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26.06.2004 Diaspora (Canada)

EDITORIAL: Canada votes June 28 -Your vote is your voice

By Ghanaian News Canada
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As the campaign by the major political leaders reaches a 'crescendo' with their party's manifestos, there are high sounding promises and rhetoric, which Canadians need to critically ponder over them and judge their authenticities. Some of the promises are just 'buns' high up the shelves that are unreachable and unattainable. Simply put, many of the politicians know darn well that they have absolutely no intention of keeping the endless promises they keep making on the campaign trail.

For us as a community, this election poses a very complex dilemma in which the stakes too are very high. Of all the elections that we have endured, participated in or watched from the sidelines over the past twenty year in this country, this one coming up on June 28 is the most crucial. We are faced with choices that are very difficult and yet necessary to make. Apart from very few fine and credible candidates in the New Democratic Party (NDP), whom we will encourage our community members to give them a chance if they live in their ridings, we are confronted with a choice of voting for the two parties that have the greatest potential of forming a government: the (Progressive- Reform- Alliance) Conservatives and the Liberal Party.

We can at least give credit to the old Progressive Conservative Party for facilitating the migration to this country of most of our community members in the late 80s and early 1990s. Beyond that the party has never really cared about our settlement and integration needs and progress in this country. Their record of continuously marginalizing minorities has been clear over the years. Top that with the often blatantly racist anti-immigrant stance of their new bed-fellows represented by the Preston Mannings, the Stockwell Days and the Stephen Harpers of this world and we have a problem on our hands should they get elected. Their rhetoric and campaign messages are confusing and sometimes expose some hidden schemes under their sleeves.

Coming to the Liberal Party, which has been the party of choice of immigrant communities, the story and picture, while not very scary, provides not too much good news to write home about. The Liberals usually take the immigrant vote for granted and therefore not do much for us whenever they are in power. This scenario therefore places us in a dilemma: Which way should our votes go? Should we go with the Conservatives whose agenda we don't really know but who have given us cause through their backgrounds and history to distrust them? Or do we stay with the Liberals who haven't done much for us but are the lesser of the two evils?

We are at crossroads but we need to take a turn one way or the other. We have an advantage though in our numbers and we should therefore strive to make a difference. May be a very strong showing on election day from our various communities across the country will make whoever wins sit up and count us in this time around. The danger in this exercise will be apathy. The Ghanaian News therefore strongly entreats our community members NOT to sit on the fence. We can make a difference with our votes. And we must therefore stand up and be counted. All told we at The Ghanaian News believe that a Liberal government may serve our interest better than the freshly-minted-neo Conservative-Reform Alliance Party. Let us give them the support and hold their feet to the fire after June 28.