Thursday, January 19, 2006

Martin Calling on Green Vote?

Is someone now even worried about the Green movement?

And so he should be! Mr. Martin is beggin' to the Greens for their vote, eh? Usin' the same move as last time, eh? Well, Well Mr. Martin, I guess you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Well, Mr. Martin (if that is your real name) I got something to tell you; things are gonna be different this time. The people will not fall into your trap this time Mr. Martin. Oh no. We, the people, will not be fear mongered into voting AGAINST a party. We will go with our hearts and vote FOR a party. Thanks for the offer Mr. Martin, but I'm comfortable bein' Green. After all, Green means go and we all know what Red means, besides an irritated rash... which, when you think about it, is sorta like what the Liberals are.

I kid, I kid.

So, who doesn't have a clue what I'm talking about? Let's start at the begininng with this article...

Martin: 'We are the only people who can stop Stephen Harper.

PM says Tory leader not to be trusted to maintain programs in region

By Carl Davies

Paul Martin says voting Liberal is the only way to save New Brunswick from Stephen Harper, who has made so many promises during this campaign he would have to cut programs that directly benefit the province.

In an interview with the Telegraph-Journal Wednesday, Mr. Martin, who is trailing in the polls and in real danger of losing his job as prime minister, played the strategic voting card, urging anyone who opposes the Conservatives to vote Liberal this coming Monday, Jan. 23.

Speaking via phone from his campaign bus somewhere between Milton, Ont. and Toronto early Wednesday evening, Mr. Martin said that two-thirds of Canadians don't want Mr. Harper to lead the country and that there was only one way to avoid that.

"Most Canadians oppose his views," Mr. Martin said.

"The problem is that that two-thirds is of course divided, mostly with us, but there are also NDP supporters, there are Progressive Conservatives, there are the Green Party.

"My message very clearly is this is the time now when all progressive voters have got to come behind us.

"We are the only people who can stop Stephen Harper."

It's the same message that the Liberals used to great effect in 2004, when they were able to turn enough voters against Mr. Harper in the waning days of the campaign to win sufficient seats to form a minority government.

"Now is the time when all of the progressive voters in the country have really got to come together and say 'look, we're going to vote for someone whose values we share.' " Mr. Martin continued.

"The fact is, if he ever became prime minister, and he then cut ACOA, Jack Layton's not going to be able to stop him.

"If he decides he's going to cut the child-care program or he's going to cut infrastructure spending in Atlantic Canada, Jack Layton's not going to be able to stop him."

On the campaign trail, Mr. Harper pledged to maintain current funding levels for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the federal economic development agency for the region.

Mr. Martin said that given the number of Conservative promises made during this campaign, coupled with their cost, New Brunswickers should fear what might happen to ACOA under Mr. Harper.

"Mr. Harper, when he came out with the costing for his financial projections suddenly had to admit that he'd made 196 promises and he's $22 billion short in having the money to fund them and that he was going to have to find that money," Mr. Martin said.

"That means cuts, but he won't tell us what he's going to cut."

Mr. Martin, who had to make some painful cuts of his own when he was trying to bring the country's deficit under control as finance minister in Jean Chr├ętien's government, said such cuts would be painful.

"You can imagine what he's going to have to do to find that $22 billion," Mr. Martin added.

"I mean that's huge. I've got to tell you I've been there. I understand how difficult that can be."

The Liberal leader said he finds Mr. Harper's comments about ACOA on the campaign trail curious given past comments from the Conservative leader.

"He has spoken viciously against ACOA. He has spoken viciously against regional development.

Click to zoom (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press)
Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper greets enthusiastic supporters at a campaign rally in Montreal Wednesday.
"If in the middle of an election campaign all of a sudden he's had a change of heart,(that) may well be, but I go back, he's got to find $22 billion."

Mr. Martin said there's not much in the Conservative platform for the region.

"Most of the promises for which that money is going to be used is not going to be spent in Atlantic Canada," Mr. Martin predicted.

"He's got a very different vision of the role of government. He basically thinks government should stand back. Well that's not how we built Atlantic Canada or how we built the country."

Mr. Martin also said that Liberal programs such as the national child-care plan he announced in Saint John at the beginning of the campaign, would be history under Mr. Harper.

"He's essentially said that he's going to cut all of the new social programs which we've brought in."

The Conservative alternative to the Liberal child-care plan would see the government pay parents $100 a month for each child under the age of six.

Early in the campaign Premier Bernard Lord, who has campaigned with Mr. Harper, outlined a $1.875-billion federal-provincial development plan for the province, the majority of which would be financed by the federal government.

Fredericton MP Andy Scott said at the time that beyond existing child-care and gas tax deals, the Liberals were committed to $200 million for various projects in New Brunswick.

Mr. Martin said he'll consider the province's proposal after the election.

"We're prepared to sit down and talk to the province," he said.

"We can't make big announcements in the middle of an election campaign."

The Liberal leader is scheduled to make one final stop in New Brunswick Friday night, but says there will be no last minute promises to woo voters.

The speculation has already begun about who might succeed Mr. Martin if he loses Monday.

Former New Brunswick premier and current Ambassador to the U.S. for Canada Frank McKenna's name is prominent in those discussions.

Mr. Martin thinks Mr. McKenna is worthy of such talk, but he says all the speculation is premature.

"I certainly do not believe that Frank McKenna's role in public life is over. I think that he's got a great opportunity," Mr. Martin said before quickly adding, "I'm going to be around for quite a while."

He said he's not even thinking about losing.

"The only thing I've thought about is, we're going to have a cabinet meeting because we're going to win."

So, I was only told about the actual interview and I'm not exactly sure how much he talked about our Party but, just the mention is enough to push people into our hands. And Jim responded to it perfectly I believe.

Green Party reacts to Martin’s last play
Media Releases

"Mr. Martin likes to trot out the 'values' card during elections and then quickly return it to the barn once the polls have closed."

(Brantford, Thursday, 19 January 2006) – Liberal leader Paul Martin overlooked one important fact when he offered up his ‘Hail Mary’ appeal to Green Party voters yesterday, said Green Party leader Jim Harris, ''Mr.Martin forgot the ‘fundamental differences’ that exist between our two parties.''

''Green Party voters support Kyoto not just in word, but in deed. Green Party voters believe in universal public health care for all Canadians, including Jack Layton and Paul Martin. And Green Party voters believe that the environment is a commitment, not a campaign ad,'' said Harris.

Harris noted that only a few months ago, Mr. Martin observed that ''the gap between the rich and the poor is not narrowing, it’s getting worse. The environmental problems we face in the world are getting worse. The conflicts that are taking place in the poorest parts of the world are getting worse. And children are being born into abject poverty in a world of huge wealth.''

''And Green Party voters believe Mr. Martin’s observations were right. It’s why they have chosen to vote for the Green Party in this election,'' said Harris. "Mr. Martin likes to trot out the ‘values’ card during elections and then quickly return it to the barn once the polls have closed.''

''But the Green Party believes that values are something you practice, not something you leverage for campaign ads.''

- 30 -

For more information:

Derek Pinto, David Kay
Media Relations Officers, Leader's Tour

*A La Mr. Burns*; "Excellent".

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Blue Cross of California said...

Universal health care would be great as we are in a major health care crisis.

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