Monday, October 12, 2015

For rather than against

I have been posting a lot of stuff about why people shouldn't vote for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.  As was pointed out to me last week though, I should probably put some effort into explaining why you should vote for my favourite option, the NDP / Thomas Mulcair.

Our current system of voting is awful.  First past the post encourages strategic voting instead of people voting for what they truly want and means that success is more about having a party that has no competition in their political area than having a party the populace wants.  It should *not* be a crippling disadvantage to have multiple parties representing similar viewpoints!  The NDP is going to bring in proportional representation, which is one of the best voting systems.  There are other systems that are also fine, and although personally I would go for random ballot I think proportional representation is a great improvement over what we have.

The war on drugs is wasteful, pointless, and destructive.  The NDP is planning to pursue a strategy of decriminalizing and regulation of currently illegal drugs.  I personally don't think that the government should be stepping in to stop adults from taking recreational drugs at all and I am confident that legalizing them would bring great benefits.  However, that won't happen overnight and dialing back our terrible drug strategy towards an end goal of regulating drugs similarly to how we regulate alcohol and tobacco products now is important.

Repealing Bill C-51 is key to restoring some of our key freedoms, and the NDP will do that.  C-51 was passed in a haze of nationalism and misplaced fear of terrorism and it takes away privacy and due process from Canadians to fight a mythical foe.  We wouldn't give up our freedoms to fight television sets that tip over by accident or moose wandering onto the road, and both of those are an order of magnitude more threatening than terrorism.  C-51 needs to die, and the NDP will do that.

Canada is 95% immigrants, and our country is doing well.  There is every reason to think both from this obvious statement and every bit of research that has been conducted about immigration to developed nations that bringing in refugees and immigrants makes Canada stronger.  New people to our country tend to work hard and do so at the most difficult and brutal jobs.  They didn't cross half of the world because they were lazy and looking to sit around - the types of people that make that transition are by and large people who want something better and will bust their asses to make it happen.  The NDP is going to bring in more refugees from Syria which is both good from a humanitarian and growth standpoint, and they will also make it easier for us to accept more immigrants from all corners of the world.

Thomas Mulcair and the NDP have a plan to lower spending on pointless, sometimes counterproductive things like the drug war and the military and direct that spending to things like daycare and health.  They want to stop the racist terrorism fearmongering and the policies it has spawned that take away our freedoms and work to make Canada worse off.  The Canada I want to live in is one that gives people great freedom of expression, religion, and consumption, welcomes people of all types into our borders (which helps the people that are already here!) and makes sure that our voting system brings in the leaders that the people want.  The NDP want that Canada too, so you should vote for them to give them the chance to make that happen.


  1. I completely agree with first past the post not being optimal.

    I agree in general pretty much with everyone you're saying here.

    I'm interested in fleshing out your anti-military stance. While it's true we're not at risk of immediate attack, and aren't assertive with our military, I have lately read some thing that suggest our navy could use some beefing up as we are a maritime nation and want to project our interests into fairly remote regions. I'm not as concerned about fighter jets.

    And presumably you mean paying for soldiers and tanks vs. paying benefits to injured soldiers and such, which is a bit of a hot button issue (well, the anti-Conservatives want it to be).

  2. We're not at risk of any attacks, immediate or otherwise. Why do we want to project interests into remote regions?

    Who is campaigning on revoking benefits to veterans?

    1. Remote Regions = Arctic.

      Other Interests = Russia / USA / Etc.

      Why are they interested? = Fishing, Oil, Northwest Passage

      No one is campaigning on revoking benefits, but veteran groups are accusing the Conservatives of reducing or limiting benefits. It's a military expenditure, and Sky wants to reduce military expenditures. It's not clear if that's just tanks and F35s, or whether it includes benefits and arctic listening posts, etc.

    2. What, we don't have enough snow and ice? Let them have it. 8P

  3. understand the NDP viewpoint, but in order to remove Harper -

  4. Replies
    1. I found this article quite damning:
      Note that the website recommends voting based upon results in 2011. It says the recommendation is based upon most recent publicly available poll but does not mention any local polls for my riding Kitchener-Centre which I have seen local polls for.

      I am a big fan of the NZ model for change where 19% of the population voted for the Alliance party which got 2% of the seats. This enormous disparity drove change. So even by not having electoral power their votes showed the need for electoral reform.

    2. That was going to be the site I'd link first, thanks Dave!

  5. excellent read - great counter point.