Volume 94, Issue 46

Tuesday, November 21, 2000


Federal Election 2000 - Part II

Federal Election 2000 - Part II

The clock is ticking and the masses are wondering – who will be the next prime minister of Canada? On Nov. 27, Canadians will decide who will become the next leader of this donut-loving and often misjudged country.

Whether you're looking left or still to the right or maybe heading straight up the middle, there's a party out there looking for your vote. So in this, part two of C&C's coverage of the federal parties competing to drink from the hallowed cup in the Governor General's desk, we look at the other half of the field. Like any good game of poker, anyone can win and there are a lot of wild cards.

Will Joe Clark pull one out in his party's darkest hour, will the NDP actually be more than the kicking post of federal party politics? Only time will tell. To make things worse, according to the polls, there's a good chance of a minority government on the horizon, so somebody will be holding that ace up their sleeve. With all that's at stake, your vote counts more than ever, so VOTE and be heard.

Again this courtesty of The Gazette's Campus & Culture section, including Tola Afolabi, Leena Kamat and Sean Maraj. Let the games begin and we'll see who holds a royal flush.

Marijuana Party

Canada's newest party is making headlines with their platform for the upcoming federal election.

The Marijuana Party was formed to educate people and to encourage the population to talk about marijuana, said Alex Naron, co-founder of the party. The party wants to end the prohibition of marijuana and then allow the public to determine what it wants.

"Repression of marijuana is more dangerous than the consumption itself," he said. "People are suffering because of prohibition."

Ending marijuana prohibition has many advantages, Naron said. New jobs will open in the agricultural field, the police can focus on more serious crimes and about $20 billion will be injected into the economy.

Another key issue is amending the Canada Elections Act. The party wants a more democratic system of voting where each vote counts more, so smaller parties have a chance at winning seats.

The party encourages its candidates to follow their personal convictions for all other election issues, Naron said.

Some other policies found on the Marijuana Party's platform:

The release of all prisoners held for marijuana offences

Offer immediate access to marijuana for medicinal purposes

For more information on the party, look up www.marijuanaparty.com.

C&C Party Slogan: Taking Canada to a new political high.

Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada

Like many of the other smaller parties running in the election, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Canada is not very well known but is making their presence felt.

The MLPC believes post-secondary education has to be made completely public and tuition should be free of any costs, Anna DiCarlo, secretary and spokesperson of the party said, until tuition can be eliminated, there should be enough bursaries available so all students wishing to attend school can do so.

Health care, one of the election's hot issues, needs to be recognized as a fundamental human right, DiCarlo said. "No where is it defined that all Canadians have a right to health care. We think it should be declared in the constitution."

Some more points of interest found in the MLPC platform:

Increase funding to health, education and other social programs

Allow Canadians to have a say in how the budget surplus will be distributed

Withdraw Canada from the Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement

For more information, you can check out their Web site at www.cpcml.ca.

C&C Party Slogan: Giving revolution a different name

Progressive Conservative Party

It's been a tough run for the federal Progressive Conservative Party in the past 10 years. Needless to say the days of a Tory majority in the House of Commons are now long gone. First there was the legacy of Brian Mulroney, then came the rise of the Canadian Alliance party.

Now on the verge of perhaps one of the most pivotal elections in the party's history, it's up to the old work horse, Joe Clark, to step up and help turn the tides of a party that has seen better days.

The Tories are approaching this election as portraying themselves as the alternative between the Liberals and the Canadian Alliance. One of the major points of the Tory party platform for this upcoming election includes bringing down tuition levels and also bringing federal education levels back to 1994 levels.

"The problem is tuition fees are going up. It's becoming more and more from students because of provincial cuts," said James Dodds, a spokesperson for the Tory party. "We want to restore Canadian Health and Social Transfer to 1994 levels' instead of passing the buck totally to the students,"

Dodds said the PC Party is also proposing a 10 per cent tax break for students recieving grants.

"If you get a student scholarship – no taxes. This will help students out.," Dodds said.

Some other parts of the PC platform include:

Immediately restore the cash portion of the Canada Health and Social Tranfer to at least 1993-'94 levels

Provide the Royal Canadian Mounted Police with stable funding and with a priority to defeat organized crime

Replace the Young Offenders Act.

For further information, you can check out www.pcparty.ca

C&C Slogan: Vote for us, we're more than just a wet suit.

New Democratic Party

The New Democratic Party has been sticking it out on the Federal political scene, without once coming close to even being the loyal opposition, let alone the government.

With the fracture of the Canadian right, the NDP still remains the most obvious choice for those looking to the left. The NDP platform involves more spending put into the Canadian health program, more support for the environment and expanding public transit.

As for the NDP's stand on the ever-popular topic of post-secondary education – according to NDP spokesperson, Brad Laviqne, the party remains committed to taking the money-crunch off students and increasing federal funds toward the Canadian education system, especially in replacing the Liberal government created Millennium Fund.

"We will replace the Millennium Fund. Currently, it helps seven out of 100 students," Laviqne said. "We would tranfer that money for a national system of grants."

Laviqne also said his party intends to decrease the tuition load that students are currently paying.

"Tuition fees have gone up 120 per cent. We would immediately work with the province to freeze tuition fees. Putting up funding to bring up the reduction," he said.

Some other policies found on the NDP platform.

Implement comprehensive, enforceable and understandable standards for water and air quality as well as food safety

Immediately increasing federal cash tranfers for health care to 25 per cent of shared public health spending

Expand federal investment in research and development in post-secondary educational institutions, the National Research Council and in private, non-profit research and development centres

For more information check out the NDP Web site: www.ndp.ca

C&C Party Slogan: Take a swing out to left field.

The Green Party of Canada

Looking ahead to the future is important for a nation to survive and the Green Party encourages this through their election platform.

The party strongly supports stricter environmental laws. They would implement the Precautionary Principle where the manufacturers are responsible for the disposal of their products, said Mark Viitala, a Green Party candidate for Don Valley East in Toronto. Manufacturers would be penalized if they do not comply with tougher environmental standards. "This should encourage recycling."

The Green Party also believes education should be for everybody. Viitala said options such as community service could be used as a form of repayment of partial student debts. "Students should not be burdened with large debts."

A 32-hour work week, promoted by the party, will greatly improve the lives of Canadians, he explained. New jobs will be created since people would need to fill in for the fifth day. Employers would not face extra costs since health and social assistance expenses will decrease due to the extra time off and the new jobs, Viitala suggested.

A few other points in the Green Party's platform:

Provide tax credits and rebates for renewable energy producers and consumers

Increase funding for research in health techniques which complement drugs and surgery

To find out more about the Green Party, surf the net at http://green.ca.

C&C Party Slogan: Turning our grey world green.

The Natural Law Party of Canada

As the only party to actively promote meditation, the Natural Law Party of Canada is striving to separate itself from the rest of the pack.

The Natural Law Party advocates the development of the consciousness, said Mizille Couture, secretary and campaign organizer of the party. "People are using only a small portion of their potential. Transcendental meditation will develop the human consciousness."

Couture said there have been many studies which have showed transcendental meditation has increased creativity, academic performance, health, happiness and a better appreciation for the environment. "We need to develop the most precious resource – the human brain."

Since meditation increases the creative side of people, many of the problems faced in society can be solved such as poverty, sustained economic growth, and health care, he said.

The party also supports an all-party government where the best people and ideas from all of the parties form one unified government.

Some other points of interest on the Natural Law Party's platform:

Plans to establish Canadian universities overseas to provide students with the opportunity to travel

Financial support for every student in post-secondary school

Check out www.natural-law.ca for more information.

C&C Party Slogan: If a party meditates in the forest and no one's there to hear it, are they really there?

To Contact The Campus and Culture Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2000