While I’m a paying member of a certain Canadian political party, and while my personal political ideology is firmly grounded, I think it’s appropriate and responsible to not just blindly vote from the gut. As the election starts, I’m going to lay out the issues upon which I will evaluate the candidates and parties to decide my vote. Call it the political platform of the Jesse Party. I’m also including detrimental political tactics that I don’t want the parties to engage in. As election day approaches, I’ll do some sort of formal evaluation here, which will help determine which party I’m going to vote for.
And here we go:
1. Integrity and Ethics
Transparency. Respect for the institution of Parliament. Aversion to proroguing. Strong leadership skills among MPs. Respect for truth and justice.
2. Environmental & Energy Policy
Formulating a strong and reasonable policy on reducing carbon emissions. Instituting a carbon tax. Transitioning to renewable and low emission energy sources.
3. Health Care
Investing in new medical facilities, attracting doctors and health professionals to Canada, reducing wait times. Not privatizing the system.
4. Domestic Economic Policy
Combating poverty. Tax-cuts for the lowest income earners. Reasonably and proportionally increasing taxes for the wealthiest earners and businesses.
5. Investment in Education
Funding universities and colleges. Reducing tuition fees. Investing in curricular materials in public schools. Creating a National Day Care program.
6. Investment in Arts & Culture
See here, here, and here.
7. Foreign Policy
A mediated and strategic end to combat duty in Afghanistan. Fostering bipartisan peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, including encouraging an end to settlement building by Israel and a strong dismantling of terrorist infrastructure and enforcement of civil law by the Palestinians. Strict standards as to who we ally ourself with and when we interfere in foreign domestic conflicts.
* * *
And these are the tactics I hope not to see. If a party engages in them, it will make it harder for me to vote for them:
1. Labeling a potential coalition as an evil, illegal, or otherwise bad thing
2. Ethnic vote buying
3. Ad-hominem attacks where inappropriate (sometimes it’s absolutely legitimate to call into question a candidate’s character when it comes to leadership skills, but I am put-off by otherwise personal attacks on a candidate)
4. Referring to the NDP pejoratively as “socialists,” as if we’re living in 1950s America
5. Pretending that the economy is Canadians’ #1 issue, when polling clearly indicates it is not
6. Ignoring or hiding from the fact that the Conservatives are the first government to be found in contempt of Parliament