Ask yourself this: Do you have to pay back part of your salary because your employer is poorly run and losing money? Do you have to start saving six months in advance for potentially not being paid two and half months and not being told exactly how much until only months before you're getting the cuts?
As a socialist, I was excited for this election as I hoped the NDP would stretch its wings and become a vocal proponent for the poor, the under-housed, the underemployed, etc.; that they would put front and centre the issues that carry the greatest ethical and moral weight for Canada's society. But no. The party of the little man -- Tommy Douglas's party of mice refusing to be led by cats -- is now courting middle-income Canadians. For me the crisis facing Canadians is not one of an attack on the middle class.
There is a lot to consider as we approach October's federal election. But most of all, we're frightened about the potential devastation of the Earth itself. This federal election is especially important because Canada's next Prime Minister will represent us at the 21st UN Framework on Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris at the end of this year -- barely one month after our new government is chosen.
From the very start, the main issue in the federal election race has been as obvious as the beard on Tom Mulcair's face, but it's been largely ignored by mainstream media -- the majority of voters have said in opinion polls that by far the biggest issue for them is to have either the NDP or Liberals emerge as the party that can soundly defeat Stephen Harper and the Conservatives.
Canada does not follow the U.S. in spending astronomical amounts of funds to develop and purchase weapons and use them in wars. Our health care expense is way lower than that of the U.S. The U.S. spends about 17 per cent of its GDP on health care, whereas the Canada medical share is around 11 per cent. So where has the Canadian government's money gone?
Unions are being challenged to reimagine themselves beyond their immediate membership -- to include all working people, the unemployed, the precariously employed, the retired and the many diverse communities who are being marginalized within today's economy.
This summer, the Conservative government quietly announced that it had struck a panel of experts to consult Canadians on their views on assisted dying -- nearly six months after the Supreme Court issued its historic ruling on assisted dying. No matter that 84 per cent of Canadians support physician assisted dying, or that the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled it is a patient right. The Conservative government has consistently opposed it.
Canada has plentiful natural resources and a relatively small population of 35 million. Yet our government always claims it is short of money. Middle East countries are rich because of oil, but Canada has many other valuable natural resources. Why is our government so poor?
The concept of strategic voting is widely used by political parties and the media since the beginning of the campaign. It is assumed that it is a widespread behaviour because Canada has a "winner-takes-all" electoral system. There are two very simple conditions for a vote to be qualified as strategic: first, a voter must not vote for her preferred party, and second, behave this way in order to block a worse option. As we shall see, this straightforward definition has enormous consequences when it comes to quantifying strategic voting.
Anti-Semitism is what many Canadian Jews experienced who faced quotas when applying for professional degrees, or who were barred from joining certain golf clubs. Anti-Semitism is what my ancestors experienced in Eastern Europe with pogroms, frequent assaults and massacres in Jewish communities. Anti-Semitism is the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. How can it be in any way appropriate to use this term to describe individuals who criticize a modern political entity -- the state of Israel -- which systematically violates the rights of Palestinians?
This year's election will probably mark a watershed when it comes to how the Muslims see themselves politically. Different narratives animate various camps within the community, but there seem to be sizeable movement on both ends of the spectrum.
Attend an all candidate's meeting in your area, and ask what his or her stance is on GMOs. If enough people ask, they'll know that this is important to Canadians, and that their chances of getting elected will depend on where they stand on this issue! Together, we can make GMO labelling an election issue.
In a Canada in which our current government has expressed undying loyalty to Netanyahu's regime, and where the opposition parties appear unwilling to publicly shame the government for its appalling disregard for the human rights of Palestinians, we cannot realistically expect the enactment of state sanctions against Israel any time soon. If the NDP wants to prove to Canadians that it is indeed the government in waiting, and that it's visibly different from the Conservatives, then we should all expect it to commit to taking action on this issue. Will the NDP, at the very least, commit to reforming CIFTA to exclude tariff-free imports of illegal Israeli settlement products
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is right to say no to any coalition talks with the NDP. It's a con game by the NDP and one that would make voters punish the Liberals. For one thing, the Liberals and the NDP are very different on issues like the Sherbrooke Declaration and the Senate. Then there's the question who'll lead and for how long. A coalition also begs the question why should you vote if the second and third status parties are going to knock out the sitting government.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations have attracted considerable attention in Canada in recent weeks as the political consequences of dismantling agricultural protections loom large with a national elections scheduled for the fall.
Elizabeth May has been at the forefront of debate ever since she was elected. There are now two elected Green Party MPs and the party is again fielding candidates from coast to coast to coast. Her exclusion from the leaders debates amounts to an outrageous affront to democracy.