Editorial: One more resource for voting decisions

Sara Golling
By Sara Golling
May 3rd, 2017

As  most readers here know by now, I’m supremely tired of — and sickened by — election communications that tell you terrible (and usually inaccurate) things about the OTHER parties and their candidates, and make wild promises to get your vote.  But I think it’s hugely important that people get informed about what the different parties really stand for and what they’re most likely to do if elected.  And then vote.  Please vote.

But how to vote?  Should we just vote for the party whose policies we  most admire? (Or for the party with the cutest or most handsome leader — Please, NO!) Or for the candidate in our riding who is just the most articulate, charming, photogenic and energetic? Again, please — no. Let’s have better reasons for electing our government.

BC elections are currently run under the “first past the post” system. That means that if any party wins a majority of  seats in the legislature, even if it doesn’t get the most votes overall, then that party will have 100% of the power to run BC however they please.  So it makes sense to figure out not only which party’s policies you like best, but also which party has a chance of winning in your constituency to achieve an overall result in the legislature that you are willing to accept.  

And, until we have a proportional representation system, it makes sense to vote for whichever party is most likely to ensure an overall result for BC that you can live with. Yes, it’s unfortunate, but I think we still need to worry about the end result of our vote, and vote strategically.  (Both the Green Party and the NDP have promised, if elected, to see that BC has proportional representation for our next provincial election.  Of course, Justin Trudeau promised that for Canada before the last federal election, and then decided he didn’t feel like it after all. But we can always hope, right?)

Meanwhile, there is another group analyzing the parties and their positions.  It’s “GenSqueeze,” a group calling itself  “a national collaboration” that says its vision is “a Canada that works for all generations.”  They are non-partisan.

GenSqueeze has analyzed the approaches of the BC Liberal Party, NDP and  Green Party with regard to:

·         total planned spending,

·         spending by age groups,

·         housing,

·         child care,

·         grade school,

·         post-secondary education,

·         medical care and how it is paid for,

·         social assistance, and

·         taxation.

Find their analysis at http://www.gensqueeze.ca/bc_election_2017. It’s relevant for all ages of citizens, but has a special focus on younger generations.  It’s worth checking before you make up your mind. 

And then please vote (oh, sorry, did I say that already?) 

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