As an economist, I advanced voting in the Canadian federal election with deep uncertainty that was shared by most everyone I know irrespective of vocation or political persuasion.
Most expressed resignation and said, with a sigh, that: “X is at least better than the choices,” or “I don’t want X to win, so am voting for Y.” I too, fell into that ditch of misery but then remembered a plan from my anarcho-syndicalist days of my early 20s.
I now feel much better about how I voted, but before illuminating my choice and a recommendation for the construction of future ballots, let me share the basis of my pre-vote grief from the viewpoint of an economist.
It is time we asserted that party platforms reflect some measure of economic literacy and coherency, at least at the first-year university stage.
Let’s consider some of the prominent places of the national parties that peeved me and have consequences for Canadians’ financial well-being now and in the future.
What is arresting about many of the policy positions of the federal parties is their coyness. Take climate change. The three left-of-center parties would carry on the current Liberal program, which currently increases about four cents per liter at the gas pumps, and would lead to an extra 11 cents by 2022.
While I support a carbon tax, this modest increase applied to only some provinces won’t alter driver behavior or industrial use of fossil fuels. The rises must be more significant, progressive, and locked in.