr. Wilks who showed such disrespect for the environment, for Canada’s historic role as an international peacekeeper and for his own constituents that he skipped an all candidates debate on the environment and international security.

I will not be voting for the national leader Mr. Harper who disrespects our intelligence so much that he claimed in a recent televised leaders debate that he reduced green house gas emissions while growing the economy when, in fact, green house gases have continued to increase and he has presided over two recessions and at least six deficits.

I will not be voting for Mr. Wilks who skirts democratic process and principles by skipping all candidates debates where he would have to answer difficult questions and I will not be voting for Mr. Harper who shut down parliament instead of explaining his actions to Canadians under the scrutiny of his fellow members of parliament.

I will not be voting for Mr. Wilks who, like his leader Mr. Harper, believes that tougher sentences and more prisons are the best they can offer to those living in poverty and working so hard to overcome their addictions.

I am certainly not voting for Mr. Harper who has stated that missing and murdered aboriginal women are not high on his agenda, who has been slow to act and perhaps has even impeded the chance for refugees to get to safety and security in our country, and who has so little understanding of the plight of those in poverty that he tried to buy your and my vote with a surprise child benefit payment just before calling the election even though my family has two incomes and zero children in daycare.

I truly believe that if we collectively make our voices heard, we can make our lives, the lives of those less fortunate than ourselves, and our country a better place. Vote for respect. Vote for democracy. Vote for compassion.

Todd Kettner

Nelson

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