Friday, 23 December 2011

Romeo Saganash in the 'Peg Part V: Checking Corporate Power & Youth in Politics

Note: This is the fifth installment in a series of posts on Romeo Saganash's Dec. 16, 2011 town hall in Winnipeg. A list of prior installments can be found in the series section of this site under "Romeo Saganash in the 'Peg". This installment will be about the Quebec MP's plans for checking corporate power as well as detailing his thoughts on the rise of the youth in politics.     

The audience member who had the floor asked Romeo Saganash about how he'd reverse the tide of rising corporate power relative to the power of ordinary workers.

The leadership hopeful began by saying that an easy way to start would be to discontinue Harper's tax cuts for large corporations and, instead, work to help small businesses.

Saganash stated that he understands the concerns of the Occupy movement and can relate to them - noting that he was born in a tent. The goal of the NDP needs to be addressing the movement's concerns about growing inequality - which led him to say that "we have our work cut out for us". 

The Quebec MP went on to claim that many people voted for the NDP platform last election and that aboriginal Canadians recently discovered the NDP*. Mobilizing aboriginal Canadians to vote NDP would be key priority of his, as would be inspiring the youth to help the party move Canada forward. 

Saganash sees potential youth involvement as major boon for politics. He noted many of the younger MPs are determined and persistent workers on Parliament Hill. The Quebec MP described how the youngest MP ever elected to the House - the New Democrat Pierre-Lu Dusseault - was a "political animal". Bill Blaikie - a longstanding MP from this city - himself started out in politics in his late-20s, noted the leadership contender. Saganash then went on to speak of how he came into parliamentary politics later in life, at nearly 50 years of age.

After addressing the issue of corporate power - as well as connecting it to another issue (youth in politics) - the leadership candidate faced some tough questions on hydroelectric development in this province. The upcoming installment will detail how he addressed the matter.

*A claim that, if applied to Manitoba, would be inaccurate.  

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