5 Reasons Why Mike Morrice is the Best Choice in Kitchener Centre

We’re two days from the 43rd Canadian Federal Election and everyone is starting to make their final decisions. I’ve thought a lot about this over the last three months, talked directly with two candidates, and volunteered with one, so I thought I’d write down some of my own thinking in the hopes it can help inform others. I’m convinced that Mike Morrice is the best pick in our riding. Here’s five reasons why.

1. The race in Kitchener Centre is Green vs. Liberal

There is a lot of talk about strategic voting to avoid a Conservative government in this election. The good news is, Kitchener Centre is one place where you don’t have to worry about that and can vote your conscience. Although Kitchener used to be held by Stephen Woodworth, an arch-conservative, the redistricting in 2011 moved most of his voters out of the area, and he doesn’t have a big enough base here anymore to win. The only public polling available for this district puts his voter share at 23%, far short of what would be necessary to win.

One of the only public polls for the riding taken much earlier in the election.

2. Mike is Awesome

I started canvassing with the Morrice campaign in late august. I had done a bit of canvassing before. Usually what would happen would be: groups of 1–3 volunteers go out, knock on doors on a block, inform people about the candidate, and try to identify people who will vote for you. People are at best polite, listen to what you have to say, and if they (already) like your candidate, they’ll say yes to a lawn sign.

Just a few of the hundreds of KW locals who have gone out canvassing with Mike in person, or volunteered in other ways.

3. Mike has the right priorities

As I understand it, Mike shaped his priorities through his conversations with voters, at their doorstep, at their kitchen table, or at other events. I’ve found through my own experience canvassing that almost everyone can find a lot to like in this platform, and some things that resonate with them deeply. Here’s a couple that I think are particularly important.

Affordability

One experience I’ve heard over and over while canvassing is that people are finding it harder every year to make ends meet. It’s no secret why: housing prices have gone up by 50% in Kitchener in just four years, other necessities like food, gas, and childcare are getting more expensive all the time, while real wages have been stagnant for years. The greens have put a lot of thought into how to reverse these trends, including a livable-income guarantee, reinvestments into affordable housing, and reducing out-of-pocket costs from healthcare and senior care. I think their plan is the best out there.

Climate

Mike and the Greens are the best party on climate change, period. They are the only ones who take the climate crisis as seriously as it needs to be taken, rejecting half-measures, and setting bold targets with serious plans to meet them. If you are worried about what kind of climate your children or grandchildren will live in, these are the best people to get this done.

Healthcare

Canada’s healthcare system is good, and I think as Canadians most of us are really proud of it, but at the same time we all know it fails in some important areas. That’s why the greens have prioritized a few major improvements to the system that we have. First of all, Universal Pharmacare, so we never have to experience sticker-shock on important medicine ever again (like most of us have at least once). We desperately need to improve Mental health services — it’s still too expensive to find and see therapists, and many of our treatment modes are still based on science from the 60s and 70s. And we can improve the ways we take care of our parents and grandparents. The population is ageing, and I’ve heard from dozens of people that elder-care is becoming harder and harder. We can do better.

Democracy

Democracy means something different to everyone, but in this case I think it is first an attitude, and then policies that come from it. The attitude is something like: top down forces dominate Canadian politics today, and we should fight to make them more bottom-up. There are a bunch of policy expressions of this attitude. Mike’s support for electoral reform is one, so we can finally move past the first-past-the-post system that means most Canadians don’t have representation in government. Another is the fact that Mike can freely choose how he votes on legislation, unlike in every other major party, where votes are decided by their leader (more on this in the next section). Finally, there’s a thing Mike talks about which he uses the word “Integrity”. This seems to mean something along the lines of: be honest with people, don’t pretend you have a magic wand that can fix peoples problems, but work your ass off to try to do so anyway.

4. Mike will represent Kitchener, not a federal party office

One thing that I like a lot about the Green Party is that they don’t “whip votes”. What this means is that when Liberal, NDP, and Conservative MPs vote on a bill in the House of Commons, they are usually told by their party leader how to vote, and if they refuse they are either kicked out of the party or are disciplined some other way.

5. A green seat here can make an astronomical difference

It’s highly likely that this election will end in a minority government, meaning two or more parties will have to make a power-sharing agreement in order to form a government. I think this is really exciting, because the smaller parties like the Greens and NDP can wield a lot of power in these scenarios and get some real things done, like serious action on the affordability crisis, climate change, or electoral reform.

Mike could be one of the most important MPs in the country, and we’re his only bosses.

CEO at Tinker, Blockchain, Waterloo & SF