A Letter to Jamie Hammond

Written by Harold McNeill on October 14th, 2019. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts

A Letter to Jamie Hammond

October 14, 2019

Dear Jamie,

My vote in Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke comes down to a choice between two of the three parties on the centre-left. Having just met and listened to you at two meetings, you present a clear and forceful message. (Photo Right)

I’m also impressed with Randall Garrison, as he comes out loud, clear and consistent in his messages. I have also watched you and Garrison on the podium. You are respectful and cheerful to one another and all other candidates. Between the two of you, you don’t hold out your political differences as being an impediment to moving forward on major issues.

There was a moment in time when you were asked a specific question about your first priority if you won. You stated something to the effect, “my first priority would be to meet with Randall Garrison over dinner where we would discuss the files he was working on that need to be continued into the future.” That is the type of politician and party we need in Ottawa. I’m also sure Randall feels the same way.

Yesterday, I heard Jagmeet Singh state unequivocally he would work with the Liberals to maintain a stable government if they ended up in a minority or even if the Conservatives won a minority. It’s a great relief knowing that whichever way I cast my ballot, my vote will not be lost if the other team wins.

Just as in my voting for David Merner the last time around (he was a Liberal then) my vote was not lost simply because Randall Garrison and the NDP won in the riding. I had worked for all three parties last time, just as I have this time around.

My difference with David Merner (I consider him a friend), is that when he jumped ship from the Liberals, he turned on them with a vengeance. He still does this on a regular basis. We don’t need parties of the centre-left beating up on one another as a means to gain votes.

The party messages are too similar to be slashing at one another’s throats. Leave that to the Conservatives as they are experts in the field. The Greens need to stop and think for a minute about where the real threat lies. Just turn your attention to Alberta and Ontario, among others to see what they do with a clear majority.

That being said, as a party, I like Greens and I have many friends who are Green supporters and they have a great message that resonates with many Canadians. However, they need to get real about what they can actually accomplish on their own. After the election, they need to set aside all differences and work with the Liberals and NDP to push forward legislation of common interest to Canadians. That will mean Justin Trudeau, Jagmeet Singh, and Elizabeth May, sitting at the same table to tell Canadians how they will work to focus on the future. If we want Canadians to come together in purpose, the parties must set the stage.

Long gone is a time when we can continue to dilly-dally on major issues of the day of which climate change is high on the agenda. There are clear thinking scientific and political minds who can create workable solutions. The moment this election is over, I hope the three local leaders, Hammond, Garrison, and Merner, will sit down on the same stage to discuss their willingness to breach the gap that divides them. I very much hope the national leaders will do the same thing. We need the courage to come together in common purpose, not to tear each other apart.

You needn’t worry about having an active opposition in Ottawa, as there will be a strong party there (and in several Provinces) willing to cast a negative note on every idea whether that idea is good or bad. It would be nice to cooperate, but the political divide between the left and right is so deep, I don’t know how it can be breached in the short or even long term.

Perhaps, that’s the way it should be as a strong, effective (and sensible) opposition is critical to a functioning democracy. Besides, backstopping those two political groups (government and opposition), we have developed a population of young people (as we did back in the 1960s and 70s) willing to push hard on governments around the world on important social and financial issues.

All the best to the three of you in the coming election.


Other Posts on This Election

Is Fiscal Conservatism Dead

Left or Right: Is there a difference?

How to Game and Election

The SNC Lavalin Affair

The Kings of Conservative Media

The Changing Landscape of Politics in Canada


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