A Message from Mark MacKenzie, Federal Candidate
I wanted to take a moment to thank the many volunteers, supporters and voters that I had the honour to work with or to meet during this past election campaign. I found that many people were not aware at all of what the Green Party was really about. It was a tremendous experience to be able to enlighten thousands of voters who will take that into consideration in their future decisions.
Many that I spoke to at the door and on the street agreed that our democracy needs to be seriously improved. In order for the issues that matter most for people to truly be addressed, people need to be able to be actively involved in their own governance. Clearly, most people feel powerless to do anything about that and will continue to feel victimized by the current power structures.
This was indeed an odd election. The Orange Wave that swept through Quebec and saw the decimation of the Bloq Quebecois stands like a book end from the equally bizarre 1993 election which saw the rise of the Bloq all the way to official opposition after having just recently been formed as a party.
In this riding, I certainly talked to a number of life-long Liberals, Conservatives and NDP supporters, but the amount of undecided voters is clearly a growing group. I also ran into a growing Green base.
Of the undecided, there was mostly two camps. One group wanted the end of bickering and were voting Conservative to give them a majority. They didn't much care about procedural wrangling about contempt of Parliament or what Bev Oda did because quite frankly, the Liberals were just as bad. The other group wanted to get rid of the incumbent and/or the Conservatives.
The smallest group to me seemed to be those that were actually concerned about the issues. When there is too much wrapped up into one single solitary 'X', the issues do in fact get shoved to the back while many people concentrate on the national picture, the personalities of the leaders, or how to vote against somebody. Rightly or wrongly, these are the sorts of decisions that are made on election day.
The Conservatives have a tall order. No excuses for the record deficits now. The Conservatives did their obligatory tax cut (GST) for their base which they touted heavily in their commercials. The disturbing part of this is how they just borrowed this tax cut many times over on the other end, and the public seemingly had no intention to bring them to account on this. The myth that the Conservatives are good economic managers will soon come crashing down as they continue to invest in oil and into yesterday's economy. Where is all of this oil money going? Not back to us.
Unfortunately with the current electoral system, you only need less than 1 in 4 eligible voters to vote for you in order to achieve absolute power. The Liberals were never in favour of electoral reform. Will they be now? It will also be interesting to see if the Conservatives carry through on the promise of an elected Senate. John Baird made reference to this in the only debate for the riding. No excuses now.
I did notice that at the door, the Conservative base had a hard time looking me in the eye this time. They knew deep down that their party had become the very Liberals that they had detested for years for coveting and abusing power. The Conservatives had become Liberals in the sense that they would do anything, say anything and pay anything (with our money mostly) to keep themselves in control. But the Conservative base is forgiving and downright blind at times. The public seems to have bought enough of the rhetoric that the Conservatives were the best at handling the economy, even though we survived the global financial meltdown better than other countries due to factors that had nothing to do with Conservative governance.
Clearly the Green Party took a major step forward as it elected its first MP and I was happy to have called through a poll in Saanich Gulf Islands earlier in the year to help identify the Green support.
The exclusion of Elizabeth May and the Green Party from the debates was a low point for democracy. It's not just that this decision was in the hands of private companies, but that these companies seemed to care little that they damaged the Green Party by waiting until after the writ had dropped to announce their decision. Power in this country is held by an exclusive and small club. We have crashed their elite party and they will not be taking kindly to that.
In the absence of better information as to what we are actually about, we lost some of our votes from previous elections. Those four men were very lucky that Elizabeth May was not there at the debates holding them all to account for decisions that they had all made in the previous Parliament, and espousing our passion for a more inclusive democracy.
Since the fundamentals of our democracy, our economy and our society in general are still in peril, the Green Party nationwide will see a bounce in the very near future. As the price of gasoline continues to rise, even as the price of a barrel of oil drops, I hope that people remember that it was the Green Party that had the best plan for reducing our dependence on that commodity.
What turned out to be a colossal failure in this election was the attempt to get everybody to vote Liberal to try to 'stop John Baird'. People who organize these sorts of things should really take the time to knock on doors and actually talk to people. Had they done that, they would have seen just how many people in this riding, and I'm sure across the country, will never vote Liberal again because of all of the abuses of power over the years. Some people went ahead and held their nose and voted for the Liberal because it was the lesser of two bad choices as far as potentially governing parties were concerned. In the long term, we need a fairer electoral system and this will have to involve proportional representation.
But mostly I want to thank the many voters of Ottawa West-Nepean who took the time to have a look for the first time as to what we at the Green Party are all about. I know that we are a credible choice now for many voters and our time will come. I was encouraged by a strong group of dedicated supporters who have come to believe that the balance of fiscal responsibility, social progressiveness and ecological wisdom embodied by the Green Party is the only sensible way to move forward.
We will continue to keep in touch and we welcome all feedback and participation at the local level.
Candidate of Record, Green Party of Canada
To the voters of Ottawa West-Nepean:
On May 2nd you have an important choice. Since the Provincial by-election of last year in the riding, those of us in the Green Party of Ottawa West-Nepean have been taking extra effort to reach out to you to let you know what we are all about as a political party. More information is available in our platform section on our site and www.greenparty.ca about our policies and our party.
But I personally want to let you know about what my commitment to you is should you decide to vote for me.
I got into politics and found my home with the Green Party because world-wide, Greens value the concept of the public truly being involved in determining their own destiny on a regular basis. In our local and national campaigns, we have talked about True Democracy. Just because you get to put one ‘X’ on a ballot, does not mean that your government is held to account or will listen to you. People I talk to are very frustrated because they are shut out of the process once the election is over, no matter the colour of the old line parties in power.
My promise to you is to include you and your community leaders in the process of your own governance.
· I promise to let you know what is happening at Parliament Hill while you can still have a say.
· I promise to invite community leaders and concerned citizens to provide input and I promise to work diligently to arrive at consensus before I would cast a vote on behalf of this riding.
· I promise that the first Green MPs will be backed by legions of experts from all political backgrounds and perspectives in each area of governance to help provide background information so that informed and educated decisions can be made.
· I promise to take a proactive approach and always encourage consideration of both the short term and long term consequences of decisions that have a tremendous effect on our everyday lives.
I believe that the resources are available in this country, both material and human, to hold the line with reasonable taxation and to deliver the social services that the public needs without running deficits. But in order to do that, we have to put people back in charge of their own government and tell the backrooms of the old line parties, who direct how their MPs act, that their time is over.
With your authority, as the only experienced entrepreneur in your four choices, I would be singularly qualified to make the local economy the main priority. All of the tens of billions in stimulus spending over the last couple of years created a lot of temporary public service jobs in this region. That local stimulation will soon run out and the true economic situation of the area will be revealed. We will start to see how big the size of the hole Nortel left here really is. There are some bright spots in the high tech sector that have filled some of the void but clearly, if we do not attract a significant anchor to the region, we will continue to see a bleed of good talent to other countries and to other regions of this country.
I am proud to carry the Green banner that cares so deeply about the importance of delivering reliable services such as Health Care and Education and has many policies for making sure that we leave nobody behind. This includes finding the abilities for those with a disability, prioritizing ways to offer at-risk youth a clear path towards productivity and providing them with hope before they succumb to other choices. Again, it is of critical importance that those that face these issues on a daily basis are included in their own democracy and this is what I commit to you.
Voters have been accustomed to being on the outside of their governance as their vote is just about their last chance to say anything. All three of the old line parties have a game and a dance they do at Parliament Hill and they all know the steps. It is a game that we are all spectators for, but with the magnitude of the of the challenges ahead we can no longer accept exclusion of the public as the norm at Parliament Hill.
If you are reading this, I know that you do not want to be apathetic. Voting Liberal is no way to stop the process of government taking citizens for granted. Those organizations that have said vote Liberal to try to hurt John Baird have not knocked on the thousands of doors that I have in this riding. They don’t realize how many people will never vote Liberal again. They don’t realize how many people that vote for John Baird are merely doing so to stop the Liberals. Unfortunately, there are those that these Liberals-at-heart will convince to drop their first choice, and to vote for a party they don’t believe in just because apparently others have agreed to do this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I am extremely appreciative of the opportunity to have met so many knowledgeable and hopeful citizens in this campaign. Regardless of the results on May 2nd, I will continue to do everything that I can to improve our democracy but I will be much more effective at it with your vote.
For me, democracy happens every day. I invite you to make a statement that by voting for me, you want the opportunity to be included when important bills and regulations are being debated at Parliament Hill. I invite you to vote with hope.
OTTAWA -"Thousands of Ottawa West-Nepean former Nortel employees must be amazed at how little attention is paid to their plight in this election", said Green candidate for Ottawa West-Nepean, Mark MacKenzie.
Nortel's disintegration occurred mostly on the Conservatives' watch, but MacKenzie noted the Liberals are also liabel because they held the riding when the descent started.
"The pensioners never expected in their wildest nightmares they would be sitting there with cap in hand asking for public assistance," MacKenzie said. "It might be commonplace for the auto industry. But the proud engineers, managers and other staff of Nortel are disillusioned with the archaic system led by the Conservatives and Liberals that let them down."
Conservative candidate John Baird previously blamed the Liberals for never having raised Nortel during Question Period, he added, as if two wrongs make a right.
The Green Party has elected officials around the world, at all levels of government. MacKenzie insists electing him one of Canada's first Green MPs would ensure local jobs become be the riding's top priority.
"If I'm elected, you would not see Ottawa West-Nepean issues trampled by the backroom pollsters and strategists in the Liberal and Conservative parties," MacKenzie said. "Career politicians are experts at political games. I'm a career business owner, experienced and passionate about creating and re-creating jobs in this riding."
The Conservatives found billions of dollars to bail out the auto industry; it saved Potash Corporation; yet did not step in for Nortel while there was plenty of equity still in the company, despite Baird being highly placed in Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government, he added.
MacKenzie, who owns multiple businesses, said he would partner with local businesses and other levels of government to find the best anchor out there for Ottawa's high tech sector.
"My riding would be my caucus."
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Ottawa- Apr 22 – Green Party candidates from the Greater Ottawa area got together yesterday to celebrate their first ever mass media advertising campaign in Ottawa. Promoting the Green Party’s three campaign pillars in this election of Smart Economy, Strong Communities and True Democracy, the transit ads direct voters to a website (www.ottawaregiongreens.ca) where voters can find and meet the Green Party candidate in their riding.
Public transit is a key component in building strong, sustainable communities. By advertising with OC Transpo, Jean-Luc Cooke, Green Party candidate in Nepean-Carleton says “we are demonstrating our commitment to voters in Ottawa to improve their everyday life, whether it be through enhanced methods of transportation, reductions in pollution and greenhouse gases or by creating new jobs in the burgeoning green economy.”
“As candidates we recognize, when our leader is barred from the national leaders debates and our opponents avoid debating us in public, we need to do something different in order to reach our supporters”, says Mark MacKenzie, Green Party candidate in Ottawa West-Nepean.
“70% of voters 40 years old or younger believe the environment is the number one issue facing Canadians”, says Jen Hunter, Green Party candidate in Ottawa Centre. “Its important that these voters hear from us because only the Green Party is fighting for their future.”
This is the first time Green Party candidates have pooled their resources to run a mass media campaign, says James O’Grady, Communications Manager for the Ottawa Region Greens. In a fragmented advertising market it is difficult to reach voters, especially young people. “Transit is the perfect medium for the Green Party because it reaches the Green Party’s target audience on both a demographic and psychographic level.”
The Green Party’s public transit ad campaign in Ottawa is running city wide over the final three weeks of the election campaign. With 2.6 Million impressions, it will reach 55% of Ottawa voters, 6.3 times.
Mark MacKenzie and other Green Party Candidates join with with youth and Young Greens to draw a chalk line from Algonquin College pointing the way to the advance polls.