Today’s the day to get out and vote. I just spent the last two days getting grilled by my father about the 99 reasons I need to vote for Stephen Harper. I have to balance my father’s partisanship against my ongoing series “What is a Tory” found on this blog. Quite frankly, I am not sure my dad knows what a Tory is these days but he sure likes old Stevie.
I don’t think I have heard anyone with the exception of Rob Moir in Saint John really talking seriously about economic development issues but then again, I haven’t done a detailed analysis of all of the parties platforms.
The Tories are serving up $400 million for auto and aero in Ontario and Quebec and that tells me mostly what I need to know about them. I have been reading editorials from BC and they are quite livid about the ongoing attempts to buy votes on Ont and Que. Maybe that is why many ridings in BC are now leaning NDP. It’s fine balance for a federal politician. If they are too aggressive in their courtship of votes in one area, they may alientate another.
The Liberal’s Green Shift is tricky biz in New Brunswick. I actually would like to see Canada make a serious move towards carbon emission reduction but I would like to see it offset with massive investments in economic development in the same activity. I know there are billions for sustainable technology development, biofuels, etc. but I am talking about federal programs that could be applicable to New Brunswick.
If we went green and at the same time became a North American hub for alternative energy product development, I’d be happy. But if all we do is make rural New Brunswickers pay more to heat their houses and drive their autos, that’s a bit of a bum rap. But at the same time, my father remembers a daily train from the Miramichi to Fredericton that left at 7 am and came back at 5 pm each day. Maybe we should look at reviving rail service if we are planning to double or triple the cost burden for driving cars.
Whatever happens today, don’t expect a game changer election for New Brunswick. I see virtually no correlation between the Premier’s open letter to the federal leaders and their platforms. No federal party will be moving federal jobs here. That’s a non starter – mostly because it would anger not only Ontario and Quebec but the rest of Canada as well. Claudette Bradshaw worked for years to get a federal translation centre in New Brunswick to no avail. In a minority parliament, no one has excess political capital to expend.