Tag Archives: Canadian federal election 2008

Canadian Federal Election: debating and voting and pondering…

THE BALLOT

I cast my ballot today – 10€ express post…. Stood there wanting to spend 0.80€ (for regular mail) and thought twice – Jane, your vote is worth 10€.

Anyways, seeing as the election debate was almost a week ago, I only watched it a couple days ago so this is very late news but newsworthy on this blog nonetheless 😉

THE DEBATE:

May was awesome. Favourite line – “You should really read the OECD report – that’s a good read.” I’m so happy that the Greens are moving up. And on a similar note, I was happy that May & Dion (and Layton?) brought up other countries – I think it’s important to benchmark and see where other nations are – i.e. previous post on how we’re practically last on the list when it comes to the environment.

Seeing as I’m a pro-environment person, it was good for me to sit and watch the other discussions. As for the economy, Harper would probably do the best job, but he’s not saying anything substantial besides the fact that he would do the best job – HOW? Finally, a platform came out after, but it’s not enough. This credit crunch is/will affect us and he’s ho humming about it. As for Layton’s attack on the corporate tax rates – I haven’t paid attention to it too much, but I know that if we want a strong Canada in a global world, we need to bring investment here – having a low corporate tax rate is important for our competitiveness. So, although I agree with Layton on certain things (thanks for bringing up the First Nations!) – the answer to all of our problems isn’t just about cutting the corporate tax rate.

As for the “are the manufacturing jobs gone for good” question – I almost agree with Harper on that – economies shift, job losses must equal job creation but not necessarily in the same sector. So, I agree with supporting some industries (in sustainable ways that supports the communities) but I disagree with keeping jobs for the sake of keeping the same jobs open. We need to invest in high value added (as will be a post soon on Thunder Bay’s biofuel industry). However, that being said, most of the candidates were of the same opinion I believe. The key point is that the new jobs cannot be in the low wage, low value jobs.

I won’t continue… I have work to do. Canadian politics can be pretty boring and yappy and so at first I thought that the American debate would be better since they didn’t cut into each other  – like our politicians do incessantly like school children. BUT.. to be honest, it was kind of refreshing. THEY DEBATED, unlike Palin & Biden;) They could lessen the finger jabbing though and personal attacks, that gets old fast…

MY CONFUSED THOUGHTS…

I just voted, and I’m still happy with who I voted for, but for an election that I put quite the effort into understanding all of the issues, I still don’t get it all.

It seems as though I’m in the midst of regaining my “what’s right in the world” view.

I agree with free markets and international trade but I also agree that we should support the local economy for sustainability & community sake.

I agree with economic growth but I know that growth can’t be the end answer – that’s what’s led us into this credit crunch disaster – we all want more that we’re capable of having.

Meh, it’s late. I can ponder this tomorrow 😉

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Don’t Vote

Yes, this is for the American election, but we Canadians have until October 14th!

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Canadian Election 2008…shifting sides

As promised, here goes my views on the Environmental policy for Conservatives vs. Liberals.

Aside from my belief that the Conservatives are dumb for calling this election, as someone that cares a lot about business and the environment, they’re doing a pretty weak (and internationally embarrassing) job at keeping Canada on the sustainability track.

They’ve dropped Kyoto from the radar (along with serious discussions about climate change) and they’ve essentially made Canadians look like the “bad guys” on the international environmental scene (Our Env. Minister going missing at the UN Climate Change conference in Indonesia is a case in point). The party’s strive for “realistic and achievable” goals is laughable when Canada is ranked 28th our of the 29 OECD countries (thanks to the USA for not being dead last…)

Canada's ranking vs the OECD countries

Canada

Okay, poor quality – sorry, but take a look at those numbers and read the full report if you want (it’s a humbling experience…) We like to think that Canadians are pretty good towards the environment but we’re most definitely not.

Granted, this is not solely due to the Conservatives. Of course the Liberals (and every politician and even citizen) is to blame for our current state. But, my point is – we’re falling behind the world and Harper (our current PM) is not a leader in this regard, period.

Judging by their website, which btw, shows me what they have done (excluding points of course of what they haven’t done), but not what they will do… In any event, I don’t see them taking on any huge challenge in their policy- it’s more about keeping the status quo, which is just not good enough.

So, yes, I helped them get their first minority government (we needed a change), and I’m most definitely not giving them my support this time round.

I used to hate the Liberals. (Getting a better of idea of the political pessimist side of me yet? hehe) But, I think that they’re on to something…  Waiting for the comment bashing – your thoughts are welcome:)

Why? The Green Shift. Call it what you may, but Dion’s plan is a PLAN – one that entails a huge change in the way that we think and act – and one that is 100% needed.

It’s not just a “green-wash”, “tax-everything” grab. The plan is, fundamentally, about economics. If you learned anything from Freakonomics – economics is all about how people respond to incentives. And, although Harper thinks it’s crazy, it’s quite simple.

BAD HABITS (pollution, waste etc.) =  TAXES

GOOD HABITS (conservation, savings) = REWARDS

Dion is not coming out of left field here. This is exactly what business and environment leaders (researchers as well as successful practitioners) have been calling us to do for a long time. I remember reading a CSR book written by the major CEOs (i.e. Shell & Dupont) and the subject of eco-taxes was a recurrent theme.

Eco-taxes are nothing new either. If you want to know who is on the top of those lists pointed above, they’re the countries who have these taxes in place! (Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland…) THESE TAXES CAN WORK.

Now, of course, turning our fiscal system on its head won’t be easy and it’ll have its ups and downs. But it is needed and frankly, about time that someone with a real idea stepped up. Is it flawed? Of course! What plan isn’t? So, although the Conservatives bash the plan, they’re one to talk since they have no real plan behind them!

Realistically, it won’t be implemented anyways as the Liberals will never get the Majority to put this into place. But, they may just get my vote for keeping the idea on the table, working out the kinks and implementing (hopefully) later.

To get your head around the Liberal “Green Shift” plan, take a look at some of the videos on it and read up on it to judge for yourself.

So will I vote Liberal? I don’t know yet.  I’m leaving out two very important parties. NDP & the Green Party. My view on their environment issues in another post.

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Doing my civic homework

(Apologies for the long silence… jumping between lives takes time… back into life #3- Finland and quite enjoying it – aside from the near freezing temperatures!)

We Canadians like to do things fast – like, spring an election in a month. Yes, whereas our neighbours to the south spend years campaigning (not to mention billions of dollars and wasted international media coverage…I could go on about the ridiculousness about this, but not now), ours was called last week and it’ll be scheduled for October 14.

Now, first things first, there are politicos out there reading this and the politically clueless. I’d say I’m somewhere in between.  I try to stay up to date somewhat, but frankly, I tend to hate politics. It’s just too, well, political. It’s embarrassing to hear the childish bickering on the House floor and it’s hard to trust any of them when they care more about winning seats than about the issues at hand. Sigh…

Nevertheless, I’m a citizen of Canada and as such, I have an obligation to partake in this sacred, albeit likely useless* election.

Note for int’l readers: we have an unsatisfied minority Conservative gov’t and it will likely be the same after this election…

Who will I vote for?

I don’t know yet. That’s my nightly homework right now – looking at the issues, the candidates etc. (Not to mention, I usually watch/read international news, not just Canadian news, so now have to shift my focus a bit.)

I’m not a partisan voter. I vote on issues, not parties. Just as I tend to hate politics, I tend to dislike (hate’s such a strong word!) all of the parties, and I’ve shown my swinging power by voting for almost all of them at some point or another.

I’ll be using this blog to express my thoughts as I do my homework. So stay in tune…

Up Next:

Environmental policy : Conservatives vs. the Liberals

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