Kudos to Edelweiss D'Andrea!
Well, it's been four days rather than four years, and I can already give you the good news I so desperately desired to deliver: The too-timid NDP candidate from the all-candidates meeting made an appearance on a televised debate just this evening...and this time she has won my vote for "best showing". In the face of an overbearing Family Coalition Party candidate (Who, in retrospect, makes me think of an evil version of myself: loud, prone to interrupting and hogging the mic, but with a POLAR OPPOSITE IDEOLOGY) stood up for the right of a woman to a safe, affordable abortion! Further talkings-over were met with a stern "excuse me!", although not always to great effect. The reason that she outshone John Ford of the Green Party in my eyes is that he was a great deal more timid. Ford did manage to edge in a few excellent quips, but did not seem to take as much time to speak as he was due. Richard Raymond answered every question by explaining the evils of Dalton McGuinty as compared to the shining, nigh-saintly character of John Tory. Dalton himself was absent, which both the Tory-Avatar and Ford made note of. The FCP candidate was the real winner, talking over the others' answers, embarking on many a tirade against abortion. I was most disgusted with his blatant lies about the public school sexual education program, which he asserted was working under the assumption that schoolgirls would "get laid with every Tom, Dick, and Harry". FURTHERMORE, he argued that teens couldn't use condoms correctly or effectively. The same old lies that the abstinence advocates use, over and over again. Interestingly enough, he made a very David Warren-esque comment, the gist of which is that our secular society has been censoring more traditional views (in his case, "pro-life", in Warren's creationism).
Where was this guy when the separation of Church and State was established? It doesn't help his cause that his so-called "censorship" is a lie. In my Grade 12 Philosophy class, the most my teacher did was question students' assertions, which is what teachers are supposed to do: help a student strengthen their skills, and perhaps cause them to revisit that which they had previously taken for absolute truth. Clearly, it is not censorship, but free and rational inquiry that the FCP fears! Perhaps I am being unfair, but I will make my bias plain in recompense: Teaching creationism, or intelligent design, or pro-life viewpoints which are all Fundamentalist-Christian in origin should not happen in school. In the former two cases, it places UNSUBSTANTIATED BELIEF on par with a scientific theory, when in reality they aren't at all equal in acceptance or proof. In the second case, I think that schools should teach what is in the law, and not take a stance for or against. Teachers may have opinions, but those should only be presented in the context of rational debate. As John Ford said of religions schooling "They get enough [of it] on Saturday morning"
John Ford gets third place, because he allowed the FCP candidate to interrupt him on at least one occasion. He didn't fight hard enough for his say, as I saw it, when his say would have been vastly preferable to that of fully half of the candidates present. Also, he has increasingly followed the dark path that is circumlocution: several of the questions posed to him were not given terribly direct answers. This is not a good direction for the Green Party; although it is working hard to be recognized as a serious political party, that shouldn't mean adopting the worst customs of the established order. FCP gets a reluctant second because he staged an effective coup, and made a commendable effort to cleave the general ear with horrid speech (while preventing meaningful debate). BUT hateful philosophies spouted by hateful mouths are unworthy (to say the least!) of recommendation. Edelweiss D'Andrea, delivering solid answers and holding her ground won the Lioness' share of my respect. She could very well win my vote, although I'm very happy with the Green Party policies on education, taxation, and energy. If nothing else, this is why MMP appeals to me: it separates the candidates from the parties, thus permitting me to vote for both PEOPLE and POLICY separately. Alternatively, D'Andrea could join the Green Party. She talks about the environment more than enough as it is!
Anyhow, KUDOS on the much-improved performance; I now have an actual decision to make on the 10th!