Cameron Wigmore, Green Party Member: Camerons speech - candidate's forum, '06 election

April 28, 2006

Camerons speech - candidate's forum, '06 election

This was my speech from an all candidate's forum during 05-06 federal election. I wrote this with my wife. We had fun putting this together.

Hi. My name is Cameron Wigmore. I'm an ordinary guy with extraordinary goals. I want to tell you about why I'm running for the Green Party, and about our platform.

My wife and I have resided in Drumheller for over five years, and have a two year old son. Even with family support, a small business of our own, and two jobs, we still struggle to make ends meet. As a professional saxophonist I play in a local rhythm & blues band with farmers, teachers, and business professionals. I know first hand the difficulties we all face, and I'm confident that working together we can solve the problems that have been ignored and uncorrected by the old line parties.

I'm tenacious, aggressive but patient, dedicated, and I'm not afraid to stand up for what we believe in; what my voters, family and friends believe in.

In my life I live by principles that are very important to me. They include tolerance, open-mindedness, patience, and hope. I've found that if something doesn't fit with these principles, it's probably not worth doing.

I'm part of a generation that is disillusioned with the current state of politics. Many of us believe that our opinions are not being recognized or acted upon by the old-line parties in government, and this is the case not only for my generation but also for millions of Canadians, regardless of their age, race, religion, wealth or health. We realize that the old way of thinking no longer works. Albert Einstein once said, “The world will not evolve past its current state of crisis by using the same thinking that created the situation.”

Through our grassroots movement we are sharing our message of hope for our Country. Our platform and policies cover all issues, and more Canadians every day are hearing about the solutions that the Green Party offers. The Green Party's unique approach draws votes from across the political spectrum.

In the 2004 election we defied expectations by fielding a full slate of candidates, ensuring that every Canadian had an opportunity to cast a vote for fiscal responsibility, grassroots democracy and ecological sustainability. And a record number of Canadians, almost 600,000 joined with us in that vision.

The following is what the Green Party has to offer Canadians.

We are built on tried, tested and proven concepts. The old style paradigm of Right vs Left is irrelevant if we cant breathe the air or drink the water. Our platform pulls together the best ideas from all parties and creates a coherent strategy to address the needs of Canadians today.

We're fiscally conservative. We are prudent, and we are sound financial managers. We don't like to waste money. We want to address Canada's fiscal imbalance.

The Green Party is both idealistic and realistic; we know that to achieve our goals which include ecological sustainability, long-term well-being & democratic reform, we need to work with small & big businesses for a positive outcome.

We are socially responsible and inclusive. That means: health, not just health care. You can't have healthy people on a sick planet.

We have a strong vision for a sustainable society, one that respects all citizens and the natural environment that sustains us. We promote energy conservation, and the conservation of wildlife, habitats, and natural ecosystems.

We want to allow the farm family a fair share of the consumer dollar, in part through restructuring our agricultural markets.

I don't think the current government can tell the difference between a hunting rifle and a semi-automatic hand gun. The Green Party will eliminate registration fees for firearms designed for hunting, and decriminalize non-compliance with the registry. We'll upgrade penalties for those convicted of a crime involving a firearm, and strengthen measures to combat gun smuggling and the possession of banned weapons.

We are conservationists and trusted guardians of Canada’s natural wealth. Poor management of ecosystems has resulted in the loss of species and jobs. We can help strengthen our economy by conserving our ecology.

Education. It's not an expense – it's an investment. The Green Party recognizes the need to freeze and subsequently reduce tuition fees across the country.

The Green Party supports proportional representation, allowing the 600,000 Canadians who voted Green to have representation in parliament.

Preston Manning, David Suzuki, Mel Hurtig, Mark Tewksbury, Lloyd Axworthy & Farley Mowat are among the over 50,000 Canadians who've signed a petition expressing their dismay that the Green Party has not been included in the leaders debates.

A broadcast consortium of 5 unelected, unaccountable executives can't dictate to Canadians what our democracy will look like or sound like - any more than Canadians would be willing to have the 5 big banks run our elections.

The Green Party of Canada is running 4 times as many candidates as the Bloc, which is included in the debate.

The point is that everybody should have an opportunity to hear from a party that 600,000 Canadians already vote for.

I think Ghandi said it best; "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

I feel blessed to have this opportunity to represent your thoughts and concerns.

Thank you.

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