This election should be about issues and policy, rather than fear
After Buzz Hargrove wading into the fray, trying to play the fear card at Paul Martin's behest and even Jack Layton having to stoop to doing it in order to fight back, it appears that this elections is going to be decided by fear and ideas of "strategic voting."
And that's too bad, because it should be about policy and platforms. Kudo's to Stephen Harper in this - though I disagree with his stands, at least he is trying to make this about issues and policies, rather than fear and loathing. Notice that everyday since the beginning has been a release of a CPC platform plank.
In this election we have nothing to fear. As ALW has stated
Do these people really believe that the sky will fall if one of these
two parties is elected to govern?
I have done an interesting little survey at the CBC and it had some interesting results:
First, it should be no surprise to anyone that I agreed with Jack Layton on all 12 issues in the survey. But I also found myself agreeing with Stephen Harper on 6 issues, Paul Martin on 7 issues and Gille Duccepe on 6 issues. More interesting, many of those that I agreed with them on were the same issues. Indeed, there were times when doing the survey where I wasn't sure which policy belonged to which party, because they were all very similar (and all quite good).
I agreed with all the parties on Foreign Aid, Defence Spending, Farming and Employment Insurance. Relations with the Provinces was common among all except, of course, the Bloc.
And if you take into account Stephen Harper's recent pronouncement that he and the CPC supports a single-payer, universal public healthcare system and does not support the creation of a parallel, private system, then we can probably include healthcare in that list.
So, the world will not end if Stephen Harper gets elected PM. Nor will it end if Jack Layton becomes PM. Nor will it end if Paul Martin is returned to power. There is nothing to be afraid of.
In other words, vote your conscience. Vote for the party that best represents your views and opinions. Vote for the candidate that you think will do the best job and represent your riding most effectively. Vote for which ever set of policies you think is best.
But don't vote 'strategically' through fear. If we let the politics of fear take hold, we will always vote out of fear rather than reason. And those who want us to vote out of fear, will simply find new ways to scare us into voting the way they want, not the way we want.
No vote cast in good conscience after thoughtfully considering the issues is a wasted vote. But voting out of fear is the real way our democracy will fail and the path to the end of Canada.
Listen, think and vote. But don't be afraid.