I'm pleased to be able to kick off the Guelph Politico Candidate Interview Series for the 2011 Federal Election. In the interest of brevity and interactivity, I will attach the full audio file of my interview with each of the candidates with a brief introduction that will set the mood for the interview (I hope).
But first, a word about the order of these posts. Basically, one evening a few weeks ago, I sent an e-mail to each of the four major campaigns. These interviews are being posted in the order in which I did the interviews, and that order was dictated by the the order in which the campaigns got back to me. So John Lawson is first, followed by Bobbi Stewart, Frank Valeriote and (when I eventually do the interview with him) Marty Burke.
If your one of those types that want to read brief capsule interviews, and in a newspaper format, the April 14 and 21 edition of Echo Weekly will have shorter profiles in my Guelph Beat column.
But for now, let's talk about John Lawson. I met Lawson one morning at his campaign office on Woolwich Street. That morning, in the rather dreary weather, he rode his bike downtown as the true blue (so to speak) Green Party nominee that he is. Surprisingly though, I don't think the most interesting parts of our discussion had anything to do with the environment.
Ever the pastor, Lawson talked about needing a change in tone and a change in attitude in Ottawa. “I believe in change at heart, that if we don’t see each other as brothers and sisters at some level and that we share a common heritage and a common kinship, the future’s not good,” he said. “When I see the polarization of politics, where some people are demonized – we’re right, you’re wrong – it doesn’t build community, and we have enough of that in the world.”
We talked about the environment too, of course. We talked about Green jobs and sustainability, and we talked about the fact that Elizabeth May was once again not-invited to the Leaders' Debates. In fact, our interview took place on the morning of that announcement, and we join our interview, already kind of in progress, on that very topic.