The Canadian stereotype of politeness is often dismissed by some and certainly there is no shortage of examples to prove otherwise, but I think that Maritimers may be particularly polite, if not downright friendly, as a default. With the provincial election called here on PEI this week, it reminds me that sometimes folks find it hard to strike a balance between polite and assertive when party candidates show up at their door.
I've only ever had one politician come to our house and it was years ago, when nitrate levels were the topic du jour, particularly in our potato belt district. This particular politician tried to convince me that what had been overlooked in all the hullabaloo about fertilizers, was graveyards and the amount of nitrates coming from decaying bodies. Needless to say he did not get my vote and he remains a household joke to this day.
Mark's family are not overtly political, unlike my roots. So I expected to have more politicians arrive through the years, vying for my/our affection. Then I made the move of outwardly supporting one party, which likely quashed any chances for candidate visits. *sigh*
But this year! This year, I'm a clean slate, a truly undecided voter. I'm certainly leaning but its not definitive like other years, so I'm hopeful for a door knock and an opportunity to be swayed. To prepare, I've made myself a list of topics from which I'd like to hear candidates' thoughts and figured maybe other polite Islanders might find useful as a reference.
- If you could pick two main priorities for yourself as a candidate and also for your party as a whole, what do you think they would be?
- How do you spend your leisure time?
- If you had a significant surplus, can you think of a better way to spend it than to give everyone making less than $100,000, a $500 bonus at tax time? (hint, the answer should be yes)
- Deforestation is a major concern of mine and there seems to be very little willingness to wade into the topic by government. What do you think should be done to address deforestation in the province? What can be done to encourage diverse plantings of native species on available land? Are you aware of the impacts of deforestation on a region and the greater community?
- Just what the heck is going on with the GEBIS and the land down in Kings County anyway? The whole thing is shady and I want to know what your party has planned to address the issue of land limits and those who are skirting them with loopholes. This includes the Irvings. If your party is elected, how would you address conflicts of interest in land sales when currently final approval comes from Executive Council?
- On a related topic, how do you feel about the water use legislation and the permitting process for new irrigation wells? What is your party planning for water conservation going forward? Does your party have anything in the platform regarding water use in this province?
- What's your take on the rent control situation here on PEI? Has it been fair to both renters and landlords do you think? How could we do better?
- This one is particularly for the incumbent candidate but regarding health care, it was nice to see some ideas and plans in the platform but why were these held off until an election? They seem like ideas that should have been implemented a year ago when it became clear that we were headed for disaster. Why wait until now and why should I believe that you'll implement anything now and not just decide to wait until the next time you need votes?
- And if it's an opposition candidate, what are you most proud of from your party in the last term?