This federal election, I will be voting for the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) for the following four reasons based on the CPC’s Policy Declaration(PDF 2019.01.21) pronouncements, primarily aligned with my business objectives:
1. Fiscal declaration, with tax relief primarily for business and capital gain taxes, which is how poverty breathes its last.
2. Economic Development, with industrial development (by eliminating the socialist mindset of bailouts and favoritism) and the foreign ownership restriction removal or reduction, which promotes a free-market system with myriad growth opportunities. In addition, the long-term energy framework, whereby we reduce energy costs by leveraging what Canada offers internally, rather than importing what we already have. Finally, the spirit of competition is etched across the economic development platform.
3. Trade, especially the focus on promoting international trade, thus increasing the potential for economic growth and business opportunities.
4. Criminal Justice, with the stricter enforcement than the currently lenient and ineffective program of rehabilitation of dangerous offenders without the latter’s carrying the burden of proof otherwise.
With these pronouncements, the CPC appears to be committed to providing a business-friendly environment that promotes a healthy free-market economy. This is especially needed nowadays as Canada has turned into a sad, socialist system with a senseless tax regime, broken trade, broken international relations, and offering its citizens too much reliance on government, which I call deresponsabilization, a very dangerous phenomenon to the economic health of any society.
While I will be endorsing Scheer for the above, I do not agree with some CPC policies, such as temporarily suspending stem cell research or considering on-the-spot penalties for marijuana, although these are trivial matters that neither add to nor subtract from my business objectives.
The bottom line is that I am endorsing what I believe is a platform that promotes free-market enterprise, business opportunities, and economic growth. Gone is the legitimacy of the times when people are pampered and cared for by the state.
On October 20, 2018, BC held the general local elections, inviting its eligible citizens to elect a mayor, councillors, and school trustees. As a resident of the District of North Vancouver, I headed out to the Parkgate Community Center with my two-month old and partner to cast our votes. Here are a few remarks from what I’ve observed throughout these elections:
If I were to pick two symptoms of apathy among my fellow citizens, I’d promptly point out the low turnout in elections and the lack of political knowledge when carrying out a corridor conversation.
According to the 1983-2013 voter participation data, the number of registered voters in BC has been increasing at a rate relatively higher than the rather flat rate of those who voted.
The data for civic elections is alarming, although the trend is showing upward signs. In the 2014 local elections, the average voter turnout was 35.39%, based on the numbers published here, which is higher than the 31.20% turnout in 2011 and the 27.92% turnout in 2008. Nevertheless, these figures are low.
I attribute political apathy as one of the most insidious root causes of such poignant voter participation trends, which infects particularly young adults, as the published data also shows. The question then becomes, what information, if any, is being disseminated and by what mechanisms? Are those mechanisms effective?
Ad-hoc, minimal information dissemination
For the 2018 election, I personally received no additional information from any of the candidates besides the generic Canada Post junk drop-ins, which some of us do discard. While those brochures may give a taste of what the candidates look like and how many kids they have, they are fairly useless at supplying the kind of information required to cast an informed vote. At best they provide awareness that there exists some mayoral candidate who loves mountains, but they tell nothing about platforms, or “the how”. Obviously, the latter is the golden mine of rational decision making, as Aesop reminds us in “The Mice in Council”. In this election, the burden to mine information was transferred to the citizen. While it is the citizen’s responsibility to educate oneself enough to make a good decision when casting their vote, it is also the responsibility of the candidates to minimize biased or irrational voting by ensuring a good amount information is supplied through traditional and social media, community outreach events, public debates, and the like. That, in my experience living in Greater Vancouver, is not the fad.
Polling place inefficiencies
At the polling station, I noticed two interesting occurrences. First, while people with disability skipped the line through their designated access lane, they still had to wait in line to cast their vote upon receiving their ballots. One would expect them to not have to wait in line. Second, new parents with newborns or toddlers had to wait in the long queues despite the higher probability of their voting experience being affected or interrupted due to the unpredictable changes in the behavior of the little person. One would therefore expect polling stations to assist voters with children as they do, say, during pre-boarding at an airport.
Nevertheless, our experience at the Parkgate Community Center was relatively smooth.
After examining candidate profiles following their brief intros here, I cast my vote as follows: Mayor:Mike Little, primarily to ensure the infrastructure-growth chicken-and-egg problem is kept under control, while preserving the sanctity of our North Shore. Councillors:
Jordan Back, for his commitment to address traffic-related issues we are increasingly facing in the North Shore. I’m not such a big fan of his housing alternatives, due to my consideration of the North Shore as being “holy grounds”, but I’m sure his views could be refined in the process.
Mathew Bond, for his background and analysis skills. Although he doesn’t impress upon strategic options for tackling some of our challenges, I agree with his statement that it takes a seasoned orchestra to address North Shore issues.
Megan Curren, for her commitment to protect and, perhaps, ameliorate our environment.
Mark Elliott, for his top two commitments — traffic congestion & quality of life.
Cam Small, for willing to tackle some real problems he’s observed from data.
George Tsiakos, for his willingness to proactively tackle education problems early on.
Finally, the ballot asked two questions. I answered both negatively.
Do you support the establishment and funding, not to exceed $100,000, of an advisory body comprised jointly of residents of the City of North Vancouver and residents of the District of North Vancouver to investigate the costs, benefits and potential implications of reunifying the two municipalities?
Not really as I do not have any information on what the advisory body constitutes, and how scientific any related study would be. So, no.
Do you authorize the District of North Vancouver to spend up to $150 Million to create not less than 1000 units of non-market housing, to be constructed not later than January, 2029?