South Dundas - June 18, 2015 - Federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau released his
party’s platform in the run up for the 2015 Federal Election this
fall. When it comes to a hodgepodge of promises and ideas, this
document fails to disappoint. However the younger Trudeau misses the
Picking through the document, a few things jump that clearly show that
Trudeau does not understand the priorities and immediate needs of
Canadians. It smacks of the Trudeau-way of telling you what is good
for you, not helping you to do better.
Case in point, electoral reform. Trudeau the Younger, wants to move
away from the first-past-the-post system of voting to one more
representative of Canadian’s wishes. Electoral reform is not
top-of-mind for Canadians. How can you get more representative of a
vote than giving a ballot to a person and have them put a mark beside
a person’s name? The one with the most votes wins. This is not rocket
science, it’s voting. Changing the way government is elected, to say a
movable vote method where you rank the ballot choices, adds confusion
to the system. There is nothing wrong with the first-past-the-post
system other than, for the Liberals, they have been out of power for
nearly 10 years now because other parties have benefited from… the
votes of the first-past-the-post system.
Further on electoral reform. Trudeau the Younger wishes for mandatory
voting. Sounds great in theory, but I would prefer only those who pay
attention to the process actually vote in it. Forcing someone to vote
could mean a voter making uneducated choices, that does not benefit
anyone in the system.
Regarding the Federal Cabinet, Trudeau wants gender parody. Why? If
the goal of gender equality is to have gender to cease being a
deciding factor in judging whether someone is deserving of the job,
why force yourself to pick exactly 50% Women and 50% Men? The problem
with gender quotas is it takes out the part about merit, and
qualification. This also applies to language quotas but that is a
topic for another column. Gender should not matter in selecting a
cabinet minister, or a judge, an office staffer or even the bus boy,
er, bus person. Qualification, experience, knowledge of job, that is
what should matter. Not gender. If that meant that 90% of the cabinet
was female and only 10% was male, who cares. So long as 100% of those
in the cabinet are qualified for the portfolios they are to run.
Trudeau plans on reforming Elections Canada to allow for online
voting. This is a dangerous and foolish policy. We have seen hacking,
credit card fraud, and damaging attacks on Information Technology
across the globe. Trusting our democratic institution to a system no
more secure than voting in a Facebook Poll is ludicrous.
The Liberals are pledging to reform the Canada Revenue Agency, fat
chance. They had the better part of 100 years to do that, it’s
doubtful another kick of the can will yield results.
Trudeau’s understanding of the Senate and the constitution is weak at
best. He has pledged to move the Senate away from partisanship. The
Senate has never been devoid of partisanship. The framers of the
British North America Act crafted the Canadian Senate to be a chamber
that was appointed by the Governor General based on the advise of the
sitting Prime Minister. No matter what you do to the Senate, you are
going to have partisanship. Partisanship is NOT the issue with the
Canadian Senate. A lack of accountability because Canadians are not
allowed to elect their Senators is the problem with the Canadian
Senate. A lack of clear rules for Senators expenses, a lack of
oversight for Senate spending, that is a problem with the Canadian
Senate. Not that it runs on party lines.
Trudeau has stated that Prime Minster Harper has “turned Ottawa into a
partisan swamp” and that it wasn’t like that when his father was Prime
Minister. This is what happens when we stop teaching history in
Canadian schools, people fail to learn what happened in the past.
Trudeau the Younger should look at some of his father’s appointments
to the judiciary, the Senate, to the foreign service as Ambassadors.
He should also look at how his father conducted favoritism with
contracts, awarding Liberal-friendly firms with lucrative contracts
from polling and advertising, to construction. Crack a book sometime
Trudeau the Younger.
All of these platform planks, tax reform, voting reform, partisanship
reform, are all grey policies. They don’t mean anything. They are
feel-good policy planks. It matches his “Hope and hard work” slogan.
Touchy-feely, feel-good buzzwords that play on emotion over logic.
They all miss the mark on what Canadians are really looking for, what
they are really worried about. Jobs. Economy. Money.
Having the CRA help me file my taxes does not do me any good, if my
income drops due to downsizing. Having a gender-balanced cabinet does
not grow jobs in Canada. Having Trudeau clean up the “partisan swamp”
of Ottawa does not help me save for my retirement or my children’s
education. This is not to say that the NDP or Conservatives have
offered anything better, all three parties are missing the mark here.
Trudeau has tried with this platform to take the 1970’s style
progressive ideals of his father and stuff it into an emotional vote
plea in 2015. It does not focus on the key worries of Canadians and
falls short. It clearly has missed the mark.