I care to say, vote Liberal Oct. 19th

Post-election addendum: I wrote this in a bit of a haste before Monday’s election day, and then after the election saw this news: Andrew Coyne resigns as National Post comment editor after paper rejects election column. Wow he’s my favorite Canadian columnist and I wouldn’t have expected this.

After a mock election exercise in grade six I instantly followed my instincts to follow politics closely because I have never had a hard time finding it interesting. But man the last 10 years put that interest to the test and failed miserably. There’s still very compelling reason to find Canadian politics worth following. I think often about this and agree, that if we’re still far from recovering from an industrial “great stagnation” than smart policy reform is really not something that can be pushed back endlessly if we want to keep increasing wealth, which we should. Stephen Harper or Justin Trudeau don’t have to be as interesting or as smart as Tyler Cowen but please Canadian politics, throw me a bone here.

Without some material change in the system to more proportional representation, it’s hard to see how things are going to get any less watered down. But it’s on this point, where the Liberals at least have made the “promise to eliminate the current first-past-the-post voting system”, that my angle is set from which I find myself forming a final opinion on this year’s election. I hardly align with the Liberals in a broad sense nor do I think much of Justin Trudeau. In sum the Liberals will probably do more harm than the Conservatives simply by making what it is we’re voting on, a Federal government of Canada, bigger. But they have a few items thrown in their platform that are worth seeing through that give them the edge on the margin this year between he parties, and where Harper’s Conservatives fall down ignoring this generation’s thirst for (any, please) real liberal reform. Basically Trudeau’s Liberals will make the Federal government a little worse off than Harper’s Conservatives, but they have a few positions worth voting for that go beyond offsetting this, and so I think people should vote Liberal (aside from local candidate considerations).

My sister who lives in Australia sent me this article over the weekend wondering what my thoughts were. I think it’s weak to try to suggest Cdn and Oz economies have slumped recently because the left wing options weren’t in power. And wow what it is such a stretch to say “and the centre right Liberal Party – in the true meaning of “liberal” – led by Justin Trudeau.” Our federal government did basically the right things over the last decade to not freak out during financial crises. Harper also did generally stick up more for free trade than any of the other parties would have over his time but that didn’t take (or accomplish) much. Somewhat surprisingly I feel okay on economic management as a whole voting for Trudeau even if only because I don’t think he can screw things up too badly and at least the message gets sent that if you’re going to capture the economic Libertarian crowd you’re going to have to do more to stand out from parties meeting in the center.

The Liberals cranked up the heat on the typical environmentalist non-speak rhetoric- that’s a whole lot of “create green jobs” and “invest in clean energy” hyperbole that I’ve had my fill of thank you very much. However, I think I’m just overwhelmingly sick actually of having the Conservatives’ show no integrity on the issue of greenhouse gases- it makes much more sense for them to just come out and say “sorry we don’t think it’s a good investment, moving on” than to continue with this disingenuous nonsense about ad hoc regulations. Please one day I hope to see the day where a politician speaks less about global warming, recycling, and weird “green” subsidy programs, and actually say something about the neglected issues of water quality and fisheries outside urban areas, protecting against or adapting to invasive species, and overhauling the agricultural sector protections. At least with a Liberal win there would be a bunch more funding available for spending on environmental causes and I can hope that it doesn’t play out in the priorities planned out so far.

I did scan through the official platform document from both parties even if neither gripped me to go through in much detail. There was a not so small issue in my opinion I think is important for people to not shy away from supporting. The nod in the right direction on drug policy reform proposed by the Liberals could actually be part of the platform of a winning party in Canada tomorrow. If nothing much else distinguishes these two candidates you can at least make that statement with your vote.

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