Do your research and vote on Monday
Much of the 2021 federal election will be remembered as one that hardly anyone wanted. With the exception, of course, of the Liberal Party of Canada, including its leader Justin Trudeau.
The Liberals saw an opportunity, fresh out of proficient handling of the pandemic and well in the opinion polls. Like five provincial governments in the past year and a half, they saw an opportunity to seize a majority government, and they did.
They wouldn’t admit it, but they almost certainly regret it now, with their popularity diminished and their hoped-for majority pretty much a pipe dream.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole and NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh hammered Trudeau over the “unnecessary” elections. But the two leaders said repeatedly during the last session of parliament that they had no confidence in the government, which in a minority government situation means that an election is a separate possibility. For them, to claim now that they had no part to play in the electoral equation is partisan.
Yet the Liberals and Trudeau had the power to call an election or not, and they must be responsible for their decision. They could well lose on September 20 and they will have no one else to blame for it but themselves.
Which brings us to the central point: there is an election on Monday, and as Canadian citizens we have the opportunity and the obligation to participate in it. And while we don’t like this election, the dismal campaign and the horrific debates that went into it, there are some serious decisions to be made.
The two main alternatives are the conservatives and the liberals. And they offer a number of significant policy and platform differences. Here are some examples.
Both sides would spend a lot on pandemic management and recovery. But while the Liberals favor compulsory vaccination in certain sectors and support vaccination passports, the Conservatives favor an entirely voluntary approach.
Think about child care. The Liberals, once again, are trying to sell a national vision of affordable child care at $ 10 a day, similar to what already exists in Quebec. Several provinces, Manitoba, British Columbia, Quebec and others, have already signed. The Conservatives do not support the plan and will kill it and instead give tax credits to parents. This would save money, but offers much less to parents and families and does nothing to solve the lack of child care spaces in Canada. So there is a clear choice when it comes to childcare.
Another example is climate change. Both the Conservatives and the Liberals agree that there needs to be a price on carbon, which is a big change for the Conservatives. But where the Liberals have raised Canada’s emissions target to at least 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, the Conservatives favor the lower target – 30 percent – set by Stephen Harper’s government. Once again, a clear choice.
What about tax policy? The Institute of Public Finance and Democracy (IFSD) evaluated the programs of the Liberals, Conservatives and the NDP. All three got a global pass, but the Liberals were successful in all categories – realistic economic and financial assumptions, responsible budget management and transparency where the NDP platform failed on transparency and the Conservative platform failed. failed on responsible financial management.
Granted, there is no overriding question at the ballot box beyond whether voters are crazy enough about the pandemic election to oust the Liberals.
But there are many choices. We hope Canadians take a deep breath, do their homework by Monday, and put an X next to the name of their choice. That’s what you should do.