I hate elections. I hate being at home minding my own business and Ted Larson comes to my door to tell me that all the MLAs for Halifax are NDP (actually Clayton Park has a Liberal) and I’m supposed to think that’s bad for some reason. I hate when I’m home in the evening, in my pajamas, and people from the NDP come to my door to harass me about voting and do not take the hint that I have garlic breath, am unshowered, and am in the middle of relaxing in front of a TV program. Also, I’m moving in a month so whatever I vote it feels a bit like “so long, suckers!”.
I understand why this is necessary, I do, but it’s the way it’s done. It’s the sales pitch. It’s the parenting-esque way they ask you to vote with that insulting condescending tone. It’s the “please evaluate me based on this tiny pamphlet I just handed you and ignore that other guy’s pamphlet”.
I fully admit that I know dick about NS politics. I know that tuition is too high, I know that there is a brain drain, I know that rural areas aren’t getting enough access to health care, I know that NS is essentially the Bible belt of Canada, I know there are doctors out there putting religion ahead of their code of ethics. Those are things I care about. But does anyone have these things on their platform? Let’s check it out. Because if not, we come down to the basic flaw in voting: voting for the lesser evil.
They have economy on their platform (whatever that means — “balance economic development” is one of those things that sounds very nice, but ever notice they never say how they plan to do this?), safer streets, promoting arts and culture, improve public transportation, university infrastructure (ok what about tuition though?), and oh look! better delivery of health care and social services (to where? HOW? does this include a woman’s right to choose, what about doctors who refuse to give out birth control?).
Local government is great for Halifax, but what about the provincial platform? I have lived here 5 years and have not observed any significant changes along these lines. If Halifax is all NDP and we have a PC government, that means that it’s rural folks voting them in and they didn’t say a damn thing about what they plan to do there. It all seems very Halifax-centric, which I guess is ok to increase votes there, but way to hang your voters out to dry, losers. Next.
Local: You know what I want from incumbents? I want specific examples of what they’ve done from their last campaign, how they did it, and an evaluation of success. What I don’t want is more promises. You’ve been in office a while now, lets see the goods. Upon searching the candidates site, I’m greeted with a list of personal accomplishments, a list of endorsements — I guess the policies are at the bottom – let’s see, news, downloads… No local policies on the candidate website eh? That is made of fail.
Provincial: Create jobs (apparently they plan on just pulling these out of their assholes), health care wait times, brain drain, removing HST on energy bills, fix rural roads (what about everything else that’s wrong there?), give seniors the option to remain in communities longer (the option?! the OPTION?! I was under the impression that we weren’t systematically imprisoning our elderly at the age of 65 or throwing them off cliffs, so what does that mean?), and living within our means (so we’re not going to give morons credit cards anymore?).
Local: Economy, health care (yay), environment, education, and community. Ok, so far so good. All things I can get behind, though nothing about human rights (gays, atheists, etc). But again there is a glaring lack of detail. Just how is he going to, say, “support the creation of family health teams”? What does that mean? What is the plan?
Provincial: Economy, seniors, rural NS, disabled (ok good, but in what way and what does that mean? Is downtown Halifax finally going to get over itself and remodel the old buildings to have sensible doors?), and tourism.
Local: Not much about this guy actually, but the green party seems to be organized in a way that the local policies generally synchronize exactly to the main party because they never win anyway and haven’t had the opportunity to tailor their strategies to specific ridings within the scope of the provincial party.
Provincial: Holy fucking shit. A downloadable pdf with pages and pages of descriptions of their platform and specific strategies to address each issue. They are also the only party to address climate change. Let’s see what they have to say about health care: a whole bunch of specific stuff. 2 whole pages. My mind is blown. They don’t address rural areas and the plight they’re in, but they do address poverty. Something else they don’t address is brain drain (though they do mention it briefly in their health policy). And they do address education, also with very specific plans. Nothing about women’s rights though. But overall I’m impressed with the fact that they still apparently give a shit.
I love how everyone has to say “economy”. Anyway, the thing about someone like me is that I’m not political enough to know about the ins and outs of every single party and what they’re capable of, but I am intelligent enough to expect more than just empty buzz phrases about “the economy”. I think one of the reasons elections turn me off is that I’m either not credited with that intelligence, or politicians really don’t have a plan to achieve their objectives. Which means, what am I voting for? Even after reading about the candidates and what they have to offer, most were cripplingly vague and the rest were not fully representative of my views (though good luck finding that ever) — I might as well have just picked someone at random.
And the frustration of “the sell”. The NDP is obviously doing something right and rather than ask themselves “what is that and how can we do it better”, the PCs (for example) say “there are too many NDPs, this is bad”. What does that mean? If the NDP presented a good case to the people and the people feel they are doing a good job, why is it necessarily bad that Halifax is mostly NDP?
So on 9 June I guess I’ll be voting…da dadada!…green. Say what you will about “wasting votes”, I’m going for the party that still has to think about what it’s doing and actually puts the information out there for people to access easily. I took the same amount of time on each party, I navigated to each party’s “policies/platform” page, and this is the information I found. So, green, here we go. Other parties: fail.