It should be noted that this decision was not an easy one for me. Justin Trudeau never appealed to me. When he was running for leadership I was active in the campaigns of George Takach and Martha Hall Findlay. I still believe Hall Findlay would make a far better Prime Minister. However, the time for such discussions has passed. Justin Trudeau is the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and the best option to lead this country.
Prior to this election, for perhaps the first time since my initial election as a voter I carefully considered the various candidates. I did sincerely weight M. Mulcair and Prime Minister Harper. But frankly, they failed mightily to convince me that either deserved my vote. There are a few key reasons for this.
The first is that the Liberal platform is the only one of the three major parties that addresses education. While the initiatives are minor and much of the available funding targeted to Aboriginal populations, at least education is on the mind of the Liberal leader. The other two platforms felt it garnered nary a mention.
The Syrian refugee crisis also represented a turning point for me. As a Jewish person I cannot help but relate these refugees to my own family that was forced back to Poland despite sitting on Canada's door step on the east coast. As Canadian Jews we have a responsibility to that legacy. That responsibility compels me to allow refugees access to Canada. However, the Prime Minister has taken the position that Canada can only afford a slow and steady approach to allowing a minimal number of refugees is the only way to ensure Canada's security. I believe that to be a wholly irresponsible way to behave if Canada is actually going to play a part in saving the lives of refugees being displaced as part of a war to which Canadian Forces are directly involved.
Also of concern has to be the decision by the federal government to sell arms to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Such an act by a government that purports to be on the side of Israel and has gained a reputation for a morality based approach to foreign affairs leaves me in a position that makes it difficult to trust really much of anything that the Prime Minister says.
But for me a make or break issue has to be the federal government's plan to create an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) action plan of sorts. I make zero secret of my daughter's ASD diagnosis. So when this government chose to draft a plan led by MP Mike Lake, who son is on the spectrum and I have no doubt has his heart in the right place, promised to "continue our four-year partnership with the Sinneave Family Foundation and Autism Speaks Canada". This haphazardly planned initiative only engages two stakeholders from the autism spectrum community; one of whom has a terrible record of promoting dangerous cure culture 'treatment' for autism as though it was more a disease than a disorder. Sorry Mr. Harper. Sorry Mr. Lake. That won't fly with me. I respect that you tried. That you are trying. But I cannot in good conscience give you me vote.
The reality is this:
None of the three men in the running for Canada's highest elected office makes me excited to vote. They are all incredibly flawed. Fortunately they have some fine candidates running that might be able to assist the next government. And it is my belief that Justin Trudeau has demonstrated that he is most likely to listen.