Thoughts on the Canadian Election

Over the course of the Canadian election that took place last Monday, our new Prime Minister made 174 different promises to Canadians. These promises were enough to win a majority government – something that according to most polls prior to the October 19th election wasn’t going to be possible. Someone much smarter than I am has started a site (TrudeauMetre.ca) that tracks all 174 of the promises made, as well as the sources of where these items were arrived at, which to me is important, because it provides some level of transparency to the site and would allow readers to know where the site author has pulled the information from.

I am an outlier when it comes to most of key demographics that the government is trying to effect through changes in government policy. I lean closer to Libertarian than any other party, if I were to call myself anything – I would prefer significantly less government involvement in my life and the money I make than I’m currently experiencing. Canada, being a semi-socialist country isn’t the best place to have this kind of political view, so I vote on the party that socially shares similar outlooks and assume that at the fiscal level, (based on previous governments) all of the parties are going to generally end up in the same place.*

I usually don’t get super interested in any kind of government platform, because they’re all the same. With the Liberal government, there were a few things that do interest me.

Tax Break of 1.5% – Anytime someone’s going to give me more money for doing basically the same thing and not really have it effect my life too much, I’m okay with that. I’m skeptical that the money will be made up by the new tax bracket created for income earners of over $200,000, but that’s not big news because I’m usually skeptical over most things that are promised to me by anybody.

The middle income tax bracket is on income from $45,000 to $89,000, so the most that this tax break will provide is around $600 ($150 per $10,000) – not a big deal to most people, but it’s a nice gesture.

End of First-Past-The-Post Voting – I would prefer that this kind of change to be coupled with a some sort of mandatory voting rule, with a token fine that would perhaps provide some incentive for citizens to vote. A change to the method of voting would give people a chance to actually make their vote count to the entire election. I live in an area that has voted in a Liberal government in every election provincially and federally for the past 18 years that I’ve lived here. Due to the makeup of the population, my vote has no impact on the entire population, which is pretty frustrating.

Marijuana Legalization – I am not a pot smoker / consumer, but the Liberal party’s stance that the current “war on drugs” that has been held for 30+ years is not effective in controlling drugs. The demand for pot has not really changed in the past few decades, but the only people making money off of this are drug dealers, who don’t pay taxes or offer legitimate taxable jobs. Creating a “cleaner” industry from a current illegal industry makes sense to me. It seems to have worked for Colorado and Washington, money rolling in and few problems created.

Other than these, I think I’m with the other approximately 45% of people who voted Liberal – I’m just hoping for some sort of change. I’m cynical, but to me, I really don’t think our previous federal government even tried to identify with the population – they had their own agenda of Canadian “Right Wing” politics and ran with that, no matter what the polls showed citizens wanted. If our new government fulfills even half of the 174 promises they ran on, I’ll be happy – to me, it at least acknowledges what people are interested in for their country.

 

 

*At both the provincial and federal levels, we work in this weird cyclical churn of parties where we vote one party into office, they do what they do for a few years and then we get mad at them about something they’ve done. The opposition parties provide new promises that will make our world better and we eagerly vote them in, only to have the cycle repeated. No Canadian political party is going to come in and slash income taxes (and the services associated with those taxes) more than a few dollars a year.