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Monday, August 25, 2008 

I don't care if this sounds naive

So on my way home from work today, I dropped by their headquarters and gave the last $20 out of my wallet to Mike Nagy's campaign. I don't write much about Guelph politics here, both because I get the sense most of my readers are from elsewhere and also because I don't care much, but I'd really love to see the guy win the upcoming byelection (September 8th, people, no matter who you're voting for!).

The Green Party ain't perfect, but Mike's a good candidate, the best one who's run for Guelph's seat in the last decade or so for sure. And the one thing that makes me feel like this election is kind of important, is this: He keeps coming closer and closer to winning, and if he did here, then that might actually change Canadian politics (which we desperately need). Like I say, there are issues with the Green Party, but having them take part in some way on the federal level simply can't be a bad thing to my mind, whether it's a case of getting a different perspective, asking different questions, or what have you. 77% of the Canadians polled think that, given the percent of the vote the party has gotten in the past (albeit without electing any Members of Parliament, yes) the leader of the Green Party should be allowed to participate in the debates we have each election, and the four ruling parties have, unsurprisingly, shut her out repeatedly. And again, thanks to the Canadian system, I also have the luxury of actually voting directly for a guy who I think would do a fine job on our behalf in the House.

The other reason I'm voting for him again, though, is the NDP. The Liberal and Conservative candidates are both perfectly fine, I'm sure (although both are running for worthless parties I and everyone else I know am heartily sick of), but the NDP got Tom King to run. He's a stunt candidate; I'm not saying he's not qualified or that he would even do a bad job, but anyone with that much (local) fame is a stunt candidate, period. And I don't like that much. Also, he's running for a party that, while better than the major alternatives, is still one that has gotten pretty bad under Jack Layton's leadership (their fearmongering last election sat pretty poorly with me).

So, I don't know, every day I walk past Nagy's campaign office on the way back from work, and I voted for him the last few times because I thought he was the best candidate, and I see a bunch of eager people working their goddamn asses off to try not only to get him elected but to try and give the Green Party their first foothold in North America. And I think they deserve one, and I think Mike Nagy is probably the best person to represent Guelph. I know some local friends who have supported Green in the past are thinking of voting for King instead; I devoutly hope they don't.

Jack Layton's "fearmongering" in the last election? Please elaborate. I don't recall that, although it may have been drowned out by Paul Martion 56-day orgy of fearmongering. Which of course only makes Harper look moderate in comparison, but I digress.

The fact that Martin made Layton look good doesn't mean he was blameless himself. The fact that Stephen Harper makes Martin look good which makes Layton look even better is even further from the point.

I voted before I left town - I did my part! - but what was critical to how I voted was the copyright bill. Regardless of whether it would actually pass if it hit the commons or not (and I suspect it will be left to die at an election, rather than test its merit in the house), I want candidates who really care about copyright and IP.

I didn't get good responses from either the Conservatives, or the Greens. The NDP gave a lukewarm response (though it was to state they wouldn't support the bill, yada yada).

The liberal candidate, however, called me and we chatted for 20-30 minutes about the bill, the issues that he (and I) had with, and a vision for what he would like to see in the bill. Regardsless of whether the party can keep his promises, Valeriote came off as a reasonably reputable and involved guy.

Maybe you've had similar experiences with the Greens, but it was the first time that it seemed like a politician was going well beyond what was required to talk with a potential consituent.

Hey just FYI I'm helping out with the campaign on Monday or Tuesday if you're interested at all.

Possibly, I don't think I'm working.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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