CanadaVOTES: NDP candidate Hana Razga running in Edmonton—Leduc
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
On October 14, 2008, Canadians will be heading to the polls for the federal election. New Democratic Party candidate Hana Razga is standing for election in the riding of Edmonton—Leduc. Born in London, England to Czechoslovakian parents, she immigrated to Canada in 1968, having a long career in human resources with the federal government. She is a volunteer for organizations including the Alberta Women's Shelter, Big Sisters and Match International. She has previously run in campaigns three times provincially for the NDP, and once federally.
Wikinews contacted Hana Razga, to talk about the issues facing Canadians, and what they and their party would do to address them. Wikinews is in the process of contacting every candidate, in every riding across the country, no matter their political stripe. All interviews are conducted over e-mail, and interviews are published unedited, allowing candidates to impart their full message to our readers, uninterrupted.
Created in 2004, the riding consists of southwest Edmonton, the City of Leduc, the Town of Devon, and the surrounding area. Contesting Conservative incumbent James Rajotte are Razga, Valerie Kennedy (Green), and Donna Lynn Smith (Liberal).
For more information, visit the campaign's official website, listed below.
Why are you running for political office, why at the federal level, why this party, and why in this riding?
- I decided to get involved (again) because I have the time and enough energy to do it; because I believe it is imperative to have more women around the decision making table and because I hope to make a difference. The NDP is closest to my views and beliefs regarding the environment, social justice and gender equality
Previous to this campaign, have you been politically involved? How will you apply your previous work/volunteer/lifeexperience to serving your constituents?
- I ran provincially for NDP in 1997 (Edmonton Manning), 2001 (Edmonton Manning), 2008 (Edmonton Whitemud), federally in 1997 (Edmonton East), as well as in municipal elections in 2007.
- My lengthy career as a Human Resources Consultant for the federal government has provided her with skills in communicating, mediating, team building, negotiating, collaboration, all skills that will serve me well in my political career.
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 issue of leadership - When the Harper’s conservatives got elected and formed the government in 2006, they were supposed to be a different, more open and accountable government. Instead, they are and continue to cover up mistakes, avoid speaking truth and answer legitimate questions from the members of the opposition, constantly lay blame on members of the opposition or previous liberal regime, show little respect for diverse opinions or beliefs, mistreat others and abuse power.
- They demotivate and offend others through cynicism and aggression. Instead being more open and accountable, Mr. Harper’s government is the most secretive and divisive that I ever remember. And people that I talk to on the doorstep are voicing their disappointment with this government. The are also disappointed in the government’s handling of the environmental file, war in Afghanistan, Omar Khadr file and all the other gaffes, either during their reign (Maxime Bernier, “in and out” scandal, Chuck Cadman controversy) or during the campaign (attack ads aired even before the campaign started, pooping puffin, Jerry Ritz etc), well you get the picture…..
- Jack Layton and his team (of which I hope to be a part), have been the real opposition to Stephen Harper. And we believe it is time that we have a Prime Minister that puts the needs of the ordinary Canadians families first.
- We will fight to protect jobs; reduce the growing income gap between the best-off and the rest of us; and unlike Stephen Harper, we will protect Canadian families from rip-offs and food scandals.
- We will make sure health care is there when you need it, reducing wait times by hiring more doctors and nurses
- And we will cut pollution with tough new laws and firm targets.
Is there any misconceptions about you, your leader, or your party and platform?
- Not so much about Jack Layton or myself, however people feel that we are the tax and spend party. This is actually not borne out. Most of our platform commitments (in any of the elections I ran) were all costed out, and most of the money for our initiatives would be coming from shifting the enormous tax cuts for profitable corporations that do not need it (given by the previous governments both liberal and conservative), to areas where the benefits would be to much larger Canadian population.
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?
- Direct voter contact through door knocking
- Combination of all of the above noted ways