BTC: Behold, the child who will lead us

by Aaron Wherry

CBC has a nice round-up of the young(er) candidates running in this election. Most worthy of your attention might be the Green party’s Emily Berrigan, who is, if nothing else, bravely quotable.

A few of the highlights so far.

On why she’s running. “Because parliament frankly needs me. I’m young, I’m a woman and I’m working class and I’m really not ashamed of that. In fact I’m pretty damn proud of that. The old parties in Ottawa have not been serving us well. We’ve been stuck with a backbencher for two years, who can only talk about two pie-in-the-sky ideas … that don’t even have shovels in the ground. I think Peterborough deserves to get noticed. Who is going to be noticed more? A backbencher? Or a young working class woman who gets it.”

On Parliament. She remembers sitting in the House of Commons gallery with Ms May watching people run the country while acting like “buffoons.” ”It is completely disconnected. I don’t think I have to tell anybody that, I think everybody knows that it’s completely disconnected from real life,” she explains.

On government plans for a train from Peterborough to Toronto. “It’s not enough to propose one rail line through three safe Tory ridings and think that’s all he has to do to show real leadership.”

On Omar Khadr. “Omar was a child when he was put into Guantanamo Bay. Perhaps Mr. Del Mastro does not understand what a child soldier is.” 

On Del Mastro’s rejection of same-sex marriage on biblical grounds. “I grew up a Catholic too. It does not mean I am going to take everything at face value because it is biblical.” 

On government funding for the arts. “Any country that supports the arts is incredibly brave…it allows itself to be both celebrated and criticized. Arts and culture contributes to overall well-being. In a world of strip malls and parking lots, it provides relief to mediocrity. Arts and culture is not just a frill and shouldn’t be treated that way by government. It’s a whole range of things, each contributing in a big way to who we are as a people.”

On Tory crime proposals. “Poverty begets violence. We need to focus on poverty and the reasons why some juveniles are acting out in such horrific manners. Don’t just throw them in jail, it’s not humane and not a long-term solution, either.”




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BTC: Behold, the child who will lead us

  1. I met Ms. Berrigan on the bus here in Ottawa one day. She was quite friendly and chatty so I’m not at all surprised by her quotable (and intelligent and insightful) quotes.

  2. The nemesis of DelMastro and the Conservatives.

    “nemesis–the spirit of divine retribution against those who succumb to hubris”

  3. She has wonkette glasses!

    ~ swoon ~

  4. Well I live in Peterborough riding and I am NOT a big fan of Casino Dean (or Choo Choo Dean). ALL the talk around here has been of the Pork Express and little else. In fact, Dean-o wants to make the entire election a referendum (plebicite?) on the damned Train To Nowhere (Cavan? Dranoel? God Bless ‘em) In the meanwhile, he walks around Ottawa calling everyone who doesn’t agree with him a communist and acts like Mr Smithers around the Prime Minister.

    Sigh.

    Betsy McGregor, the local Grit, was getting my vote but damn Ms Berrigan is one smart cookie. And all of 21 to boot! So what to do? Vote strategically for Betsy (who looks like she’ll be a lifer in Ottawa- one taste of pork, one limo ride…she’ll be hooked) or vote from the heart.

  5. Hey Dave

    That is a hard call. Ms Berrigan definitely is a breath of fresh air. Depends on whether you want to investing your vote (successfully or not )towards a long term goal off changing the nature of official Ottawa or the short term goal of not sending Choo Choo back to Ottawa (couldn;t he work at the minature train at the zoo? are the zoo and the train still there?).

  6. Interestingly, the del Mastro blog entry that follows has a link which says that, in the style of Iowa and corn subsidies, Ms. Berrigan took the pledge on the Peterborough puff puff:

    “All candidates pledged their support for the proposed Peterborough- Toronto commuter rail link, drawing loud applause from the audience of about 125 people at the meeting.”

    Assuming accurate reportage naturally.

  7. Way to go Emily; you are wise and focussed. DelMastro has not been challenged and there have been lack-lustre boring candidates in Peterborough. Don’t forget however that there are old-school small-c conservatives and silent non-vocal voters that never change. You must work on eroding the liberal and NDP support.

    You rock Emily.

  8. Let them run for Municipal politics or School Trustee. You have to have lived a life before you can be a lawmaker on behalf of so many.

  9. Karen Krisfalusi is right – only older, more experienced people should run for office. They’re the ones who make wise decisions, like managing national financial programs that aren’t fooled by sub-prime mortgage schemes, or throwing $700 billion to rich financiers…

    Hold on a second – isn’t President Bush one of those older, wiser people we’re talking about?

    Oh, never mind – go Emily!

  10. Yeah it’s true- they’re all for the train. Martha Hall Findlay came to Peterborough a few weeks ago and called it what is is- pork, pure and simple. You could hear people having cows left, right, and center in the ol Patch. God love her she’s right though. I’d rather see the 500 million spent on extending the 407 to Hwy 135.

  11. “Let them run for Municipal politics….”
    Hmmm….let them eat cake as well??

  12. Many of the youth who are running in this election have already run for Munical council or school board trustee. They’ve already been campaign managers or organized national campaigns for their parties.

    Just because they figured their lives earlier than some others, doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a shot.

    I’d like to see the statistics on youth voting and engagement in ridings with a youth on the ballot. I’m sure their participation is inspiration enough to turn over some apathy.

    Now imagine that on a national level if they were to be elected.

  13. The thing to do in Peterborough this election is to give your heart, your donation and your public support to the Green platform, and then vote for Betsy McGregor, the Liberal candidate, who is the only person who can unseat Dean del Mastro. Elizabeth May publicly urged Greens to vote strategically in this election, even if it hurts the Green Party. It’s one of the things I like and respect most about her, and the Green approach generally. It isn’t polarized, it isn’t ego-based, it isn’t compulsively oppositional. Dean del Mastro will LOSE if we do this. The Conservatives won’t win a majority with 37% of the vote if we do this.

    Here’s the link:

    http://www.thestar.com/FederalElection/article/505642

    And here’s some of what May had to say, from this Star article:

    “I’d rather have no Green seats and Stephen Harper lose, than a full caucus that stares across the floor at Stephen Harper as prime minister, because his policies are too dangerous,” she said.

    So determined is May to keep Harper from power she also told the Star she wants Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion and NDP Leader Jack Layton to join her in a pact to beat Conservatives candidates.

    The Green, Liberal and New Democratic parties should prevent vote-splitting that would favour Conservatives, and carve up electoral ridings according to who has the best chance of winning, May said. “We sit down and say, `Who has the best chance of winning in all these ridings?’ What I’ve been calling for is proportional representation by other means.”

    She’s brave, she’s right, and I’m choosing to do it.

  14. That is not democracy. That is more fear-based voting. These games are never going to end if we keep playing them.

    Vote for what you believe in! And then PAY ATTENTION ALL YEAR.

    I think Elizabeth May is moreso talking about hyper-partisanship.

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