CIPPIC replies: Ottawa South Progressive Canadian Party candidate

The following messages were received from Brad Thomson. The first is a response I received after asking about our questions, with the second message being an unsolicited message to me as an Ottawa South constituent. I am publishing these letters with permission.

Letter dated 15 Jun 2004

;:Russell,

;:I have had a look at all the material, but confess I don't know what the solutions might be to the problems presented. It is clear that we have some things to deal with, and we need those interested parties to explain themselves, both sides of the various arguments, in an effort to decide what is best.

;:Information sharing is vital in our world, but is music information?

;:I am sorry I cannot be more helpful, but I have never been one to voice an uneducated opinion. There is no question but that the issues you raise are very important, and that they need to be dealt with, quite probably by legislation. Canada may need some form of Commission to investigate these matters and then come up with solutions that balance the opposing sides.

;:Brad Thomson

Letter dated 12 Jun 2004:

;:Russell,

;:I was pleased to receive, via forwarding, you request to candidates regarding what they stand for.

;:It is clear that the internet is a fantastic tool for communication, information sharing and discussion of political, as well as all other topics of interest. Of particular importance, in my view, is this newfound ability to reach out to the young, disenchanted voters of today. Apathy is greatest among the younger generation, and we have a perfect way to attack that problem in our society. I would be very interested in hearing about your various ideas.

;:I am running as a progressive conservative. I say AS, and use small case letters, because my Party is registered with Elections Canada as the Progressive Canadian Party. This is because of what happened to the former Progressive Conservative Party last fall. You will recall that a merger took place between the Alliance and the PCs. It was in reality a hostile takeover perpetrated by our unfortunate Leader, Peter MacKay. At separate conventions in recent years, the Party had voted to not cooperate with the Reform-Alliance, and to run a full slate of candidates in all elections. When MacKay campaigned for the Leadership of our Party, a year ago, he stated clearly and often during the campaign that he would not seek to merge the Party with the Alliance. He also signed a written agreement to that effect with fellow candidate David Orchard, in return for Orchard's support on the final ballot. MacKay, as soon as he became Leader, began a series of secret negotiations with Stephen Harper which resulted in the tabling of a merger proposal last fall. In other words, MacKay broke his word. Further, it is clear that he never meant to keep his word in the first place. He certainly did not dare argue that he had changed his mind! In other words, Peter MacKay lied to us all. He then destroyed the Party.

;:Throughout the merger process, MacKay continually violated the constitution of the Progressive Conservative Party. He prevented the members from having their say through National Council (the body of all Riding Presidents), he hastily organized a virtual convention rather than a proper one, and what is most egregious, MacKay launched a membership drive of members of the Alliance Party whose sole purpose in joining the PCs was to vote them out of existence.

;:But thousands of true progressive conservatives fought against the merger, and I am one of them.

;:We applied to the Chief Electoral Officer to reregister the Party, but were denied on the grounds that there was already a Conservative Party. We were forced, therefore, to choose a different name.

;:Sixteen of us are running across Canada in an attempt to ensure that the Party is not lost forever. We are the Party that created Canada, and we are determined not to let one dishonest politician remove it from Canadians forever. We uphold the constitution of the former Progressive Conservative Party, and adhere to its philosophy of progressive social policy combined with compassionate, conservative fiscal policy. Our modest goal is to obtain 5% of the total votes cast in the ridings in which we run, in order to receive funding under the new financing act pertaining to political Parties.

;:On abortion I favour a woman's right to choose, but do not believe that such a choice can be made lightly. An abortion is always the taking of a life, and is therefore always a sad tragedy. I feel that our society needs to do all it can to reduce the numbers of abortions that take place. Greater educational programs are required, optional counseling service should be highly recommended, and all efforts toward adoption rather than abortion should be pursued. While I accept that in the final analysis we must allow a woman to choose, and provide for it under our universal health care program, I believe that we should have a theoretical goal of eliminating abortions, and a practical goal of reducing their numbers to the greatest extent possible.

;:On same-sex marriage/unions, there is no question but that same-sex couples are entitled to a legal agreement that carries with it precisely all of the rights and obligations of heterosexual marriage. But I have yet to be convinced by argument that the principle of the equality of all persons demands that same-sex unions be deemed marriages. In fact, the opposite might be the case. I would argue, and await for a proper rebuttal, that the principle of equality of all persons may well give each person the right to have a word, or name, that defines their specific form of union. Advocates of calling same-sex unions "marriage", might in my view, be inadvertently promoting the denial of heterosexuals their free and equal rights to choose to name their specific form of union. I would like to hear opinions on this from legal and constitution experts before finally committing myself on the issue of same-sex marriage. But again, same-sex couples are certainly entitled to the equivalent of marriage, at least.

;:On electoral reform, I believe that we as a nation must consider ways to improve our democracy. Proportional representation is an idea whose time has come. But what I want to hear from those proposing proportional representation are specific explanations of exactly what it is that they propose. It is all well and good to speak about the general principle philosophically, but we need more exact ideas. We need to know precisely what changes are being suggested. Then we as a nation can debate them and decide how to proceed. I am not in favour of fixed election dates. There are times when the nation must be consulted, and the Prime Minister must have the right and power to call an early election if necessary. I am not in favour of an elected Senate, as I believe it is a greater representation of the democratic will of the people to appoint the upper chamber. Parliament represents the immediate will of the people, but the Senate takes into account the will of the people as expressed over a greater period of time. This being said, I feel that we need to reconsider how it is that our Senators are chosen. Rather than the Prime Minister alone, perhaps parliament itself should have a say. And I do not believe that having been a great hockey player, or having spent ones political career in back rooms and offices, are sufficient qualifications. One would think that one minimum qualification would be having been elected to parliament.

;:I adamantly opposed the invasion of Iraq. I support the Kyoto accord. I support the Clarity Act. I am opposed to private for profit heath care. I do not favour cutting taxes at the expense of social services or going into debt. I am outraged at the cost of post high-school education. I favour the immediate decriminalization of marijuana possession in small amounts, and believe that we as a nation should seriously consider taking the recommendation of our Senate, which favours legalization. I feel that we must strongly promote bilingualism all across Canada, and do all we can to respect Quebec while at the same time ensuring that our nation is not broken apart. I am against cooperation with the American plans to weaponize space. I feel that a very careful review of NAFTA is in order.

;:I look forward to your response,

;:Brad Thomson
;:PC Party Candidate for Ottawa South

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Brad Thomson on interchange of music

Brad Thomson also sent the following (June 15):

;:The most interesting one to me is the interchange of music.

;:I am a fanatic for the Allman Brothers, especially the original band. I honourably share their music with others. What is done is with the full consent of the band, and is conducted on their own website. We burn and trade CDs of surviving recordings of any of their concerts. Often we will simply exchange ten or so. While no profits are to be exacted, it is permitted to make copies of shows for expenses so as to allow new traders into the field. And of course, I make gift copies for friends and interested persons. It is an excellent system.


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