A Missive to My Local Conservative Candidate


Dear Madam/Sir:

It is not an easy job you are vying for. Very likely you are a good person, a good friend to your friends and even better as parent to your children; the sort of parent who will always put their children’s needs before their own [the way my own mother always did]; one who will fight like a cornered animal in their defense.

Now—I am hard pressed to reconcile the fine parent/friend/community member you very likely are, with the policies and values of the party you choose to represent.

As a parent, would you not beg, borrow, and steal, if that is what it took to put a meal in front of your children and a roof over their heads? The Conservative party would rather balance the budget first, and then feed Canada’s vulnerable children on what is left, if there is any.

Now—as you watch your kids weaken physically, intellectually, and spiritually from hunger, are you prepared to tell them ‘things will get better one day; but we must balance the budget first!’ I hardly think that you would. What’s all this ‘balancing the budget’ bulroney anyways? Whom does that benefit? Canada will still have a monstrous debt to pay interest on. Balancing the budget will not reduce the debt, nor the interest hit on the operating budget. The promise to balance the budget is a political tool the Conservatives resort to, in order to rationalize reductions in services-the kind that keep folks safe, healthy, fed, out of the gutters, and out of hospital emergency wards and jails.

As your parents age, they will require more of your time and assistance; the fine son/daughter in you would try to accommodate your parents by increasing your income and the time you spend with them.

Would you rather tell your aging mom or dad to get out and find a job; that no sloth on their part can be tolerated? No? Well, the CPC would raise their age of retirement, even as they allow inflation to erode the benefits seniors receive. Not a problem if you have lots of savings and you are not relying exclusively on CPP/OAS. Only wealthier folks can be unphased by this. Monthly CPP and OAS support might be only a drop in the bucket to wealthy retirees’ quality of life, but most Canadians do not retire with a whole lot of money in the bank. The support CPP/OAS provide is, for many Canadians, the difference between living with dignity, or roaming the streets pushing a grocery trolley filled with your life’s possessions.

Lonely and alone, infirm with old age, having worked and contributed for nigh on half a century—their mental and physical capacity eroded from long hours of work under unhealthy conditions—do you really believe they are able to manage without help; that you would not be putting them on a spiral downward into misery?

Of course you wouldn’t—not for even a moment. You would find a way to keep everyone sheltered, safe, properly fed, feeling secure and happy, just as your parents did for you while you were too young to look after yourself.

There is no one, save for this thing we call the Conservative Party, who is brazen and obtuse enough to believe that Canada’s economically vulnerable men, women, and children are not Canada’s to take care of.

When citizens are elected to serve as an MP, MPP, or Counsellor, an event of tectonic breadth occurs in their life trajectory: that person’s family has suddenly grown much larger. Every citizen in their riding becomes their mother, father, sister, brother, daughter, son…

If you are the sort of parent who is comfortable giving more money and time to the child who has more than enough already, while at the same time withholding your money and time from your other kids, then you appear to be a match in spirit with the Conservative Party and its national ‘vision.’

I just don’t know of a single parent who has it in them to behave like that. Given that every candidate comes from a family, how is it that the Conservative Party is able to field even one?

How is it that you, the fine parent-daughter/son that you likely are, is able to align yourself with the CPC, when the CPC is prepared to deny so many of the Canadian family the basic rights to food, shelter, and safety?

Can you see yourself doing that to your kids?

Sincerely yours,