As October 14 draws nearer, the race for votes grows tighter with every political party having put its best foot forward with fully unveiled campaign platforms. With overlap on issues between the parties and endless campaign promises that could be too good to be true, when it comes to selecting a new government, the choice is yours.
The Conservative Party
So far the Conservative Party is the only contender to not release an actual platform. With that said, more of the same can be expected from this party. Instead of promising Canadians new policies and spending expenditures, its focus has been about looking at what it has established through fiscal responsibility since the last election and focusing on leadership. Rather than offering up goodies to voters, the campaign has been focused outwardly on what a bad leader Liberal Stephane Dion would be, how the Liberals are irresponsible spenders compared to the budget-surplus-obsessed Conservatives and how their tax cuts and bonus for families would disappear should the Liberals rule the roost again.
The Liberal Party
Not only are the Liberals promising to balance Canada’s books, steering clear of a deficit, their four-year, $55 billion election-campaign platform promises $16.3 billion in new program spending and more than $40 billion in tax cuts within that time. A new $40 billion would go to their environmental plan, The Green Shift, $620 million for social housing, $500 million devoted to foreign aid and a plan to devote $2.1 billion to the implementation of the Kelowna Accord. The Liberals are also promising major tax cuts and a whole bevy of programs for poorer Canadians, parents, farmers and immigrants.
The New Democratic Party
The NDP’s $51.6 billion election platform features a mixed bag of goodies for all Canadians. Jack Layton’s NDP would see $50-billion worth in tax cuts go to average Canadians in the form of child care, health care and monies devoted to cities. Over the next four years, $6 billion would go to families and childcare with a major boost to the “baby bonus.” An additional $6 billion would also be rolled out for their green campaign, with a large sum going to boosting “green-collar jobs” among other things. A new $3.5 billion would be injected into new health-care objectives and an additional $400 million would go into public-transit systems.
The Bloc Quebecois
The party’s anchor campaign promises are all about how the Bloc is the ideal opposition for the Conservative government since Stephen Harper cannot be trusted. Rather than focus on cash promises since the Bloc can never be a ruling party, its aim is to sell values to the public. These values include ensuring the protection of Bill 101, ensuring integration for immigrants, more control over Quebec culture, funding Quebec-based social development organizations, reducing the province’s dependency on oil and lots of promises to Quebec’s enraged artistic community that would suffer under the Conservatives.
The Green Party
Canada’s environmental party’s ideology is based on the future: “a livable world, with enough for everyone, with healthy communities based on healthy economies, secure for future generations,” so their website states. Offering Canadians the most comprehensive environmental policy, the Green Party is also putting forward programs to create healthy businesses, renegotiation of the Free Trade Agreement, GST investments into infrastructure, hefty health promotion campaigns and closing Canada’s economic gap.
The First Peoples National Party
One of Canada’s newest parties, the First Peoples National Party of Canada will field six candidates across the country for their second only election. The ideology behind the FPNP is based on Elders teachings with the particular principal of “inclusion” being at the forefront so to bring the culture of inclusion to Parliament. The FPNP promises to work on getting the other federal parties to work together, slow down environmental erosion and resource exploitation and actually put themselves as Aboriginals at the table to be able to represent Aboriginal issues, consult on land claims and ensure the implementation of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
With that said, Happy Voting!