This post is for my friend Joe, a new Canadian. Joe is married to Steph, an old university friend of my wife’s. And Joe, an American, just got his Canadian citizenship a few months ago. Congrats Joe!
Joe’s shiny new citizenship grants him the right to vote. Today!
Today, October 19th 2015 is election day for Canada. Tonight we find out if Stephen Harper, the current leader, will stay on.
Or, perhaps we’ll have Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal party.
Or, Tom Mulcair, leader of the NDP party.
If You Are Canadian…
Good luck to us. Good luck to us all. Harper’s been PM for nearly 10 years. And if reelected to a 4th term, he’ll be the first PM to do so in over 100 years.
I shouldn’t start about how Harper has “Americanized” Canada, but it’s true Canada has changed dramatically over the past decade: from peacekeeper to military striker, from scientific leader to book burner, pulled out of Kyoto protocol, from social provider to abandoner, and a nation of openness to government surveillance.
Is Trudeau any better for Canada? Impossible to say. Canadians are known for demanding change when things turn bad (or always). But would Trudeau reverse what Harper instituted? Very doubtful. Reasonably certain taxes will increase and government spending rise. But while Harper is fiscally conservative to the extreme, both Harper and Trudeau support the Trans-Pacific Partnership, something I personally see as a massive red flag.
And Tom Mulcair? Not a chance. If the late but loveable Jack Layton didn’t win in 2008, there’s no friggin’ way personality-devoid Mulcair can win.
And, no, I’m not even mentioning the fourth party. Elizabeth May as an individual is amazing, but her party never will be.
If You’re Not Canadian…
If you’re not Canadian, you might wonder how these 3 parties relate to your own.
If you’re American, it’s easy. Conservative = Republicans while Liberal/NDP = Democrats. And Canadians, please, before you get in a huff that I paired together the NDP and Liberal parties, save it. They’re the same to Americans, trust me. The current American Democratic party is much more ‘right’ than those two Canadian parties. More noteworthy is the Canadian Conservatives led by Harper might be more right-leaning than American Republicans. (*gasp!*)
Want to find out where you stand? Take this quiz.
Concentrate on the Yes / No answers and you’ll soon get pegged a Conservative or Liberal. Or Communist. Or Green party. Or who knows, maybe even Bloc Quebecois.