I am writing in response to the editorial titled “Stronach a contender, barely” (Feb 6, 2004). As the first paragraph unfolded in your editorial it became apparent where your bias may lie concerning Belinda Stronach. An editorial is an opinion, of course, but it does not excuse being misinformed.
Your editorial labels Stronach as weak on policy initiatives. This assertion couldn’t be further from the truth. As a new face in Canadian politics, her opinions and stances on policies have been questioned (and answered) the moment that she announced. Where Stronach takes an unambiguous stance on an issue (more funding and equipment for Canada’s military), Paul Martin says that he’s “reviewing” it. Concerning the military, Paul Martin need not look further than a study by Queen’s own Douglas Bland to understand that at current levels of Liberal funding “The air force will likely disappear through (the) 2008-2013 time frame and either the army or navy will disappear in the same time frame.” The report goes on to state that under the Liberal government’s lack of funding, “Canada cannot help but become the first modern and major power to disarm itself.” Further, Stronach has also made her stance known on issues such as gay marriage and marijuana, two of Jean Chrétien’s policy initiatives that Paul Martin has recently put on the back-burner. Stronach also seeks to rectify the inequity between federal and provincial healthcare spending. The federal/provincial levels of funding used to be 50-50. Yet, Paul Martin, as finance minister reduced the federal input to healthcare to a mere 16 cents on the dollar.
Under guise, you point out that Stronach detractors dismiss her as “daddy’s little girl”. Consider that Paul Martin’s father gave him the connections at Power Corp which eventually netted him co-ownership of CSL. Paul Martin’s father was also a long-time senior member of the Liberal Party. Even Jack Layton cannot escape being a product of his father’s political connections and pampered upbringing; Mr. Layton’s father was a Conservative cabinet minister in Brian Mulroney’s government.
Belinda Stronach provides a viable alternative to professional politicians who breed apathy in the Canadian voter. She has also fostered initiatives in getting youth/students involved in politics. We should all judge Belinda Stronach based on her policies (which are all listed on her website, Belinda.ca) and consider her as a strong contender for leadership. Indeed, one only has to consult the latest polls to confirm this.
Stephen Taylor, Arts ’03