This week I had a once in a life-time opportunity, as we are getting closer to the Canadian Elections , I attended a political press conference and was able to see the leader of the opposition Stephane Dion in person and ask him a question in front of the audience. A very novel feeling for me, just starting my adult life and having such an opportunity.
The event took place at the Royal Hotel, downtown toronto, at 9AM Wendsday October 8th. Stephane Dion walked in with very minimal security I was amazed of how down to earth and friendly and close to the people he really is compared to our current prime-minister who doesn’t go in public without prior arrangements and severe security and protection.Many say Harper lives in a bubble. At Harper’s press conference the questions were presubmited to his campaign manager so at the acutal event people were just reciting them. Something Stephane Dion didn’t do he answered to the questions of many journalists and mine alike, on the spot without any prior preparation.
The get together with Harper was full of guards and officers, and every guest had been registered from long before and had to go through a security check. However at the conference with Stephane Dion security was kept to a minimum and potentially anyone with a media pass could have walked in and asked him questions.
As the meeting was exclusively for ethnic press, a lot of different questions concerning foreign policy and immigration were asked of the opposition leader M.Dion. The questions varied from what M.Dion is planning to do about the chinese-canadian relations to whether or not he would let in all Sri-Linkan refugees in case of a war in that region 🙂 .
After a series of different questions some meaningful and some really use-less it was finally my turn to ask my questions. Looking for an opportunity to show off my french, I decided to pose my question in French which made M.Dion very happy in fact. It was as if he was relieved , I felt that the most solid answer he gave was to my question maybe because he responded in his native language or maybe because my question was specific unlike a lot of other vague questions that were asked. I’m going to attempt the best translation:
M.Teengle:”Good Morning Mr.Dion, I am a univiersity student in Ontario as you know life for students is not the easiest, tuitions fees in Ontario have been increasing for the past decade at much higher than the regular inflation rate. While in other countries and even other provinces in Canada like quebec, the provincial governements are working to decrease or even eliminate tuition fees, in Ontario these fees continue to increase, what is a liberal gov’t going to do to help this situation? As a student, why should I vote for the liberals?”
M.Dion: ” Thank you for your question, Educations is very important to me, I was a professor my self and I know what it’s like to be a student, we understand the concerns students have and that’s why we are including a large budget for extra bursaries and scholarships as well as low-interest loans for students as they are the future of this country and very important to a liberal government.”
Dion looked like a very legitimate gentleman, unlike many other politicans Dion seemed like he has a good heart, maybe partly due to his past career as a university professor. He had some very solid ideas and the liberals Green Shift much like the democrats economic platform south of the border has a some solid fundamentals that if put into action properly could save both the environment and the current economic crisis.
Dion is disadvantaged compared the other party leaders in the sense that English is not his native language as he looked a lot more in control and confident int he French debate as opposed to the English debate. He is also lacks charisma , an asset the NDP leader is using much to his advantage to win liberal voites in many ridings. So as liberal voters switch to NDP the conservatives are the ones benefeiting.
Tuesday is Election day and I am voting for the first time in my life 🙂
…..GET OUT AND VOTE, IT IS A RIGHT SOME OF US TAKE FOR GRANTED SOMETIMES….