We are so fortunate to have such an honest, trustworthy, hardworking, capable, intelligent, respectful and dedicated person as Alex Atamanenko as our Member of Parliament.
He listens to people, is willing to change his mind if new information makes sense to him, yet isn’t afraid to face the political consequences of doing what he thinks is the right thing. In fact, in all our long (and getting longer) years, we believe he is by far the best MP we have ever had to represent us at the national level.
Some of his work is largely invisible, as he and his staff work together to resolve individual, community and riding concerns. As our representative, he works with others in Parliament to develop constructive policies and laws on the economy, environment, health care, agriculture, poverty, peace-making, international trade and other areas which affect both Canadians and our global community.
In contrast, our worst nightmare would be, after May 2, to be faced with a majority Conservative government led by Stephen Harper. We could take up many pages listing all the specific national and international actions already taken by the Harper government that have severely damaged Canada’s reputation as an even-handed peace-maker, a supporter of environmental sustainability, a human rights advocate and a country where social and health care safety-nets reduced the gap between rich and poor, offering some security for all no matter their abilities or situation.
Far from being an economic wizard, Harper has dragged us into another huge deficit, which would have been even worse had he had his way and deregulated the banks. Making things worse, tax cuts for large corporations and big ticket expenditures for summits, fighter jets and the like further increase the deficit, yet create few jobs.
For us, though, the worst aspect of the Stephen Harper Conservatives is the mean-spirited, bullying, deceptive, intolerant, anti-democratic and just plain nasty model of governance being witnessed by our children and grandchildren. Power and control is everything to this prime minister.
His record of silencing dissent within the federal government and related agencies makes for frightening reading. He is dismantling all the checks and balances, the diversity of voices that makes for a healthy and thriving democracy. This is the first government ever in our parliamentary tradition throughout the world to fall because of Harper’s contempt for parliament and the requirement to provide full disclosure of financial information before a vote is taken.
We have a choice on May 2. Continue on down the destructive path being taken by the Harper Conservatives or join with other Canadians across the country who want to re-construct a Canada where a diversity of voices, respect for human, economic and social rights, honesty and caring for others and our world form a firm foundation for government.
Ann and Bud Godderis