Friday, October 3, 2008
Canadian Political Debate
I was invited to blog on the Voteenvironment.ca website which was set up by The David Suzuki Foundation. I registered but have yet to receive my registration.......so here is my view of the debate last night.
Over all I felt that each candidate was well spoken and kept to the issues. The moderator is of course the one to thank for that. The top issue to me in this election is the environment.
The Greens, NDP and the Liberals believe that working towards stopping the destruction of our life source does not have to send us into debt. Its a matter of shifting our priorities. I agree. The problem that the average Canadian has with "left" thinking politics is that they believe that socialists spend money like there is no tomorrow and have no cares about driving the government into deficit. That may have happened in the past, but I for one am a practical socialist. We can't spend money we don't have, but we don't have to. Shifting the money to reflect our new priorities is all we have to do. What good will paying down the National debt have if in 50 years we can't breathe? Obviously we can't increase the debt, we must live within our means. In my home if we don't have the money we don't get it.
After watching the film The 11th Hour where the panelists recommend that taxing pollution and lowering income tax is the key to making a cleaner environment without incurring debt, well that is what these parties are saying they will do.
Secondly the arts funding cuts. I thought Jack Layton made my main point when he told Steven Harper that his $500 tax credit for parents enrolling their children in Arts and Culture programs was no good for the average person working in the arts sector. The average income for an arts sector employee is $10-12,000 a year barely enough to live on. Another great point that Jack Layton made was that poverty is the key reason for crime. If we dealt with poverty we would not have the desperate petty criminals robbing homes and stealing cars. So putting young kids in jail and having their identities public (as the Harper government wants to do) will do nothing to help or stop crime in our country.
The last point I consider important when anyone is deciding on who to vote for is this idea of strategic voting. Splitting the "left" leaning vote, is in some people's opinion bad. They urge us to vote for the party that has the greatest chance of beating the current party in power. Who cares if they have run the country for more than a decade with little to show for it? At least they are not the Right wing guys... Well I do not agree with this way of voting. I'm not going to vote for the people who have the biggest chance of beating the ones I don't like, I'm going to vote for the person/party that I feel represents the values and goals I strive for in my country. Democracy is about casting your vote in your interests and value set. If the rest of my riding or the country does not agree, then I have to go along with the majority. I can still fight for what I believe in and stay active and participate for the causes I care about. But I will not vote for one party in the hopes that they will eek out a win, the polls are still saying the the Conservatives are in the lead. In my riding we have a NDP representative. So I feel confident that at least my riding will not go from left of center to right in one election span.
Thursday night we watched both the Canadian and American debates. I felt so proud to be participating in the democratic process and informing myself on the choices at hand. Both outcomes are going to be really interesting to see, especially with our current economic situation. Whether we you decide to go Green, Orange (NDP), Red (Liberal), or Blue (Conservative) (Blue really??? Are you sure???) democracy is happening now, have your say.
What is everyone feeling about the election race and possible outcomes? Do you feel that your options represent your values?