This election is presenting Canadians with stark choices between entrenched political tribes that are offering very little in terms of actual policy.
Canadians are being told to base their vote solely on partisan loyalties which leads to voters casting their ballots based on political non-issues. It is therefore on Canadians to fight against this us versus them narrative by voting based on sound policy.
Since the last election — and especially since the onset of the SNC-Lavalin affair — Canadians are being presented with the choice of a Liberal Party under Justin Trudeau, viewed by the Conservative Party of Canada as bourgeois children of privilege that are intent on misleading and lying to Canadians in order to ship Canadian tax dollars overseas and bailout friendly Quebec companies.
In contrast, the choice of voting for Andrew Scheer and the Conservatives, according to the Liberal Party, is a dangerous choice that will put climate-deniers and bigots into power who target marginalized communities and give tax breaks to billionaires.
The national NDP under Jagmeet Singh has mostly been left out of this narrative, being viewed as a socialist afterthought with no real access to power.
Nowhere in this national conversation is a clear, concise discussion of policy and that includes the distinct dangers that could affect Canadians.
We live in a changing world that is facing a global climate-catastrophe; millions of displaced people throughout the world; an opioid epidemic that is claiming the lives of countless innocents; and a global rise of authoritarian regimes.
All these issues —along with rising local issues like the potential loss of millions of Canadian jobs due to automation, the need for adequate seniors housing for a baby-boomer generation entering old-age and potential incoming recession — require a national answer.
Political parties can encourage Canadians to scream socialism and racism back and forth to each other forever and that surely could prove to be the difference between a Liberal or Conservative government, but where does that leave us? It leaves us with a smug sense of satisfaction that we annihilated our opponents, but left out the part of — you know — actually having to govern a G7 nation with 21st century problems.
What can be done about having three parties that only want to tell you what the other guys will do wrong? Demand more from them when they inevitably come to your door to bother you at dinner time, text you on one of their insufferable auto-text programs and take up your public spaces with one their rhetoric rallies.
Canadians need to ask directly what parties will actually do for them and the world and call them out aggressively when they inevitably turn to what the other guy isn’t doing.
Demand policy, demand answers and most importantly — stand up for your right to be informed by your potential leaders.
Dogma and rhetoric is what they will offer. It is on Canadians to exorcise more out of them.
Todd Colin Vaughan is editor of the Lacombe Express