I’m pretty sure some of my local candidates in the NINE WEEK ELECTION CAMPAIGN (thanks for wasting taxpayer money on THAT) have me on all of their “do not call” lists. Ever since the great debacle of 2011 in which I asked the man who became my MP what his party’s platform was for supporting the arts and culture, and he went on a long and off-topic rant about multiculturalism, which I eventually stopped and told him I hadn’t asked him about multiculturalism, but about culture, and did he know the difference. He claimed he did, and went on to tell me that one of his kids is a film producer and was living in Japan and the other is a music producer living in LA. I asked, “wouldn’t it be nice if your kids could have those same opportunities in Canada? I bet you’d see them more often!” He hasn’t called since then. Partly because I deduced (correctly) that his party didn’t HAVE a platform regarding support for arts and culture.
It’s important to cut through the campaign trail bee ess and ask your candidates the questions that are important to you as a voter. If they can’t answer your questions to your satisfaction, don’t vote for them. Simple as that. Politics doesn’t have to be difficult (just sleazy, apparently).
I don’t much care about the economy. Which is to say, every political party is going to say roughly the same thing about the economy; that is to say, that their plan is to grow it, which is just silly. Maintaining “the economy” is fine, but anything that grows constantly is generally bad for you. Know what grows constantly? Other than your nose, earlobes, and hair? CANCER. That’s what. Think of “the economy” as a living thing (because it kind of is, if you tilt your head to the side and squint a bit); in order for it to keep growing constantly, you have to keep feeding it (spending). Eventually, you’re going to run out of food (resources) and everything will go straight to shit. STRAIGHT TO SHIT, people*. So I don’t ask about the economy, because most of the major parties tell Canadians that unless the economy turns into cancer, we’re all going to fly off the face of the planet, lose our jobs, and terrorists will murder our children. I’m paraphrasing, but I don’t think I’ve got much of that wrong.
I care about things like Canada’s natural resources being sold off part and parcel (or being handed over to foreign interests in exchange for big booties and lap dances or whatever), unrestrained development of agricultural lands, uncontrolled growth of the real estate market (WHY in the name of #Glob is the average house price in Regina, Saskatchewan a quarter of a million dollars or more? WHY? For the love of little baby Jesus sucking cola through a straw, people, Regina isn’t even a proper city. It’s an enthusiastic town)…shit. We’re getting close to caring about economics…
I care about people. About how Canadians live. About our quality of life. About equality. I care about access to services, about freedom of speech, about living my life without fear. I will not support any politician who leads with “the war on terrorism”, because frankly, that’s a red herring. It’s fear-mongering. Probably, I’m broken, because I’m far more afraid of my own government selling my information and our country’s resources and my kids’ future than I am about some dudes bombing Wascana Park. I’m more afraid of the dickbag who shot a neighbour’s dog *for fun* than I am of my children being “radicalized” (although if you take the 80s meaning of “radical” and pretend that ‘radicalized’ means ‘made even more awesome’, I’d be totally in favour of someone doing that to my kids, except it’s not possible. They’re pretty much as rad as they can be already through no fault of my own). I think that our elected representatives must work in the best interests of the people, not of corporations, not of multinational interests. I guarantee my current MP probably hasn’t talked to anyone from his own constituency (to whom he isn’t directly related) since he got elected.
So here are the questions I am going to ask the candidates in my riding:
1) When is your party going to institute the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?
2) What is your strategy for dealing with the national debt?
3) How will you ensure the people in your riding have equitable access to health care, education, and services?
4) What incentives will you provide low-income Canadians to increase their earning power?
There may be more, but those are the big four. If the candidates in my riding can answer those questions to my satisfaction, without prattling on about what’s been done in the past, without blaming things on previous governments (and I would encourage all provincial candidates to take note here, because the next SaskParty flunky who blames their own government’s lack of ability to get shit done on the previous government, after SEVEN YEARS IN POWER, is going to get a kick in the shins), and without pandering to emotional triggers (ie. ‘family is important to the Party’…) I don’t give a rat’s anus what your party thinks. I can look up what your party thinks. I want to know what YOU are going to do.
*I am not an economist. I do not claim to know much about economics. I have never studied economics.