Ok, I’m biased but I believe Paul
For most of the campaign the Paul Martin that I liked has been missing. In rallies he seemed agitated and even grumpy. In the debate he seemed defensive at times. He didn’t answer all questions in a straight forward manner. Tonight on CBC I saw the Paul Martin I’ve missed. He answered the questions well, even the tough ones. Many of the ones he didn’t answer well in the debate. He really showed the depth and the breadth of his knowledge.
Essentially this election is about trust. A lot of people assume that because Paul Martin was finance minister he must have known that people were stealing from the government. I don’t buy that. The government is huge, and the most common way for people to ensure you get value for money is a receipt. So if corrupt officials are cooperating with corrupt companies it would be very difficult for people that look at budget lines to know if the money is being spent appropriately. If Paul Martin could be implicated why would he launch a judicial inquiry with the widest scope possible to find out who was involved? Why would he even admit there was a problem? A corrupt politician would have swept this under the rug, but Paul Martin didn’t.
That doesn’t mean Martin shouldn’t take responsibility for this. I believe he has. He has already implemented measures that will have someone in each department looking over each line of spending holding the departments to account. Chretien already changed campaign finance rules so that corporations can’t win favour with big donations. The Conservative plan to clean up government is to give more money to the auditor general, who in my opinion has done her job really well. They also want the ethics counselor appointed by parliament. I’m not sure how either of these things would improve the situation or more importantly prevent the problem from happening again.
Who are we going to trust with our country? The Liberal record is spotty on promises, but in the end they have managed the country very well. In the big picture, in the way they handle the things that impact our lives they have made good choices even when they were difficult, even when they are unpopular. In all my conversations with people I’ve yet to have someone give me a compelling reason to vote Conservative. I’ve heard compelling reasons to vote against the Liberals. I just don’t see a lot of Canadians clamouring for another deep tax cut and increased military spending. These are not the things I care about.