Thursday, November 22, 2007

Liberals and Conservatives on getting things done for Mississauga citizens

Mississauga South Liberal Paul Szabo has been named the hardest-working MP in Ottawa for the second consecutive year.

Pat Martin can childishly name-call and disrupt the Parliamentary process all he wants, but Paul Szabo, my member back home, is very effective for the people of Mississauga South.

The Conservatives:

Finance Minister Jim Flaherty said the 86-year-old mayor of Mississauga should shut up and stop whining about her city's infrastructure problems and get to work fixing them.

It is fairly rich for the former Minister of Downloading and Locking up the Homeless, whose most high profile actions as Finance Minister federally have been a broken promise on income trusts, and a GST cut the vast majority of economists have been critical of, to speak so ill of the Mayor whose city has become associated with successful urban growth, balanced budgets, and lack of debt. While a general urban bashing makes sense from a Conservative stand point (they won't win any seats in the major urban core areas, and bashing big cities and big city values plays well in rural areas and among SoCons, the Conservatives bedrock supporters) the sheer hostility towards much of the suburban areas, and Mississauga in particularly I can't understand.

If the Conservatives wish to win a majority, Mississauga is an area in which they will need to make gains. On the Mississauga South Federal Conservative webpage, one of the lines they have states "Who will represent Mississauga South in a Conservative majority government?" The line is more than just filler, it has real substance. Mississauga South is among the top targets for the Conservatives, missing it by less than 5% in the last election, and if any real Conservative beachhead will be established in the GTA, it will be on the banks of the Credit River.

It isn't as if Mississauga is downtown Toronto, beyond the South, the Conservatives even have an incumbent in the city in Mississauga-Streetsville (albeit via a floor crossing), and have a realistic shot at Mississauga-Erindale, meaning that in the best of times, they could control half the city riding's, meaning Mississauga is not exactly an electoral wasteland.

The only possible explanation I can think of for the cold shoulder the Conservatives are showing towards Missers is they have figured that general urban bashing will secure more rural seats than developing actual urban policies would gain urban seats. Mississauga voters need to realize that Conservatives ultimately do not care of them, which is a real reflection that the Conservatives are willing to ignore and trash a city that ultimately represents so much of what is right with Canada; economically successful because of moderate and balanced approaches, wonderfully multicultural, and based around a successful federation.

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