Our endorsement for the Canadian federal election.
Canadians will go to the polls on May 2nd to choose a new Parliament. If we have to choose one word to describe the nature of this election campaign, that word would be disappointing. It was a campaign plagued with negative attacks coming from all sides and all parties, except the Greens, who were undemocratically excluded from the televised leaders’ debates. Crucial issues like climate change were totally avoided by the big parties, who preferred demagoguery over substance. However, one man’s demagoguery and populism stands out among the rest: Stephen Harper’s.
During the last years, Canada has experienced an administration that mastered the politics of irresponsibility. From environmental policy to tax and fiscal policy, Harper’s Conservatives have led Canada through an irresponsible and unsustainable path: giving tax cuts to big polluters, turning a surplus from the previous Liberal government into a large deficit, showing contempt for parliamentary democracy and government openness, and having no plan at all to fight climate change and reduce Canada’s environmental footprint. A country that used to be a symbol of progressive and forward-looking politics is now moving backwards on many fronts: backwards on social mobility, backwards on environmental sustainability, backwards on social progressivism, backwards on openness and integration. That’s not the kind of Canada we want to see. Stephen Harper’s time is up. His presumed economic management skills –which we certainly don’t see– do not make up for the kind of backwardness he and many of the members of his party represent.
What about the opposition?
It’s pretty clear by now that Michael Ignatieff is not the best campaigner. We like his intellectual background and think he would make a good Prime Minister but, unfortunately, most Canadians are not seeing that. The Liberal campaign has been weak and has lacked a clear message (to say the least) from the beginning, while the apparently revitalized New Democrats have used the usual dose of populism they are so accustomed to, promising billions in new spending and, at the same time, a balanced budget with no pain involved. This is as irresponsible and populist as Mr. Harper’s agenda, the only difference being ideological. Finally, the Greens have put forward a comprehensive plan but have decided to concentrate on winning Elizabeth May’s riding instead of running a truly national campaign. We don’t blame them. Ms. May has a very good chance of winning the seat (now in Tory hands) and this could prove vital to the party’s success in future elections. Plus, they have avoided the kind of populism the NDP and the Conservatives have so shamefully exploited during the campaign.
With this scenario in mind, and facing the danger of a Conservative majority government –which, we think, would be very negative for Canada’s prosperity–, we have decided to make a rather unappealing series of endorsements.
Federally, our official endorsement goes to the Liberal Party, as the best champion of liberal ideas and tolerant policies and politics in Canada.
At the riding level, we endorse the candidate best placed to prevent a Conservative victory, be it the Liberal, NDP or Green candidate (except the Bloc Québécois).
Finally, we want to make a special endorsement in the Saanich-Gulf Islands riding, where Green Party leader Elizabeth May is in a tight race with the Tory incumbent. We support Ms. May and wish she becomes a strong voice for green policies in Parliament.
At this point, we believe the most important thing is to prevent a Conservative majority. That’s why we urge voters to vote strategically. However, in those ridings were Liberals and New Democrats have the same chance of beating the Conservative candidate, we strongly support the Liberal candidate. A Liberal majority is out of reach, so we are open to the idea of a Liberal-NDP(-Green) coalition government to move Canada back to progressive and consensus-based politics.
It’s time for Canada to move forward again. Do not vote Conservative.
Tags: canada "liberal party" "stephen harper" ndp greens election elections endorsement
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