September 24, 2015 - 8:08 AM
I asked a friend how she was going to vote. Her response astutely stated what many voters in this three-way tie are thinking.
Here it is:
“How am I going to vote? Oh, that is so difficult to say.
“The trouble is that I just am not an ideologue. I cannot, on principle alone, support any given party. I try to get at the relevant facts in order to make an informed decision. I watched the G&M debate, and I have come to the conclusion that this is an impossible task.
“They all bandied around numbers. But as has been said, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
“I am just so tired of trying to get my mind around the stats spouted by these leadership hopefuls. How am I to know where ‘the truth’ lies? How am I to know who has the better/worse record? How am I to know who has the better proposals? On job creation, on taxation, on infrastructure spending, on immigration.
“I watch them shouting confidently at/over each other. I read analyses written by learned economists of ‘how they performed.’
“I just don’t know how to vote in this election."
So far, about 75 “key” promises have been made by the leaders. Candidates have made hundreds of smaller ones.
Oh yes, the numbers. Is $50 million too much? Is $100 million not enough? What exactly is $100 million, anyway? How is anyone supposed to decipher such numbers?
The F35 fighter jets have popped up again. Harper wants them, Justin doesn’t. Mulcair wants nothing more serious than a pillow fight.
Who knows what’s right? If you think you have the answer, tell me how many tanks the military should buy? How many grenades? How many bullets should the Armed Forces buy this year? 50 million? 100 million?
Harper promises more funding for Brain Canada. I didn't know there was a Brain Canada. Maybe the money should be going to Kidney Canada for all I know.
In any event, isn't this the kind of thing that should be done during the normal course of governance? Does promising the funding now mean the government has been short changing Brain Canada all along?
Harper pledges to better harmonize child car seat regulations with those of the U.S. to provide more choice and better prices. Who doesn’t want that? More to the point is why such an obvious problem hasn’t already been addressed. Do we need an election to get anything done around here?
Mulcair will spend $250 million over four years to recruit 2,500 new police officers and commit $100 million a year thereafter to a recruiting program. Too much? Not enough? Do we even have a problem recruiting police officers? Every RCMP superintendent wants more cops. That’s always an issue for municipal budgets rather than whether there are enough numbers to stand and serve. Or maybe, that’s wrong. How is the voter supposed to know for sure?
The Liberals will change labour laws to ensure that employees in federally regulated industries have the right to ask their bosses for flexible work hours. Is it currently against the law to ask? What exactly does that have to do with the proverbial price of tea in China?
Breaking News: Harper will create 1.3 million net new jobs by 2020. Got it? ‘Tis to weep.
The Number One issue is the economy, or so everyone says. If you think, as I do, that prime ministers have little to do with the economy and four years from now we’ll have the same economy regardless of who’s elected, that’s not a defining topic.
(Divvying up the tax dollars is the real issue).
Voting the party line is the easiest way to do it and may be as good as any other strategy.
If not, got a loonie to toss?
— Chuck Poulsen can be reached at email@example.com
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015