Candidate Interviews: Dorothy-Jean O'Donnell, Marxist-Leninist Party

What do you believe are the public's top issues in this campaign?

"For us the top priority is that we need an anti-war government. There is a pro-war government in power and all of the opposition parties unanimously voted three or four weeks ago, to support war against Libya, to bomb Libya, and send those same cruise missiles that we demonstrated against testing of 30 years ago, actually sending these cruise missiles against a soverign country. We're also opposed to the war in Afghanistan and we call for Canada's withdrawal from NATO. The second major priority for us is democratic renewal. The way the political process operates in Canada today it excludes the vast majority of people just to reduce to casting an X on a ballot with pre-formed choices that the people have no role in bringing about. We say there should be public funding for the process, not for the political parties. The third issue is on the economy. We say there needs to be a workers opposition in Ottawa. We are opposed to the export of raw logs, we're opposed to the destruction of the manufacturing base of Canada in the last few years, and we say there needs to be investment in social programs - essentially there should be taxation at the point of production and a gradual reduction of income and sales tax."

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What special qualities or talents do you think you offer the voters of Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon?

"I hesitate to answer that. Every human being has special qualities and talents. And it's all of those special qualities and talents that are needed to solve the very real problems facing our society. My party stands for empowerment so I have been active with the Marxist-Leninist since 1973 and before that I was a student activist and an activist against the war. I'm a lawyer with a practice in Hope and I do my best to represent mostly poor and working class people. I think the solution here is to be found in people collectively getting together to solve problems."

What can you do as MP to change or improve the lives of people in this riding?

"We are extremely interested in developing discussion and collectives of workers, native people, youths, students who sit together and deal with the major problems facing the society. We have an expression that Canadians without capital should lead the discussion on what is going on in the economy and take a stand that it's our economy and it's our future."

What specifically can you do for Lillooet?

"As I began this discussion about having groups of workers, youth, native people, seniors get together to discuss and work out their stands on various things, I am more than willing to come to Lillooet and meet with people, not just during the election but after. It is extremely necessary for a worker's opposition to come into being. This won't happen overnight."

Is there an issue you think is being overlooked in this campaign?

"Definitely the bombing of Libya. There was an all candidates meeting that I participated in where the questioner specifically asked about the war against Afghanistan and the bombing of Libya and not one of the other candidates said one word about the war against Libya."

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