Government You Deserve

Government You Deserve

More voices on election 2015

As Published in the Toronto Star: Oct. 17, 2015

No matter what your political or ideological beliefs may be, please vote on October 19; or use an advance poll if convenient. However, before you cast your ballot you might be surprised to learn that current and past governments have spent considerable public funds researching your concerns; which they promptly ignore in favour of other priorities.

For example, A 2014 Department of Finance study group highlighted the serious disconnect between citizens’ concerns about health care, education and environmental issues and the government’s focus on the economy, trade and security. The incumbent government’s current election campaign ignores the latter concerns in favour of useful distractions like the niqab controversy.

The situation in 2007 wasn’t much different, “According to an $82,500 pre-budget survey [Corporate Research Associates] commissioned by the Department of Finance, they identified health care, environmental issues and crime as top priorities for government action.” The late Jim Flaherty, Finance Minister; then proceeded to create a budget that mainly ignored these concerns or placed the greatest emphasis on the public’s lowest priorities: defense spending, corporate tax cuts etc.

Low voting rates among students and low-income Canadians virtually guarantees that under our current electoral system; Canada will continue to be governed by either the Conservative or Liberal Party. For the time being at least, the status quo seems acceptable to Canada’s non-voting citizens. However, I’ll turn a cliché on its head for casual voters and non-voters: I don’t want the government you deserve.