I have had a longstanding voting tradition based on the following logic:
Support the center-right for the best economic management which will encourage a healthy economy for all and generate tax revenues to help the most disadvantaged of our society. I still think that premise is sound. Federally, that usually meant supporting the Conservative Party of Canada even though I almost always had to hold my nose for their social conservatism. This time however, they have crossed the line with their social conservatism and I have to seriously consider the alternatives.
In summary, the social direction of the Conservatives have gone much too far in the following:
1. Minimum mandatory sentencing, building more prisons, and hiring more prison personnel in spite of a dramatically declining crime rate over the last 20 years.
2. An anti-science movement. Funding for pure science has declined. The market place will rarely invest in pure science has it has no imminent marketable product,
3. The making of second class citizens of millions of Canadians. A couple of examples: dual citizens are now second class. The CPC has made it legally possible for this segment of Canadian citizens to have their citizenship revoked and get deported. The niqab issue is also making a minority of Canadians second class: be forced to uncover your face in public but the full force of the law will come down on you if you uncover certain other parts of your body. What is really bad is that they are using this trivial issue as a wedge issue to divide Canadians and raise xenophobia so that people will vote for them,
4. The creation of a secret police force. Until recently, CSIS was an information-gathering agency. They now have police powers and can detain you without cause for a considerable amount of time……and what sort of accountability? Not much. Get yourself on the no-fly list without cause and see how easy it is to get off it. These are the beginnings of a totalitarian state.
5. Climate change denial. Anything environmental oriented is done grudgingly and only when pushed.
6. Warmongering. The CPC seems to be anxious to become embroiled in war and conflict, instead of being the peace-brokers and peacekeepers that the nation had built up a reputation for over many decades. By doing so, Canada is now at higher risk of attack and terrorism based on our own aggressive actions. Our reputation has been greatly damaged.
There’s more but I’ll stop there. The CPC has gone far over the line and there is no nose-holding that can allow me to put an X on the ballot for them this time. Canada as a society is a worse place than it was just a few years ago: more fearful, more prejudicial, more xenophobic, less tolerant. The CPC tends to attract a significantly greater proportion of sexist, racist, homophobic and Islamophobic people so these social policies are a natural outcome of the membership. So that leaves the alternatives: NDP and Liberal.
I had considered NDP seriously because of the balanced budget talk. However, when I see the $billions of spending promises, it means the NDP either has no idea what they are doing and are going to run up a huge deficit, or it means massive tax increases that will kill the economy and send everything into a downward spiral. They are 90% ruled out on that alone.
So that leaves Trudeau and the Liberals. Can I hold my nose and vote for them? I am skeptical of their economic plan but they do have sufficient resources to guide them in a moderate way ahead. Socially, they are pretty liberal and I’m all for that. Frankly, I don’t see anything about them that is a dealbreaker for me. Justin may not be as intellectually gifted as his rivals, but he is quite a bit ahead on emotional intelligence, which can serve the public well. Ready or not, I’m ready for Justin. That’s where my X will go.