Want to win my vote? Promise and deliver benefits for this region

I’m so excited we are returning to the polls Oct. 14. Aren’t you? Don’t you want the opportunity to redo something you just did? I think I’ll throw out the lunch I just made for my daughter and make it again. Why not? While I’m at it, I think I’ll go back and repeat high school and recommend that my friend get his root canal redone.

Stephen Harper must be a golfer. I checked scoregolf.com and they said he was “reportedly not that good of one.” That explains so much, since you would only expect a mediocre golfer to say ‘mulligan.’ The better golfers, and those that believe in doing things right the first time, would never think of a do-over.

I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised that the election was called so early. Everything is happening earlier.

In August, there were Halloween decorations in the Hallmark store. I was surprised that the corporation hadn’t found a way to capitalize on back-to-school and jumped over a whole month of possible merchandising. Maybe we can blame Hallmark for jinxing our summer and sending us plunging headfirst into a premature fall, to go along with our premature election.

So here we go again. Election signs are popping up like bad weeds. Political television commercials and media posturing remind us that mean toddlers and politicians have a lot in common in terms of their behavior. The Conservative Party is attacking Dion and the Liberals are bad-mouthing Harper. Mild-mannered Jack Layton is not so mild in his attack ads. (Maybe he just wants to make sure his face is in a commercial, as it seems that no one is targeting their marketing budget or barb writers on the NDP or the Green Party).

Locally, I have yet to see a sign from our Green or Liberal candidate.

Perhaps both should take note of what John Loewen is doing in Winnipeg

South. The Canadian Press recently reported that his signs are reusable shopping bags stretched between two poles. If Loewen doesn’t win, those that voted for him can “proudly” pack their groceries in a bag sporting his name, upside-down, for years to come.

At a minimum, this community should expect Councillor Steve Butland, the king of old bags, (no I’m not referring to his constituency — but to his promotion of re-usable bags) to remember that tactic should he seek reelection.

I applaud a balanced environmental focus by any party, but I can be admittedly critical. When I heard of the Liberal Green Shift Plan, I took issue with the title. It doesn’t roll off the tongue, and when it does, it sounds like cursing. As a Liberal Party strategist, with a French-language leader who doesn’t enunciate perfectly, does it make sense to have the plan named so questionably? Did Rick Mercer suggest the title so that there would be more fodder for his reports? Someone has to ask Dion, or any Liberal candidate, to say it 10 times fast – please.

I didn’t want to return to the polls so quickly, so maybe I won’t. Or maybe, I’ll go to the polls and write Obama on the ballot, as my vote is for change.

Want to win my vote? Show me strong leadership. Show me that if you get to Ottawa, you’ll be energetic, persuasive and tenacious in fighting for the benefit of this region. (Sound like anyone you know?)

Show me that you understand the importance of building the knowledge economy in our city; promise federal dollars to support education and development in science and technology. Hold your party and the federal government to their word on showing Anishinaabe people that they are an important part of our past, present, and future. Don’t forget our youth.

Promise and deliver on another airline to the Sault. While you are at it, get passenger train service to our city. Don’t let oil companies continue to take advantage of any world event to gouge us at the pumps. Get an Old Navy here (OK, that last one is a little self-serving — but it is my wish list).

Come up with a viable plan to get more doctors to our city, and expand the role and availability of nurse practitioners. Make it so that I can swim in the St. Mary’s River without worrying that a bizarre infection will follow. Let my children breathe the air without thinking about pollutants and asthma. Make polluters pay.

(Yes, I realize that many of the items on my wish list are more under the provincial purview, but we all know that a helping hand from the feds can go a long way.)

Be worth supporting. Understand the bottom line, think progressively, show integrity, speak confidently, and make good things happen.

Finally, promise that you’ll take down all of your signs within two days of the election and give me your word that you won’t support a recommendation to call another election for at least three and a half years. Do all those things and you’ll have my vote.

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