Saturday, December 03, 2005

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.


At 9:06 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

What I find interesting is that Harper is getting all the press with his policy announcements, while the fear-mongering is generally not grabbing headlines. Maybe there's hope for a clean election of ideas yet?

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Absolutely Andrew. That's why I single out Stephen Harper in this. He appears to have taken your advice (and mine as well) to "take the high road" and make this about issues and policy and not 'Corruption! Scandal!' like last time.

I hope this meme take hold with his MPs and Candidates as well, but I'm less hopeful there. While your guy Kieth Fountain seems to be on side, my boy Pierre Poilievre is still ramping up the 'Scandal' over QCH and Jason 'Omni is a Magazine?' Kenney missed the memo.

I can hardly wait for Cheryl Gallant to wade in or for Hedy Fry or Top Wappell to start.

I see Buzz and Paul Martin are already doing it.

I can still hope for an election about issues and I think Stephen Harper, Jack Layton and to a lesser extent Gilles "Un lance, un but!" Duccepe are trying for that.

At 1:34 PM, Blogger Scott in Montreal said...

Duceppe started using smear tactics himself this week, unfortunately.

At 3:12 AM, Blogger Nastyboy said...

I saw a statement in the press from Jack Layton where he said that (paraphrasing) "Steven harper isn't evil, he's just wrong."

I respect that.

Being a newbie to the blogoshere, I'm glad that i have run across people like mike, dino, kevin g. and daveberta. Even Warren Kisella can say that he respects and even likes people from other parties.

We tend to forget that even if we disagree with other Canadians, we are still all Canadians. We do have shared values and concerns.

One thing that I have noticed, is that no matter what our politian stripe may be, we all pretty much want the same things. The difference comes down to how we want to get things done.


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