After watching the two official language leadership debates I have become a little more political than I normally have, and would like to share some thoughts. I share no political affiliation with any Canadian Political Party (or otherwise), and solicit no donations to political organizations on the basis of neutrality. I believe what I believe and I don’t need a label to identify myself. I’ve often considered myself socially leftist, and fiscally conservative. So here are the issues that concern me:
1) Proportional Representation and Voting Reform
Too long has my voice been silenced by the Westminister model and first past the post system. I currently live in a democracy, so why can’t my voice be heard? Why would the country be so against voting reform when everyone is screaming that nobody cares, and voting apathy takes over? The rest of the non-English speaking world has found effective methods of representing their constituents: why can’t Canada? Further to this, the young vote has never ever really been addressed, and it frankly feels like being a young person means that I don’t have any opportunity to do anything or make a difference. It’s sad that I don’t trust anyone to vote for them, and play with the idea of being a politician myself. At least then I could be honest to the people I talk to, though maybe not be elected.
2) Education and Professional Training Programmes
It’s no secret that I did a great deal of my education abroad. Although I’ve garnered three university degrees, and two professional certificates I still am unable to participate in the career path that I wanted to. I did the majority of my education abroad, specifically in France. Why you ask? Because it was the only place that I could afford it. University in France is public and affordable. They promote education and allow people to get to where they want to be. When I moved to Canada, my professional degrees and certificates were denied by the acting organisations in charge. I was told to go back to school in Canada to redo the degrees that I already spent five years obtaining. As if I had the money to do that: education in this country is not affordable. Why treat doctors from other countries so poorly and regale them to working in coffee shops and being street sweepers? They have professional credentials that need 1 to 2 year transitions to the host country system, at affordable rates. End of story.
3) Health and Long Term Care
It’s no secret that the health system covers all, but is often ineffective. With five million citizens not having a family doctor, how can anyone end up getting service without going to the emergency room at hospitals? People default to going to emerg because they can’t get health care otherwise. Lack of services, or long term waiting for critical issues isn’t acceptable. Why is it that the health associations that protect Canadians often fail them? It’s no surprise that people are getting less and less healthy, but why can’t we address the cause rather than fix the present? It’s ineffective usage of public money for services that are essential. Especially with the baby boom generation getting older, a huge strain will be put on the health care system where everyone isn’t protected. This also extends for privatised health insurance. I don’t have company benefits, and I can’t afford private health insurance, so if I were to fall ill tomorrow I could suffer great financial loss just to get better, and risk my income being lost due to poor health. That’s sad.
4) National Debt
With economic strains hitting the world, why do countries continue to have huge deficits and racking up national debt? Can we not readjust spending from say, fighter jets (jab jab), to paying down the majority of debt to ensure that the country doesn’t need bailouts like other countries? It’s a longshot I know, but debt in general makes me nervous beyond words.
5) Parliamentary Responsibilities and Transparent Governments
I’m sick of hearing of scandals by one ministry or other governmental organisations or parliamentarians. Why aren’t things transparent? Why are there needs for bureaucracy for request for information requests? Why do we even need things like that? Why has the people lost faith in governments? We are tax-payers, so the people that work should be accountable to us, not anyone else.
Personal taxes? Corporate taxes? Sales taxes? I don’t mind a tax, if I’m getting something for it. Over the last five years the Government Sales Tax (GST) has dropped by 2%. Why was it necessary and why hasn’t it changed? Why do corporations who have huge incomes and executives get tax breaks while the everyday person gets hit with much more negative factors to their well being. I’m a low income youngster, hourly, no benefits, no job security, and I feel squeezed by everything. The whole situation just makes me want to leave.
So there you have it. As you can see my concerns are widespread and can’t really be identified for any particular affiliation. So this is why I’m so conflicted with the upcoming federal election on May 2, 2011. I feel like I don’t even want to participate, because no matter what I do or say, nothing will be done.
It also doesn’t help that I have 5 candidates in my riding that are raging idiots.
And for the record, yes I’m a legal voter, and retain my right to vote in two federal elections when they arise.