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New Year�s Resolutions

At the end of every year, many people evaluate their lives with the goal of improving themselves or the world. But in case the politicians are too busy campaigning, we asked you to do it for them. Here are some of your suggestions.

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

Suggestion for Paul Martin's resolution: To resolve to develop, implement and legislate proportional representation in Canada electoral system. Suggestion for Stephen Harper's resolution: To resolve to come-clean on who donated what to the Conservative election campaign. Suggestion for Jack Layton's resolution: To resolve to understand that as an overtaxed taxpayer with no children, I don't want to pay for a federal day-care program. Thank you.

- Cole Willette, Edmonton, Alta.
The number one resolution should be to change Canada's politics so that things can get done quickly. A piece of legislation should not take two years to pass! Such as Bill C-50, the animal welfare law that had the support of the majority of Canadians.
All this red tape wastes our tax dollars. Wasn't Belinda Stronach supposed to bring about reform?
I also think politicians should stop punishing big corporations or "rich" people, after all they are the people that will give the average Canadian jobs so stop attacking them and taxing them to death or they will set up camp in Mexico or the Caribbean!

- Marcela Donato, Thornhill, Ontario.
Paul Martin's New Year Resolutions:

1) Tell the truth for a change.

2) Make love, not war with the U.S. I highly doubt they'd be willing to loan you the artillery/troops to fight that war.

3) Come down from your entitled perch, and visit those of us in the real Canada.

4) Cut the bureaucratic fat in Health Care, Day Care, Everywhere, that's our solution to Canada's Evolution.

5) Put our hard earned money back into all Canadians pockets, really, we know what to do with it.

- Nadine Makinson, Hillsburgh, Ont.
Jim Harris (Green) Get the media to provide coverage in leadership debates - Canadians want to know what you're about.

Stephen Harper (CPC) - Drop the gay marriage issue - it's dead already.

Jack Layton (NDP) Proportional Voting, you promised this last year, Jack!

Gilles Duceppe (Bloc) - Come up with a creative and constructive relationship for Quebec to work within Canada, to the benefit of all.

Paul Martin (Liberal) - Drop the Copyright Act legislation (Bill C60) that every public interest group, and that the vast majority of the Canadian public in the know, object to.

-Cal Bruner, Toronto, Ont.

Jim Harris - Change name to avoid confusion with Mike Harris. Also change platform to something approaching attractive, i.e. less Conservative.

Paul Martin - Stop hiding money in EI and bursary funds. Stop giving away tax dollars in money laundering schemes. In fact, stop everything you normally do and take lessons from Jack Layton on integrity and how cheaply you can run a government office.

Steven Harper - Resolve not to force completely useless elections in the middle of winter. Also resolve to be abducted by aliens and hope for a personality transplant.

Jack Layton - Resolve to bring the NDP into some of these fat corporate ties that serve the other parties so well. Take lessons on becoming a normal, corrupt politician; the Liberals or the US Republican Party would be a great place to start.

Gilles Duceppe - Not actually a federal leader, Duceppe should resolve to become one by addressing things that affect other Canadians as well as Quebecers - softwood lumber, fisheries rights, cattle exports, and rampant rural unemployment, for example. Maybe he could break the magic 50-seat number by looking to support from francophones in the Maritimes.

- Ian Hellstrom, Montreal Que.
My New Year's resolution for Stephen Harper is that in 2006 he learn to love Canada, that he learn to love Canadians, and that he accept an invitation to a same-sex wedding.

- Ryan Morris, Toronto, Ont.
Resolution for Paul Martin: to resolve to dissolve the crime from the Liberal party and to put his best foot forward as leader of the third-strongest party in Parliament.

Resolution for Stephen Harper: to resolve to involve all Canadians in creating prosperity for everyone in an excellent and bountiful Canada for the next four years as leader of the majority party in Parliament.

Resolution for Gilles Duceppe: to resolve to evolve to include more of Canada in his platform, especially now that he is official leader of the Opposition in Parliament!

Resolution for Jack Layton: to resolve to absolve the Liberals from all wrong-doing as they try to exert strength in the upcoming Parliament, both Liberals and NDP voting together in small, ineffective numbers in the next Parliament.

- Janice Y.
Goals for leaders:
  1. To become true leaders ... not finger-pointers.
  2. To create a clear vision for a unified Canada, and keep out of provincial politics.
  3. To make every taxpayer understand why every dollar we give them is adding value.
  4. To make government simpler.
  5. To understand a balanced budget does not mean having a surplus.
  6. To make us like them.
- Brad Elliott, Kanata, Ont.
No matter who becomes our next prime minister, I think he should resolve to change our election system to proportional representation, so that the next time we have an election, the 22% of Canadians who vote for MPs of a certain political persuasion will actually have 22% of these MPs in Parliament. Also, Paul Martin should resolve to shut up.

- Spencer Anderson, Vancouver, B.C.
A good resolution would be to look beyond the sound-bite and get to the true analysis of election issues. Take the public transit announcement by the Conservatives, for example. Incentives for riders, we know that is not a solution as it is already cheaper to ride than drive. How about regulating urban development so that public transit is effective and useful? When it takes a bus 45 minutes to thread through suburbia before it can actually go anywhere, it doesn't matter how many buses there are or how cheap transit is. Health care: it's not more money, it is service delivery. Quips that throw a drop of water on a fire do not put it out.

- Chris Black, Edmonton, Alta.
Our family is giving Canadian politicians a short manageable list of resolutions. Each family member has contributed one resolution.

My husband would like to see Canadian politicians act less on what lobby groups want and act more on what regular Canadian people want. Our 11-year-old, a penguin enthusiast, would like to see Canada do its very best to reduce greenhouse gas emissions so the Antarctic penguins will be safe. (Keep up the good work P.E.I.!) My nine-year-old, whose interest in social programs started when education funding cuts directly affected him, would like to see homes and food for homeless and hungry Canadians. (Thank-you NDP!) I imagine that our nine-month-old, who cannot verbally contribute a resolution, would want to see that all Canadians are fed, safe, warm, comforted and valued. Difficult as it is to pick only one issue for resolution, I would like to see all Canadian politicians stand up to foreign influences, and promote the nationalization of Canada and its resources.

- Anna Clifford, Victoria, B.C.
Lets start at the top. They all need to lose weight. Martin needs to stick to his Pilates regimen and eat less cheese. Jack Layton should shave his mustache and work on his abs (with either an AbRoller or even better, a Bowflex, you know the one in ALL your commercial breaks. The one with the hot grandma (she's only 51!! Dude, your grandma's HOT). And Stephen Harper should get a haircut and trim his sideburns... hippie. Oh, and he should take up smoking to help him lose weight... like the rest of us who are addicted to the overly-processed food that he and his American business friends peddle on us... as if they didn't know it was killing us. Nice.

And most importantly, they should all resolve to be friends... and go on a retreat in the mountains. And then come back and be known, for the rest of time, as the friendship club.

- Matt Brown, Fredericton, N.B.
I think Stephen Harper should resolve to learn what being compassionate means. For someone who touts that he is an "average Canadian," I find it appalling he is so completely out of touch with the real world. An "average Canadian" does not, after all, earn $216,000 (part of that tax-free) and live in a taxpayer-funded mansion. Mr. Harper has buzzed around the political hive since co-founding the Reform party (with Preston Manning) around 15 years ago. "Average Canadians" do not get to slander people without fear of prosecution. No "average Canadian" I know would intimate that the prime minister was a pedophile and then not have the decency to apologize. I could go on but I think my point is taken that Mr. Harper needs to realize Canada is made up of all kinds of different people. Being prime minister means being able to see realities other than your own. Perhaps in 10 years, when Mr. Harper has seen more of life and maybe experienced some heartache, he would be more fit for the post. Right now, he is like immature fruit - too green. Of course, some fruit rots on the tree.

- G. Perry White, Niagara Region, Ont.
Doing this for politicians is an exercise in futility. Since most of us regular-Joe honest people don't keep most of them, you know the politicians won't.

Paul Martin - He should resolve to 1. Keep a promise, any promise, that he makes. I'm still waiting – how many years later? – for the GST to be abolished. 2. Try to downsize government instead of being a hungry stray dog and sticking your nose into every facet of our lives that you possibly can. We earned the money, doggone it, let us keep some of it.

Stephen Harper - 1. Be a little more charismatic. Let people relate to you. Perhaps practise smiling in the mirror once in a while. 2. Defend yourself more often. I think Ontario is the only place in the world that would re-elect this Liberal government with its record of corruption. Don't let them turn the tables on you with this weak scare tactic they used last time.

Jack Layton - Only one suggestion. 1. Join the Conservative party and become leader so that you will be prime minister some day. (Of course, you would have to change your policies)

- Jeff Nielson Kelowna, B.C.
My New Year's resolution is to the voters who blame the opposition for "wasting the taxpayers' dollar on another election." Do any of you think we were going to save any more money waiting two months for Gomery's second report for Paul Martin to call the election himself. Give your heads a shake. My resolution is this: for all of Canada to vote the fib-erals out. God bless, Happy New Year.

- Nigel Berke
This is a new year and Paul Martin might want to cut back on the caffeine!!

- Megan Middleton
All leadership candidates should resolve to give Canadians a clear picture of what they think Canada is and where it should go, without the usual party rhetoric.

- Brian Morton, Powell River, B.C.
Jack Layton: To never, ever again even remotely consider the possibility of in any way supporting or working with a Conservative-Reform-Alliance party minority government.

Paul Martin: To put my money, my hands and my feet where my mouth is when it comes to Canada charting its own course vis-a-vis the U.S. after the election.

Gilles Duceppe: To demonstrate my commitment to a separate Quebec by refusing to accept one cent of Canadian taxes for the Bloc and my salary.

Stephen Harper: To learn to love my country, live in the 21st century and remember that I am not running against Jean Chr�tien.

- Len Sawatsky, Winnipeg, Man.
I wish our parliamentarians would each make the following resolution - "I will repeat everything I say in Parliament in a setting where I will not be protected from prosecution for libel or slander."

- Marjorie Lewis
I wish all the party leaders of Canada would resolve to leave the GST the way it is and use that money to generously fund our social programs. I wish they'd resolve to federalize public education standards so that all provinces are forced to follow appropriate standards in regards to classroom sizes, special needs funding, extra-curricular activities, physical education, music programs, etc� We reap what we sow, so we need to collectively invest more in our children now. I think the GST could go to good use here.

I wish Canadian politicians would resolve to stop selling off our resources. Let's keep our resources collectively for our future generations. I wish Canadian politicians would resolve to not set up our social programs for failure by funding inadequately in order to convince Canadians that social programs, such as education and health care, don't work. Is this done so that their business buddies can set up shop when everything is privatized? If I wanted to be American, I'd move to the U.S. Besides being born Canadian, I choose to be Canadian because I strongly believe that a country works best when it supports both business and strong social programs.

- Lisa Freeman, Victoria, B.C.
Resolutions for all leaders:

I will have respect for the opinions of all the people of Canada - I will respect their diversity, their uniqueness, their strengths and their voices. I will listen and provide leadership in finding not just the solutions that best fit but the ways to the best solutions for each and all of us.

- Andre Kroeger, B.C.
Leader resolutions:

I resolve to tell the truth. I will not hide behind half-truths or pretend ignorance.

- Tim Creaghan, Riverview, N.B.
Party leaders' resolutions:

Harris: To give every Canadian access to "medicinal" pot.
Harper: To say the alphabet backwards... in French.
Martin: To clean the Liberal name... or at least make it look like it.
Duceppe: To not wear funny hats or hairnets... same resolution as last year, actually.
Layton: To be at the lead of the Gay Pride Parade in Toronto this year.

- Jean-Marc Cousineau, Ottawa, Ont.

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