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#cdnpoli

September 4, 2015

A message for my Canadian brethren as you travel towards the polls for #elxn42 on October 19th (for which you are planning to vote, oui?). I would like to bring my experience as a current expat to this conversation (click here for the TL;DR version), and talk specifically about one of the parties currently vying for your vote, that of the Conservative Party of Canada. Living as I am right now in a country that, at the federal level, has for many years been pursuing the policies favoured by the Conservative Party (or, more so I would say that the Conservative Party of Canada is feverishly trying to copy these policies), I have seen and continue to see, with great clarity, the end results of these policies. Spoiler alert: they do not end well.

I’m really struck by how similar the Conservative Party of Canada’s legislative ambitions mirror those of the Republican Party here in the United States of America. While they have, thus far, shied away from a lot of the “moral” issues so prevalent of “right wing” politics here in the States (though we have seen Canadian taxpayer monies being funneled to promote religion, so there are attempts), the remainder of their platform is largely taken, line by line, straight out of the Republican party playbook. With this playbook in hand the Conservative Party has run boldly, leaving no one able to accuse them of sitting idle. It has not been a “do nothing” legislature.

Idleness, in my view, would have been far better than what they have wrought. For the policies followed and the legislation passed has largely been suspect at best and downright unnecessary and destructive at worst:  So-called “Tough on crime” legislation. The de-funding and muzzling of federal scientists and statisticians. Voting restrictions. Expanding the secret powers of CSIS. Eliminating safety and health protecting policies. Omnibus legislation that would make a rider-laden bill in the US Congress blush. And adherence to an economic policy that, after 35+ years of strong devotion and promotion and enacting in the USA, has failed to produce the ever- and ever-again promised outcome of a brighter future for all. Instead, the trend includes wages that are stagnant or declining for most of the population, soaring healthcare costs, less reported happiness, high underemployment, and an ever widening gap of income inequality.

It is not the direction I would advocate any country to travel down. I have always held to the idea that it is a good thing to learn from your errs, and from the experience of others. Standard business school logic even dictates that a case study is of incredible importance when charting your path forward. We have a roughly 320 million person case study sitting right south of our border. We can see the results.

Results that have me ask, why would any of our political parties be wanting to not only follow, but copy these policies with fervor and zeal? Even and especially the ones that our case study subjects themselves are now realizing do not work?

This is my experience. I have seen close up the results of the policies and ideologies espoused and enacted by the Conservative Party of Canada. They are not desirable outcomes that result in a greater country.

They are not the policies I would vote for, and I recommend you do not vote for them either.

TL;DR

Hi, I am a Canadian expat who is living under the policies championed by the Conservative Party of Canada. During my decade and a half here in the USA, I have seen the results of these policies, as these policies have been essentially lifted from the Republican Party playbook. They have not and do not create good and desirable outcomes. To avoid the same fate, I strongly recommend you not to vote for the Conservative Party of Canada in this upcoming election.

 

Just a few bits to follow:

The unnecessary and ridiculed crime bill C-10: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/texas-conservatives-reject-harper-s-crime-plan-1.1021017

Shying away from knowledge, information, sound science, and informed lawmaking + becoming more secretive: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/opinion/sunday/the-closing-of-the-canadian-mind.html?mabReward=A3&_r=0

Income inequality in the USA: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/economic-inequality-it-s-far-worse-than-you-think/

Voting suppression (including how the head of Elections Canada is no longer allowed to even encourage voting): http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/fair-elections-act-7-things-you-may-not-know-1.2605535

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