Lambton-Kent Middlesex candidates talk trust



Bev Shipley

Issues of trust in politics lie with individuals, not the system, said Lambton Kent Middlesex incumbent Bev Shipley.

“The very first piece of information we study is the Accountability Act,” he said. “It’s important that we live up to it and when someone doesn’t they need to pay the consequences.”

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Shipley said the fact that anyone in elected office faces constant scrutiny is a difficult part of the job.

“Everything we do is in the public eye,” he said. “Unfortunately, when someone makes a mistake it’s played out publicly and we can get lumped together in the public’s mind.”

While “I’m not defending anyone’s wrong actions” Shipley said there is very little room for errors.

“Without being specific, people do make mistakes but there seems to be a rush to judgment that there must be something sinister going on,” he said. “If anything, I wish we could wait until all information is available and then form our opinions.”

Jim Johnston

The role of Canadians in the governing process needs to change, according to Lambton-Kent-Middlesex Green Party candidate Jim Johnston.

“We’re operating in the dark ages where we cast a vote and then ignore the system until the next election. We have the ability to get public opinion, real public opinion, on almost any issue rather quickly. We can hold referendums, binding or not and take a more active role in government.”

Johnston said technology has reduced political interest to the level of a “sound bite.”

If that’s all you get out of a campaign, it has the impact of reducing the substance of our political involvement and lowering our expectations. We need more logic and less emotion. We can’t continue to vote for some party because our grandfathers did. It’s far too important for that.”

Johnston said his party believes in proportional representation. “We have a system now where if your candidate doesn’t win, you feel your vote was wasted. With a weighted ballot system, you have more of a chance to elect someone who shares the majority of views as opposed to someone who just got the biggest slice of a minority.”

Rex Isaac

Senior governments lack the courage to reign in those who abuse their power, says Lambton-Kent Middlesex NDP candidate Rex Isaac.

“We have scandals where people in the federal government have misused public funds and yet the first reaction is to try and hide it from the public,” he said. “There is no reason for the Senate scandal to have gone on so long.”

Isaac said those in power forget their allegiance is to the public and not their political masters.

“Each person’s ethics are their own but when something isn’t right, those in power need to bring it to light and deal with it. Not doing so is as bad as the ethical issue that started the whole thing.”

He said the public is left questioning the entire political system that leads to apathy and greater corruption.

“Those responsible need to place the Canadian people ahead of their own power agendas,” he said.

Ken Filson

The Canadian people have become jaded with politics as usual and are expecting more from their leaders, says Lambton-Kent-Middlesex Liberal Candidate Ken Filson.

“We’ve watched as the Harper government tries to cover up its many scandals but it’s clear that’s all they’re trying to do,” he said. “There’s no remorse for their actions, only concern because they’ve been caught.”

He said the Senate scandal would help bring down the government.

“Remember, Richard Nixon wasn’t forced to resign because of the Watergate break-in but because of the cover up,” he said. “We’re seeing the same thing as Harper changes his story to fit whatever he thinks he needs politically.”

From the treatment of veterans, to the reductions in environmental regulations to the muzzling of science, Filson said the Harper government has a shameful record of accountability.

“Unlike Stephen Harper, we’re in favour of a Canada with traditional values of generosity, inclusiveness and care for each other regardless of their station in life. It’s time to take our country back.”





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