It’s almost election time. Monday, October 21 marks the official date that all votes must be in for this year’s federal election.
We think it’s so crucial for people to think about things like healthcare around election time and make strategic and thoughtful decisions before they vote. By staying informed on each party’s agenda and their promises for things like healthcare, you can play an active roll in shaping our Canadian policies to work better for you and your loved ones.
We’ve put together a small synopsis on each party and what they stand for to help you get a head start on your research this year. Click on the links to follow through to each party’s official website to learn more.
The Liberal Party of Canada is the current party that rules Canada. The liberal party is Canada’s older and most historically successful political party.
Justin Trudeau is Canada’s current Prime Minister and the leader of the liberal party. Trudeau’s current liberal campaign portrays the party as both fiscally responsible and socially progressive.
The liberal party’s policies tend to be very supportive of social issues such as free access to abortion, LGBT rights, and favours high rates of immigration. They are also in favour of a free-market economy, that is not heavily regulated.
This modern-day version of the liberal party is not as ‘big government’ as they have been in previous years. Meaning that they do not believe every single issue needs government intervention.
Climate change has also become a liberal priority in recent years. The party’s campaign claims to seek a balance between economic development and responsible strategies to combat climate change.
The Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) is technically Canada’s newest party. The Progressive Conservative Party (PC) and the Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance combined in 2003 to create the CPC. This embodied an effort to reconstruct a single, united conservative party that more resembled that which had existed for most of Canadian history.
On the conservative party’s website, they state:
The Conservative Party of Canada is founded on the principles of peace and freedom on the world stage; responsible management of taxpayers’ money; a welcoming land of refuge for the world’s persecuted and afflicted; the defence of clean Canadian technologies; and a clear understanding of responsibilities between levels of government.
The current leader of the Conservative Party is Andrew Scheer. Scheer was elected the new conservative leader after Steven Harper’s electoral defeat in 2017. Scheer holds a reputation as a fairly orthodox conservative and has listed Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher as his political idols. Andrew Scheer is widely recognized as an upholder of the conservative party’s tendency to favour more traditional values concerning social issues such as sex, gender, marriage, and family life.
The NDP formed during the great depression as a response to the perceived failings of capitalism at the time. The NDP’s planted their roots in socialism; however, the NDP party has grown into a more leveled out party, that has similar views and objectives as the liberal party.
However, the NDP differs significantly from the Liberal Party in their economic policies. The NDP takes a more aggressive position on taxing the wealthy and large corporations, and strives for what’s called a ‘social-democratic society.’ A social democratic society means they think the government should tightly regulate the economy but not control it entirely.
Canada has never had an NDP prime minister, and for most of Canadian history, they have come in third or fourth place.
Jagmeet Singh is the current leader of the NDP Party. Singh is a charismatic former lawyer. He is the son of Sikh immigrants from India, making him the first non-white, non-Christian person to lead a Canadian political party.
The Green party of Canada has been around for close to 30 years; however, they did not elect their first Member of Parliament until 2011.
Founded in 1983, the Green Party had a single focus objective of pushing a one-issue party devoted to raising awareness for the environment. This plan didn’t gain a lot of traction until the early 2000s when Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ hit the mainstream, and the topic of environmental awareness became more urgent.
Elizabeth May, the current leader of the green party, has fought to continue to win her seat in parliament since becoming the leader of the party in 2006.
The party’s policies have expanded outside just focusing on environmental change, though that is still their primary focus. On their website, their commitments include:
The Bloc Quebecois Party is a French separatist party that was founded in 1990 by Lucien Bouchard, a former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister. This party is unique from the rest in the sense that they only run candidates in Quebec, and for this reason, would never be able to win the leadership of the government of Canada. However, the people who support this party are fine with this, as winning the federal election is not on their agenda.
Their primary purpose is to represent the interests of Quebec only, and was founded on the notion that Quebec should separate from Canada and represent itself as its own sovereign nation.
From a social policy stand-point, Bloc is very leftist. In fact, Quebec as a whole is the most leftist province in the country. In the last two elections, Bloc’s popularity has declined significantly. Perhaps indicating that the newer generations are less interested in separating. This decline in popularity could also be attributed to the leadership struggles the party has faced since losing their long time leader and advocate; Gilles Duceppe.
The current leader of the Bloc is Yves-François Blanchet.
Beyond these mentioned parties, Canada has over a dozen ‘fringe’ political parties that have never been able to gain an adequate amount of traction in any kind of federal election. Among these smaller parties are the People’s Party, the Libertarian Party and the Christian Heritage Party. These smaller parties, referred too as ‘fringe’ parties, are usually very niche or extreme in their agendas which prevents them from developing a large following, as many of their policies go against mainstream Canadian politics.
Take some time today to click through all of these party’s sites and learn a bit more about their campaigns and the types of policies each Candidate is promising to implement. You have a RIGHT to vote, and your vote matters. Make sure to use it wisely.
If you are unhappy with all of these parties, and can’t imagine yourself voting for any one of these politicians, do not abstain from voting entirely. You may instead choose to ‘decline’ your vote. Doing so indicates that you are unhappy with the system as it stands and your refusal to choose a candidate is recorded. For more information on how to properly decline a vote, click here.
The purpose of this post is not to tell you who to vote for. Our intention is to encourage you to explore all of your options and to make a decision that is right for you.
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