Editors, the Gauntlet,
Re: "The Least of all Evils," Nov. 2, 2000
I am quite disappointed with Lawrence Bailey's approach to politics. Instead of involving himself in the process and ensuring that those values espoused by the government are a reflection of his own, he sits by and prefers to criticize. I can attest that politics are surprisingly accessible and each and every Canadian's voice can and will be heard if you are willing to make the effort. Criticisms are easy, and it is a simple matter to find problems or complain about proposals, but solutions are what we need.
I am also deeply saddened that Bailey considers Joe Clark the least of all evils in Calgary Centre. He, first of all, claims that he cannot support the so-called "Christian values" of the Canadian Alliance. The values of the Canadian Alliance run along the lines of democratic accountability and fiscal responsibility. Does the author then purport that only Christians hold these values?
That is most certainly not the case. In fact, I would simply refer to Deepak Obhrai, Canadian Alliance MP for Calgary East, one of many Canadian Alliance MPs
and members who are visible minorities. Mr. Obhrai is neither Christian, nor is he European, yet he espouses what the author refers to as "Christian values."
Finally, the author seems entirely misguided when he states, "...with a party leader as my MP, I will receive preferential treatment." I would remind Mr. Bailey that Joe Clark is the leader of the fifth party which affords him nothing more than, at this point, two questions in question period as well as certain basic party privileges in various House of Commons committees. For a party leader to receive these very basic privileges, however, the party must be officially recognized by the House, which requires a minimum of 12 seats in the House. This is a requirement the Tories will most likely not meet. Despite the author's assertion that "[Joe Clark] is most likely to oust Alliance incumbent Eric Lowther," Clark is actually very unlikely to win Calgary Centre. Clark spends little time in the riding because he is more concerned with what the media has termed "The Drive to Survive"--that is, the battle for the Federal Tories to hold on to what seats they currently hold.
At the outset of the campaign, a poll reported that Eric Lowther had support in the high 40s in Calgary Centre while the Liberals enjoyed support in the high 20s, but Clark enjoyed support of less than 20 per cent. Furthermore, according to the Calgary Herald on Nov. 4, 2000, one in four Calgarians surveyed had their views of Clark worsen since the beginning of the campaign whereas roughly only one in 10 said their views had improved. Frankly, Clark is unlikely to win and I certainly would not want him to represent me in Ottawa.
In this democrat's opinion, the Alliance embodies a very open and democratic process. Contrary to what the author may believe, the Alliance is the solution, not "enlightened despotism."