CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Paul Arbour in Carleton—Mississippi Mills

Friday, October 10, 2008

Interview series
2008 Canadian federal election

Calgary Southwest: CHP
Edmonton—Leduc: NDP
Yellowhead: CHP

Langley: CHP*
Vancouver Kingsway: NDP

Brandon—Souris: CHP

Dartmouth—Cole Harbour: CHP

Cambridge: NDP
Carleton—Mississippi Mills: NDP
Don Valley West: NDP
Elgin—Middlesex—London: NDP
Haldimand—Norfolk: LIB, CHP
Hamilton Centre: NDP i
Hamilton East—Stoney Creek: NDP i
Lanark-Front.-Lennox & Addin.: LIB
Parry Sound—Muskoka: NDP
Perth—Wellington: LIB
Prince Edward—Hastings: NDP
Simcoe—Grey: NDP
Thornhill: LIB i
Toronto Centre: AAEV*
Toronto—Danforth: LIB, AAEV
York—Simcoe: CHP

Louis-Hébert: CHP
Westmount—Ville-Marie: NDP

Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar: Lbtn

* Asterisks designate riding incumbents or registered political party leaders.
The letter "i" after a party abbreviation signifies an incumbent MP response.

In an attempt to speak with as many candidates as possible during the 2008 Canadian federal election, Wikinews has talked via email with Paul Arbour. Arbour is a candidate in Ontario's Carleton—Mississippi Mills riding, running under the New Democratic Party (NDP) banner.

The riding is currently represented by Gordon O'Connor, a Conservative. The Minister of National Revenue, O'Connor is up against the NDP's Arbour, Liberal Justin Mackinnon, and Green Jake Cole. Previous MPs in the riding were Progressive Conservative, Liberal, and Canadian Alliance members. A riding since 1988, Carleton—Mississippi Mills is in the Capital region.

The following is an interview with Arbour, conducted via email. The interview has had very limited editing, to eliminate in-text mentions of website addresses, but is otherwise left exactly as sent to Wikinews.


Why are you running for political office, why at the federal level, why this party, and why in this riding?

I am running for federal office because I feel that is where I have the most to offer, and where the issues that affect myself and my friends are the most significant. I have chosen to run for the NDP because not only is this a party of strong leadership, but also because I really believe in the messages of the party. I am running in this riding because it is where I live and play.

Previous to this campaign, have you been politically involved? How will you apply your previous work/volunteer/life experience to serving your constituents?

I have been politically active almost my entire life. As a student I was strongly involved in FESFO(The Francophone Students Federation), and when I moved to this area I became involved in the party as a member of the riding association executive.
I have been working through the 'tech burst' and know very well how it has affect the people of this riding and this country. I also have a great deal of experience driving for what is right. I have been referred to in my job as a 'pitbull' because I don't give up on a problem or issue just because someone says that there is no easy solution. Usually the most difficult solutions are also the most effective.
As a member of Toastmasters I have learned an incredible amount about speaking, sharing information, working as part of a team, and providing strong leadership to my peers.
Through my work as a Stage Manager for musical theater I have learned to wear many hats at the same time, build teams, friendships, and strengthen groups to achieve very complex goals

As you campaign around your riding, it's likely that some issues are mentioned more often by voters, than other issues. What would you say are the three hottest topics this election, in your riding? What would you and your party do to address these issues?

The biggest issue around this riding and across the country is the economy. We see the 'economy' as a blanket statement, but at the end of the day, for myself anyway, I see the 'economy' as being a question of whether or not I will have a job tomorrow.: For so many people, knowledge workers and others alike, knowing that one might be out of work tomorrow causes an incredible amount of stress on individuals and their families.
The NDP has a strong plan to address the loss of jobs in this country, and I personally have a plan to move our technology sector forward by working with industry leaders, and community members. Training and skills advancement is the only way that we as Canadians will be able to distinguish ourselves in the future knowledge economy.
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

Are there any misconceptions about you, your leader, or your party and platform?

I don't know about any misconceptions about myself, but many people believe that the NDP doesn't have the drive or skill to run this country. That is absolutely false. We have the depth of experience and passion to move this country forward.

There are more ways than ever to get your message out, from the traditional campaign fliers and lawn signs, to new media like websites, Facebook, and YouTube. The tried-and-true routes get the message out to the masses much easier, but digital alternatives are much more measurable in how many are seeing or interacting with your campaign. What seems to be the most effective, from your experience?

So far I've been trying just about everything, it would seem that web pages are currently the way to go. I have received many comments, questions, and kudos by people because they have seen the web page and know where to find us.
I have received many complaints this election about the number of signs throughout the community and that brings me forward to question where exactly this will lead in the future I don't know. Doing away with campaign signs sounds like a good idea to me since they seem to be so wasteful.
In this campaign we are experimenting with different marketing techniques that go along with 'fliers' but line up more toward a marketing campaign. Since we have the ability and technology do do small run, high quality documents from the home, why not put those to use, and tailor the message to the audience.