Undecided Voters: How to Watch the Debates

I have to admit it: I’m as guilty as anyone who watches political debates for the zingers! You know … those K.O. lines that capture the headlines, the spotlight and the media’s attention for the next three days!

And amuse us.

But that really is NOT the best way to watch a debate between leaders whose parties/strategists/backers want control of Canada’s government and its $356 Billion annual budget … with all the authority over your life and rights that accompany political power.

Deciding how to vote is very easy for partisan party supporters: they have their minds made up; many have already reached their post-debate conclusions and have their lines scripted: THEIR leader did GREAT and the opponent(s) FAILED miserably.

Ho hum!

However, for those who are UNDECIDED … watching the debates can be more important … even critical … in making their decision how to vote.

So here are my own suggestions:

LISTEN to what the leaders say from TWO points of view: WHAT will they do FOR you and your country OR WHAT will they do TO you and your country.

Everything else is THEATRE … zingers, prepared lines and drama aimed at impressing voters, capturing the headlines and favorable mention from commentators.

It’s a lot of sound and fury signifying NOTHING … three weeks from now.

However, if you do listen to what they propose, promise or could even prohibit, it can then help you make an educated decision as to which party should win … or lose … YOUR vote.

Healthcare funding? Home ownership incentives? Seniors’ pension increases? Child care benefits? Tax cuts? Education? Carbon pricing? Environment? Pipelines? Transportation infrastructure? Immigration? First Nations spending? Human rights/LGBTQ issues? International role? Justice/crime? Or…?

Of course, there’s no guarantee the “winner” will do all … or even most … of what he or she promises.

But at least YOU will have voted for what YOU believe, what YOU want to see, and against what YOU don’t support.

Instead of just falling victim to who had the “best” line or delivered the “best” punch.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow me @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter for First Alerts of all new topics on the blog.)

Posted in British Columbia, Media, National | 19 Comments

Scheer “Red-faced” Over Citizenship

Maybe Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives shouldn’t have made so much fuss about Justin Trudeau’s “blackface” shenanigans.

The Tory leader himself has been quite “red-faced” recently over revelations that, since birth, he has held DUAL Canada/US citizenship: holding BOTH Canadian AND American passports!

Scheer was born in Canada, as was his mother, but his father was an American citizen, qualifying the Tory leader for the dual status.

Scheer now admits he signed up for any potential “draft” into the US military, should Congress ever have decided Uncle Sam needed him.

And he has also filed US tax returns … as a US citizen is required to do.

Now, let’s keep it real: there is nothing that unusual about Canadians holding dual citizenships: more than a million actually do.

The HYPOCRISY, though, is what should embarrass Scheer and the Conservatives.

In 2005, when Michaelle Jean was being considered for Canada’s Governor General, Scheer raised the question: ““Does it bother you that she is a dual citizen (France and Canada)? Would it bother you if instead of French citizenship, she held U.S. citizenship?”

Friday, though, newly-exposed dual citizen Scheer had a different take on the issue: ““It’s not a big deal for a Canadian to have dual citizenship”.

So then WHY did he raise the issue when the Liberals were considering Jean as GG ? (By the way, she won the job and served as GG for five years?

And she was not the only “dual” Canadian who faced the Tories’ wrath.

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper chastised NDP leader Thomas Mulcair over his dual Canadian/French citizenship in 2012 and the Tories also belittled Liberal leader Stephane Dion’s dual Canada/French citizenship.

“In my case, as I say, I’m very clear,” Harper said at the time. “I’m a Canadian and only a Canadian,” reported Global News.

Apparently, it DID matter to the Tories back then!

It was only after news reports surfaced that Scheer acknowledged his own dual citizenship … noting he had applied to renounce his American status … after he became Tory leader. The matter is in process.

The Conservative leader said he never mentioned his own personal dual situation … because no one had ever asked.

“There are millions of Canadians who have had one parent born in another country,” Scheer said Friday.

See … no big deal.

Then why do Tories keep bringing it up, questioning them, chastising them … when it applies to others?

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow me @harveyoberfeld.ca on Twitter to get FREE First Alerts of all new postings on this blog.)

Posted in British Columbia, National | 33 Comments