Hello my fellow Canadians! As we travel towards the polls on October the 21st (you are intending to cast a vote, oui?), once again I would like to bring my experience as a current expat to bear and provide some perspective on one of our national political parties, namely the Conservative Party of Canada. Living as I am right now in a country that, at a federal level, has been pursuing many of the policies of the Conservative Party (or, perhaps more appropriate to say, the Conservative Party has been all to happy to crib from and adopt the policies from down here), I have a close(r) view of the impacts and end results of these policies.
To which should be our focus. Like all elections, this one is about policy. It is not about popularity or pageantry, it is about the theories and temperament of governance, the passing of bills, the direction of our laws, the shaping of our systems, and, most importantly, the results thereof.
And the results of the policies and politics favoured by the Conservative party (and their Republican role models) are not great. In so many ways and by so many measures they have not brought and do not bring what is best for the country, its lands, or most of its people.
I could enumerate a myriad of examples, but the biggest bear in the room, as it is their most prominent banner, are the now tired and worn economic policies they have incessantly trumpeted since the early 80s. 40ish years of promises that are never fulfilled, be it the promised jobs, promised economic freedom for the majority, or the ever-coming rising tide that will lift all boats. If the tides have come, they are a seriously bizarre phenomena, localized under a few percentages of the population who soar while the rest, at best, tread water. At worst, and at its most common, it is instead a stormy sea, full of predation, stress, and sudden drowning. But no example is better than that of their own recent history, as for the past three years the federal Republicans have enacted a massive “dream team” deregulation and detaxation push with the usual promised explosion of growth and wealth. Reality replied with economic, wage, and employment growth that have all remained completely unphased and unchanged, with no sign in sight of the promised “so much winning.” Their theories are deeply flawed. (Or maybe just disingenuous, for their policies did manage to explode the deficit and increase wealth inequity while managing to cause extra hardship for many people who are not in the top 10% of earners.)
It was less than a handful of years ago that we in Canada tried our own experiment with these policies and this party. During that time we got increased secret surveillance, criminal justice changes that even police officers in Texas said was cruel and unproductive, the muzzling of federal workers, elimination of safety and health protection policies, message control by the PMO, proroguing of parliament to circumvent hard debate, legislation to discourage voter participation, and countless more. There is little reason to think any of this will change under a new Conservative government. Besides touting the same talking points, and releasing major policy papers that they proudly wave about touting their heft yet are mainly filled with background, platitudes, and pictures (a trick every student in grade six knows is the key to completing that assigned “12 page” report) rather than any real policy, there are also the actions of the current Conservative government in Ontario. With amazing speed they have enmeshed themselves with, among other things, questionable promotion practices, messing with elections, press conferences filled with more cheerleading applause than answers, dozens of ill advised and uncoordinated program and system changes (many of which are duly forced to reverse course course due to their complete unworkability), and the creation of a hoodwinking government (and thus taxpayer)-funded mouthpiece media channel that comports and costumes itself as though it were an authentic and independent news network. These are the courses they, and their Republican kin, have been following. We can therefore expect more of the same.
These policies and actions are not good ones. They do not create equity, harmony, or prosperity for the country or its citizens. They are heavily titled towards a few at the expense of the many. Many of their concepts and ideologies are bankrupt and have been demonstrated not to work – we have our test case just south of our border. Let us not repeat the mistakes and walk down a path to ruin.
These are policies I would not vote for, and I recommend you do not vote for them, or the Conservative Party of Canada, either.
Hi, I am a Canadian expat who is living under the policies championed by the Conservative Party of Canada. During my two decades here in the USA, I have seen the results of these policies, as they 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.