Image via WikipediaMany voters are loyal party followers who vote for the same party over and over regardless of the candidate or platform of their party. Some believe that jobs take precedence regardless of the impacts on communities, the risks and the effects on future generations. But others place more value on the character of a candidate, the philosophy of their party, and the future impacts of the actions they pursue.
We asked all candidates running in New Brunswick Southwest to respond to 3 simple but profoundly important questions and have reported their responses on this blog, Facebook, and Twitter. The responses broke the questions out further to the issue of legislation to protect Head Harbour Passage.
Briefly the questions were:
1. Will you move to decommission Point Lepreau?
2a. Will you continue the current stance and ban LNG tankers from Head Harbour Passage?
2b. Will you pass legislation to preclude the passage of certain ships and dangerous cargoes through Head Harbour Passage?
3. Will you pass legislation to protect important areas like Quoddy/West Isles for future generations?
Several profound and important questions for sure and the answers tell us much about the candidates and their loyalties.
All candidates except Conservative John Williamson responded.
DECOMMISSIONING OF POINT LEPREAU
If you are concerned about the local, regional, and world impacts of nuclear power, only NDP and GREEN party candidates will move to decommission Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. The CHRISTIAN HERITAGE PARTY candidate would decommission but consult first. Both candidates from LIBERALS and CONSERVATIVES will continue with the present policy but tried to balance this position by backing alternate energy developments.
BANNING LNG TANKERS FROM HEAD HARBOUR PASSAGE
All candidates agreed to continue the federal stance. It appears that the current position will be maintained by whichever party wins the election and, presumably, that party will have the support of the other parties in the House on this issue. Consequently, this is a non-issue.
PASSING LEGISLATION FOR FUTURE PROTECTION OF HEAD HARBOUR PASSAGE
Only the GREENS and CHP have clearly stated that protective legislation will be enacted. The NDP response was unclear. The LIBERALS will examine future challenges on a case-by-case basis. The CONSERVATIVES did not respond and have not during their time in office. Nor did the Liberals in their time in office before them.
CREATING A MARINE PROTECTED AREA OR MANAGEMENT ZONE TO PROTECT THE RESOURCES OF THE QUODDY REGION.
Only the GREENS have clearly stated that they will pursue protection of the Quoddy area as well as the important outer Bay of Fundy ecosystem. The NDP and CHP responses was unclear.The LIBERALS did not respond to this question. The CONSERVATIVES did not cover this issue in published materials, but they have made no moves in this direction during their terms in office, even though major initiatives have been made to move forward with an MPA or Management Zone.
WHO DO YOU VOTE FOR?
Well it seems clear and there are no surprises here really ...
If you wish to protect the area for the future, only the GREEN PARTY candidate Janice Harvey has made clear statements in this regard on all questions while NDP candidate Andrew Graham, and Christian Heritage Party candidate Jason Farris made clear statements on some of the issues.
If you want to maintain the status quo then choose between the LIBERALS and CONSERVATIVES.
You can review the candidate responses at the following links and presented in the order received.
ANDREW GRAHAM, NDP: http://fundytides.blogspot.com/2011/04/politics-straight-answer-from-ndp-on.html
JANICE HARVEY, Green Party: http://fundytides.blogspot.com/2011/04/politics-straight-answers-from-greens.html
JASON FARRIS, CHP: http://fundytides.blogspot.com/2011/04/politics-answers-on-lng-and-nuclear-in.html
KELLY WILSON, Liberal: http://fundytides.blogspot.com/2011/04/election-nb-southwest-liberal-candidate.html
JOHN WILLIAMSON, Conservative: Did not respond.