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Political gifts

They're promising us all sorts of things - day care, health care, popcorn. Now it's time to give a little back. We asked visitors what they would like to give to politicians this year. Here are some of the responses we got back.

E-mail us at canadavotes@cbc.ca to send your answer or suggest another topic for discussion.

For all the leaders:
  • Ears to hear the voices of Canadians.
  • Wisdom to discern a clear way to meet the real needs of all Canadians and satisfy some of the affordable wants.
  • A clear vision for their parties and the country, and the courage to articulate it fully and truthfully.
  • Willingness to do the right things, even if they are unpopular or cause discomfort. Freedom from fear of retribution from the United States.
  • Understanding that whatever you place your faith in, that faith is a part of who you are and will affect how you lead.
  • Realization that there are few decisions that have no consequences.
For all the candidates:
  • Honour and respect for each other.
  • Campaign teams that will work diligently and with integrity, without resorting to dirty tricks or name-calling.
  • Dedication to serving their constituents, and not just their parties.
  • A full turnout at the polls, with all ballots cast in freedom of conscience.
  • An accurate count.
For all Canadians:
  • A Parliament that we can respect, and that will respect us.
- W. Jim Jordan, Calgary, Alta.
What would I give ALL our illustrious politicians in general?
  • How about the ability to tell the truth and not attempt to manipulate the voter?
  • How about the ability to listen, and fight for your constituents, and not just do what the party leader tells you to think and do?
  • How about a way to remove MLAs/MPs who continually lie and abuse our trust, or do NOTHING after being elected?
  • How about a brain to enable them to understand that we are NOT mindless idiots who don't understand what is going on, or what the issues really are?
  • And lastly, a very short career for politicians (like Nathan Cullen),who flip-flop on what they say they will actually do? They promise anything to get my vote, and then do like all the rest of the mindless sheep! (His flip flop was on gun control)
  • ...and oh yeah...a built-in lie detector for Paul Martin who thinks we are stupid and actually believe that he knew NOTHING about the sponsorship scandal?
  • Bah Humbug to them all!
- Andy Hurrie, Fort St. James, B.C.
Jack Layton gets a can of wax because who wouldn't love to see his "stache smile?" I bet Olivia would�

Gilles Duceppe gets a giant foam finger so he can better wave his indignation for all of the wrongs his people have suffered; it would say "#1," but in French.

Stephen Harper gets a pair of tweezers to remove that protruding stick from his backside that must make his eyes glow like that; on top of that gift is wrapped, a stocking stuffer of a copy of Machiavelli's The Prince. He should read it aloud to his campaign managers.

And finally, Paul Martin gets golf balls from Chretien's Shawinigan course, personally monogrammed, "Sucker." And of course, a kiss under the mistletoe from Bono.

- Leslie Forbes
I think that Paul Martin doesn't deserve a present because he and his Liberals have been naughty this year. They have been tainted by scandals and all other problems and the Conservatives (the Official Opposition) have lost confidence in the Liberals. I think that Stephen Harper does deserve a present for bringing down the minority Liberal government. He has been really nice and does deserve a gift.

- Mr. Sanjay Iyer, Rockaway, N.J.
Martin: A dictionary, to look up the word "hyprocrite," and a Canadian flag to hang on his CSL ships.

Harper: A nice keychain and a large broom. The keychain is for his new set of keys to 24 Sussex Drive and the broom is to clean it up. Layton: A basic gift basket of chocolates, crackers, etc., something he can munch on while preparing for his next "I WANT THIS" rant.

Duceppe: Same as Martin, flag and dictionary, although the flag is to hang in his closet because he knows he needs Canada. - Nolan Moore, Calgary, Alta.

I would like to send public speaking lessons to Steven Harper as a pre-election Christmas gift. The tone he presently uses comes across as if he is speaking to a group of children. Public speaking or acting lessons might help me tolerate it a little more.

- Deirdre Floyd, Halifax, N.S.
To all Canadians: a short book about the economic history of the last 20 years of British Columbia and Ontario, to remind them how disastrous letting the NDP have the PIN to our bank accounts is.

To all Canadians: a memory, as people seem to have forgotten that Paul Martin was "cutting the budgets" like crazy a decade ago. Suddenly, he's the defender of our socialist ideals?

To the Conservative party: a platform. Running a "we're not them" campaign will not work as most people prefer the devil they know.

To the NDP: The Wealth of Nations.

To northern British Columbia: an offer to separate from Canada.

To Alberta: an offer to separate from Canada - it is likely there are more people wanting to leave Canada out West than there are in Quebec. Just ask a straightforward question.

To Quebec: a politician willing to ask a straightforward question. One along the lines of, "Do we all want to leave Canada and be completely, 100 per cent, no more money from the rest Canada at all, independent?"

To my rural Canadian neighbours, in all provinces: a politician who recognizes that the dividing lines in our society are not east/west, French/Anglais, but are in fact, rural versus urban.

To myself: an answer to the question of how banning handguns in northern B.C. for collectors and people who keep family heirlooms, will stop gun murders in Jane and Finch (Maybe Paul Martin would be happier if they were all pushed out windows?).

Lastly, to all-hard working Canadians: income tax cuts so one parent could afford to stay home if he/she wanted. We wouldn't be upset with "tax freedom day," $61,000.00 would not be considered the "upper class income" and most of the arguments about day care, school subsidies and meals, and darn near everything else would blow away.

- Steven Cope, Fort St. John, B.C.
My gifts this holiday season:
  • Paul Martin: personally signed portrait of Jean Chr�tien
  • Stephen Harper: a personality
  • Jack Layton: a clue
  • Gilles Duceppe: English muffins
  • Ralph Klein: a U.S. flag
  • Belinda Stronach: a non-political boyfriend
  • Justice Gomery: Order of Canada
  • David Wilkens (U.S. ambassador): Order out of Canada
  • Jean Charest: another party to destroy
  • Ralph Goodale: a paid-off credit card
  • Bill Graham: two weeks at boot camp
  • Anne McLellan: Law and Order DVD box set
  • Peter Milliken (Speaker of the House): earplugs
  • Bah, humbug!
- Doug Stephens, Courtice, Ont.
Jim Harris - $25,000,000 to show the other three what competition is all about.

Paul Martin - To tell him what it's like to be Canadian.

Stephen Harper - I would give Stephen Harper a world map (to show him that Canada isn't a northern European welfare state), a copy of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, constitutional law textbooks, a trip around the world including visits to: several AIDS hostels in sub-Saharan African countries; the Holocaust Museum in Washington; Kandahar; Cite Soleil; a northern Canadian reserve with water problems and people with tuberculosis; a U.S. special forces unit in Iraq; some of the finest slums in the United States; project sites for Foster Parents Plan; Mecca; and anywhere else he might be able to develop his social conscience and broaden his world view. As a travelling companion, I would give him a fabulous new best friend who is gay, educated, left-leaning, engaged and a very persuasive speaker. I would make sure that Stephen would be welcome in the homes of the local people so that he could have first-hand knowledge of their lives. So that he could survive seeing all of this misery, I would also give him a sense of humor.

- Sharon Griffin, Ottawa, Ont.
To Sheila Copps: A cork, a sock, pie ... anything! She will know where to put it.

To Stephen Harper: A real heart! (not the fake one he wears during this election). To Paul Martin: A shiny red tire pump!

To Jack Layton: New flip-flops - he has been going through these like crazy!

To Gilles Duceppe: a box of "babies for breakfast" cereal - I mean where did he come up with that line anyway?

To Jim Harris: a megaphone and an environmentally friendly recycled soapbox from which to scream!

- Jamie vanSydenborgh, Hamilton, Ont.
Gilles Duceppe - A personalized mug that says "World's Greatest Redneck," because Gilles has more in common with Albertans than he realizes and would care to admit to Quebec.

Stephen Harper - A personality, for ages 30 to 50, and return his current personality for ages 55 to 70 because it's hipper and everyone needs to get a life before they get a job.

Jack Layton - An old copy of the Communist Manifesto, because Paul Martin isn't the only one who has tried to hide his roots.

Paul Martin - A shovel, 'cus he's going to need a new job after Jan. 23.

- Dave Erickson, Dunmore, Alta.
To Paul Martin - A one-way ticket to anywhere Air Canada flies.

To Jack Layton - One night's free stay at any hospital in Canada.

To Stephen Harper - Keys to the Prime Minister's Office.

To the Bloc Quebecois - A Quebec flag large enough to wrap themselves in.

- Robert Morin, Iqaluit
I would be generous and give Paul Martin a present. He's been such a good boy. I would give him a spring loaded iron gauntlet. I know he sure would be surprised. This would of course be after waking up from the coma to find out he has lost the election not being able to perform his duties.

- Shane Serafin, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

My gift to the Canadian public: I would like to see Paul Martin take a lie detector test on his lack of knowledge on the scandals/Gomery investigation.

- Lillian Wainwright, Georgetown, Ont.

My Christmas shopping list for Paul Martin:
  1. Compass - It seems his moral compass is broken; it changes direction depending on the latest polls.
  2. Mouthwash - After spewing all that anti-American political rhetoric, he must have a bad taste left in his mouth.
  3. Canadian flag - He could pass it on to his sons who now control Canada Steamship Lines. Maybe they could re-raise it on one of the ships that Paul gave a flag of convenience.
  4. Pocket knife - A little memento for him to hold up high and remind people of all the cuts he made to programs in the '90s, such as health care, military spending, housing etc.
  5. Six-pack and popcorn - Hopefully Paul will share with his Liberal members and acquire a taste for the common Canadian's indulgences. Then maybe the Liberal party's "entitlements" would not cost us as much.
- Brent McCue, Arnprior, Ont.

Stephen Harper - Two tickets to see Brokeback Mountain, a Star Trek DVD (original series) to hone his Spock impersonation skills, a new book: 12 Easy Steps to a Natural Smile.

Gilles Duceppe - The new Larousse Dictionary, the one with definitions for "separation," "independence" and "sovereignty association" in it so that he can decide which one he stands for.

Paul Martin - An electric jolt so he can have a little bit of energy and tap from a magical wand - he needs some charm - and a brand new Canadian flag to put up on at least one of his CSL ships.

Jack Layton - a brand new pair of mustache trimmers and a brand new pair of shoes to kick the Liberals when they get out of line.
- Graham Myres, Ottawa

This year for Christmas, I wish for a prime minister who will take care of his or her own countrymen. I wish for equality amongst all Canadians, be they homosexuals or straight. Be they English or Quebecois. I want a prime minister that will help the poor, feed the children and stand up to the criticisms of other countries. I want a prime minister that will put more money into education and into the military to help better protect our protectors. In short, I want another choice aside from the four candidates currently out there. That is my Christmas wish.
- Gord Bailey

Christmas gifts for -
  • Andre Boisclair: sandwiches and "coke" at Rideau Hall
  • Ralph Klein: Albertan statehood
  • Dalton McGuinty: the motion picture on DVD Invasion of the Evil Reptilian Kitten-Eaters
  • Danny Williams: the restoration of Newfoundland's independent Dominion status
  • Gilles Duceppe: a prominent appearance on Molson's newest "I am Canadian/je suis Canadien" advertisement
  • Paul Martin: tea and crumpets at Jean Chr�tien's house
  • Stephen Harper: 24 Sussex Drive
  • Jack Layton: Toronto City Hall
  • Belinda Stronach: [but make her think it is from Peter MacKay] an engagement ring (just curious to see what she would do with it when she would meet Mr. MacKay next).
- Nicholl Marshall, Manchester, N.H.

For Christmas, I would give Stephen Harper a landslide victory. Alas, I'll settle for any victory over the inept Liberal party.
- Mo Hepworth, Moncton, N.B.

  • Jim Harris, Green party - A spot in the leaders debate (wait...I don't have that to give, but CBC does...)
  • Paul Martin, Liberal party - A Canadian flag (he can wave it as he bashes the Americans).
  • Stephen Harper, Conservative party - An American flag (he can wave it as he sucks up to Bush).
  • Jack Layton, NDP - A lump of coal for forcing us to listen to campaigning over Christmas.
  • Gilles Duceppe, PQ - a dream catcher (we all know what he would use that for because he just keeps on dreaming).
- Alissa Reynolds, Vancouver

Oh, What to Give?
  • Duceppe: Beignets from Nouvelle Orl�ans, Louisiane; Miel from Fahler, Alta.; Tourti�re from St. Boniface, Man.; Sirop d'�rable from Maine; Pomme de pr�e sauce for his "dinde" from Acadie, to name a few!
  • Harper: Rago�t de pattes de cochons, Cretons and Oka cheese on fresh bread, and a Bi�re d'�pinette to wash it all down with!
  • Layton: Courage from the Wizard!
  • Martin: Teflon-coated parka and a liberal amount of diversion - ummm - diversity?
- Pierre Alie, Mclean, Va.

What I would give to Tony Clement for Christmas? A sure win. Poor guy has had a string of bad luck (and he'd be great in Ottawa!)
- Mike Saniga, Brampton, Ont.

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