More exciting than Christmas, election season is here. Such immediate, fervent response from left-leaning volunteers made it difficult for the Opinion Editor to find Conservative-voting students in time for publication, but take his word for it, he tried.
I’ve always voted NDP, but this time I can’t.
The party seems determined to transform themselves into a bad knockoff of the 1990s Liberals. They’ve bought into the right-wing fixation on superficial deficits and surpluses. And despite constantly championing themselves as the progressive choice, their policies on refugees, marijuana, democratic reform, and investment in social housing, green energy technology, and public transit are all to the right of the Liberals. Even some of the NDP’s truly progressive policies, like its plan to create one million childcare spaces at a cost to parents of no more than $15 a day (a policy reminiscent of the 1990’s Liberals) won’t start being implemented until the third or fourth year of their hypothetical mandate and will take eight years to fully implement. Their other big progressive idea is a universal pharmacare plan, but the plan is seriously lacking in details and funding. All of this based on a budget predicting oil at $67 per barrel and rising, when in reality oil is at $47 per barrel and falling.
Some voters have started to recognize this as misleading and not all that progressive, and New Democrats resort to their classic rallying cry, “Liberals campaign left, govern right. You can’t trust ‘em!” Well, after seeing Thomas Mulcair praise neoconservative icon Margaret Thatcher for her economic policies, I don’t particularly trust him not to pull the left-right fake out either. I suppose then the transformation would be complete. As a progressive voter, I’m going to have to go with the Liberals this time. — Trevor McPherson
New Democratic Party
Despite the NDP’s shift to the centre, with the talk about balanced budgets and fiscal responsibility, I have more reason to trust the NDP under Thomas Mulcair than the Liberals under Justin Trudeau.
First of all: the NDP’s sudden emphasis on balanced budgets isn’t a good enough reason to lose all faith in the NDP. Since the rise of neoliberalism in the 80’s, fiscal responsibility has become a permanent part of our political lexicon. If embracing that fact will help your party become more electable, so be it. And while the Liberals seem to think that a technical recession warrants deficit spending, the situation might not actually warrant it as our economy might return to growth in the next quarter.
And if you’re worried that this means that the NDP is now incapable of making a principled stance when it needs to, look no further than Bill C-51. The NDP firmly opposed it as opposed to the Liberals, who reasoned that they ensured the rights of Canadians by allowing Canadians to have input on some contents of the bill. While the Liberals talk about taking a stand, the NDP has actually taken it.
But then again this is a very close race with both parties making many similar promises. With almost a month before the election, things can definitely change. — Nathan Fung
New Democratic Party
When evaluating candidates I like to consider what their spirit animal would be. I see Mulcair as a pitbull/teddy bear cross, Harper an undead raccoon with a bad toupee, and Trudeau a drunk peacock, pretty and swaying left and right.
Jokes aside, the NDP have my vote. During the Globe and Mail debate Mulcair said, “I’m tired of watching successive Liberal and Conservative governments dump these massive ecological, economic, and social debts on the backs of future generations.” Me too Mulcair, me too. Let’s shift Canada’s political landscape left again. Away from bills that strip our rights and frame environmentalists as terrorists, away from second-class citizenship and fear mongering. Let’s make polluting corporations pay their fair share, through the filling-in of gaping loopholes and a responsible cap-and-trade system.
Don’t forget that around the university area, a vote for the NDP is a vote for Linda Duncan, a.k.a. the most badass member of parliament an environmentalist could ask for. She’s a U of A alumnus and former environmental law consultant, she’s been the NDP’s critic for the environment and other important portfolios, and has been fighting tirelessly to pass her Canadian environmental bill of rights. She’s my hero and everything I aspire to be.
In summary, a vote for Linda Duncan is a vote for an environmental warrior princess, and an NDP government that will take this country in the right direction. A vote for Harper or Trudeau is like handing your future over to a raccoon or an inebriated peacock. It’s up to you though. — Sofia Osborne
I’m not keen on voting for any of the major parties. They’re self-indulgent groups of lifelong politicians that make empty promises for the sole purpose of gaining power. That’s why I like the fringe parties. None of them have a shot at playing with the big kids, so they focus on what matters: the issues, not the politics. Most of their candidates haven’t been in politics since they were on the junior high student council, which gives them perspective from outside of the dank dungeons of the party headquarters.
My fringe party of choice is the Pirate Party. Their name may sound silly, but it comes from their roots as a copyright reform movement. The Pirate Party is now an international organization with elected representatives in Iceland, and formerly in Germany and Sweden. I’m on board because I agree with their major principles: they want an open, more transparent government, a basic income guarantee, more personal autonomy and, of course, copyright reform.
I’ll acknowledge that writing this is a total conflict of interest for me. The Pirate Party candidate in my riding, is Ryan Bromsgrove; we worked at The Gateway together, we started a new media site called Dispatch 7 and we’re currently working on a video game. But I wouldn’t vote for a candidate just because they’re my friend. The Pirate Party’s policies make sense, and I hope they continue to grow as more people learn about them. — Kevin Schenk
$$$ 🙂 — Josh Greschner