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02.01.2006 Diaspora News

Ghanaian Canadians are encouraged to vote ....

By Ghanaian News Canada
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during the winter Election in Canada

Winter election looms big on Canada come January 23, 2006. Just 18 months into the office of Paul Martin's Liberal minority government opposition parties at Parliament Hill brought their axes together to fell Martin's government. The opposition parties comprising the Conservatives, the New Democrats and the Bloc Quebecois moved and voted a non-confidence resolution against the Liberal minority government in November, thus forcing a winter election on Canadians.

This was in contrast to Martin's promise to call an election 30 days after Mr. Justice John Gomery issues his final report on the sponsorship scandal on February 1. And Canadians would be going to the polls in April-spring time!

Though many Canadians are justly angry with Martin's Liberals over the sponsorship scandal, most cringe at the winter election. Weather prediction for the January election day is frightening! It will be cold as 31 degrees C. Maybe the weather cannot turn away serious voters. The Ghanaian News entreats all eligible voters, especially Ghanaian Canadians to exercise their franchise on that day.

The Christmas campaign has begun with the political giants making their shots. The campaign rhetorics are as usual. Promises upon promises! However, we at the Ghanaian News see the issues involved as going beyond slogans such as "moral authority to govern", "to get things done for people" or "standing up for Canada."

We are of the opinion that voters must critically scrutinize party manifestos, which lay good policies to improve education and health care as well as creating more jobs for the people, especially the marginalized.

The tax cuts are good. But we don't want the "robbing Peter to pay Paul business" that some politicians do.

Prime Minister Paul Martin of the Liberals is fighting for re-election while Stephen Harper of the Conservatives, Jack Layton of the New Democrats and Gilles Duceppe of the Bloc Quebecois are also seeking to unseat him.

The Liberals say that if re-elected, they would invest an extra $9.2 billion over six years to make post-secondary education more accessible to students from low-income families and among others help new immigrants make a speedy transition into the Canadian labour force.

Martin has already taken care of the health-care file with his $41 billion deal earlier with the provinces. All these seem very challenging to his opponents who are harping on the sponsorship scandal that has rocked the Liberal party.

Are there any better alternatives? Whose economic and social policies will move Canada forward and bring better living conditions to ALL Canadians? The answers to these questions are what all the "forced" holiday season election is about. Ghanaian Canadians vote wisely, Happy New Year.

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