RE: It’s not easy being blue Sept. 19

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Hello.&nbsp; We are Dave and Lindy, two students who affiliate with different parties, but have in common our firm nonsupport for the federal Conservative party.&nbsp; In regards to Jeremy Gilchrist&rsquo;s feelings of persecution for being a conservative voter, we (as students who <em>do </em>care about politics, despite your assumptions about <em>Imprint</em> readers) would like to respond to your condescending views towards non-Conservative voters.


Jeremy stated that those who vote non-conservatively do so because another party is &ldquo;cooler.&rdquo;&nbsp; We&rsquo;re insulted by his assumption that over 60 per cent of voters in the last federal election <em>didn&rsquo;t </em>vote for our Conservative majority because they were unintelligent or uninformed and liked the &ldquo;cool&rdquo; party.


Maybe Jeremy could make the Conservative party appear cooler in the minds of <em>Imprint</em> readers if he spoke more about their virtues rather than putting down those who vote differently than he does.&nbsp; In an attempt to not make his same mistake, rather than simply stating that &ldquo;X party is the best party to lead this country,&rdquo; what follows is a detailed, but not comprehensive, list of why we think the Conservative party is <em>not </em>leading Canada in a positive direction.


The Conservative party has a terrible history of protecting and stewarding our environment, with unblinking support for oil sands development (the biggest and most environmentally destructive project ever); by abandoning the Kyoto protocol (the next year Canada&rsquo;s greenhouse gas emissions rose to an all-time high); by stripping our rivers and lakes of environmental protection; and by the infamous &ldquo;muzzling&rdquo; of environmental scientists


The Conservative party has only worsened Canada&rsquo;s poor relationship with First Nations, with its refusal to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women; its unwillingness to consult with First Nations regarding legislation that effects them (like the recent changes to First Nations education legislation), and has labelled, investigated, and treated environmental and First Nations activists as &ldquo;terrorists.&rdquo;


The Conservative party has mishandled the economy at the expense of the most economically vulnerable Canadians with taxation and regulation changes leading to an increase in low-paid, no-benefit, insecure jobs; with cuts to a huge number of important social programs like Employment Insurance, national child care program, youth employment subsidies, and more; with seven straight budget deficits after 10 federal budget surpluses (Martin and Chretien&rsquo;s Liberals) &shy;&mdash; the worst record of economic growth since the Great Depression, and the explosion in household debt.


The Conservative party has centralized and expanded our jails despite dropping crime rates with mandatory minimum sentences on small-time crimes like cannabis possession to fill those jails and with the continued expansion of police force despite dropping crime rates.


The Conservative party has non-democratically used omnibus bills to make sweeping changes to many pieces of legislation all at once without debate despite a history of criticizing the Liberal&rsquo;s use of omnibus bills, which were shorter and debated for longer than his.


Additionally, Harper&rsquo;s Prime Minister&rsquo;s Office illegally gave funds to Senator Mike Duffy, and were found in contempt of Parliament for their intentional hiding of information related to government spending and legislation.


Again, this is not a comprehensive list of all of the failings of the Conservative party.&nbsp; It is merely a general overview of reasons why the Conservatives will never win our vote.&nbsp; We would be pleased to provide news and academic sources for these and other unforgivable misuses and abuses of power.


Jeremy, we hope this abates your fears that those who disagree with your political views do so because they are unintelligent, uninformed, or shallow.&nbsp; If you, or anyone else, have any questions, we welcome emails.

Dave Beverly-Foster
dwbeverl@uwaterloo.ca
Environment and Resource studies, 4A

Lindy Van Vliet
lmvanvli@uwaterloo.ca
Joint Honours Political Science and History, 4A

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