Pubdate: Tue, 24 Jan 2006
Source: Similkameen News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Similkameen News Leader
Author: Katherine Couch
Note: Title by map


The turning point in the election polls was the dreadful Boxing Day 
Shooting of a 15 year old girl in Toronto. The next day the 
Conservative support increased by 6%. Understandably, those persons 
polled, made an emotional choice. And the reaction by party leaders 
was immediate. Get tough on crime, mandatory minimums. However, the 
Conservative Party was the only party that did not make any effort to 
address the real issues that underlie violence.

If the Conservative Party becomes the ruling party, I fear for the 
country. Surely the people of Canada are smarter than to be sucked 
into "get tough on crime" rhetoric. It's all feel good nonsense that 
makes a surface appearance of doing something.

The gun violence in Canada has little to do with being "soft on 
crime" and everything to do with the highly unsuccessful American 
style "war on drugs", a drug war that the conservatives would support 
and perpetuate. A conservative win would mean more gun violence, not less.

Let's not forget the horrible violence during alcohol prohibition and 
how it stopped overnight when alcohol was made legal and became a 
regulated substance. Even right wing Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan has 
stated emphatically in a recent interview on CBC Newsworld that the 
gun violence problem in his city will not be solved by more "get 
tough on crime" legislation. He says that if we want the world to see 
a better Canada during the 2010 Winter Olympics, we need to legalize 
and regulate drugs, something the Conservatives have vowed they will not do.

Who do you think the criminals will be voting for? You can bet it 
won't be a party that wants to legalize and regulate drugs. Drug 
criminals want drugs to be illegal. They are guaranteed a market and 
they don't need to abide by any standards for quality. And 
furthermore, no violent criminal believes they will get caught. So, 
all of the "get tough" legislation in the world will not reduce the 
violence. It only makes sense that the drug criminals will be voting 
conservative. I will not be voting conservative because I know that 
there must be something wrong with my values if I am voting with 
violent criminals. Are there other reasons that I won't be voting 
Conservative? You bet there are!

If you are thinking of voting Conservative, please reconsider. Think 
about what is truly best for the country. Please don't condemn our 
sons, daughters, nephews, nieces and grandchildren to death on the 
battlefield in a U.S. initiated war. Don't re-stigmatize our gay 
citizens who want to marry.

Don't condemn our young women, who choose abortion, to dangerous back 
alley surgery. Don't endanger our environment further by voting for a 
government that thinks nothing of breaking an international agreement 
by pulling out of the Kyoto accord.

And don't let the poor suffer while waiting for surgery, while our 
country's surgeons are busy operating on rich people who don't have 
to wait in line. Our children are depending on you to make the right decision.

Yours truly, Katherine Couch, Nelson, B.C.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom