The Canadian Federal Election. Are you Paying Attention?

August 6, 2015 @ 6:21pm by Nana

Harper this, Trudeau that. May over here, Mulcair over there. We are in the midst of another Canadian Federal Election and the question always goes back to this; will Canadians finally step up to the plate? The four candidates certainly hopes so

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 As a population, we care more about whether Canada wins the Gold Medal in Hockey than if our Prime Ministers are able to represent the interests of the 35 754 482 million people that call this great country home. I love winning gold in hockey, but if we’re going to ensure that this country is living up to its potential as the best place to live, we need to make sure that there is a true consensus on who will lead us into the next generation. In other words, we all need to vote. With that said, whether you’re Green, Conservative, Liberal, or a New Democrat, it’s important for you to know your counterparts before making an informed decision. You may not agree with their entire plan, but you can’t hate on someone if you don’t know what they’re about. Well, you can, but that’s just catty. To help give you a little background before the debates and the election hit full swing, here are a few quick primers about what each party is planning if they are lucky enough to sit in office.

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Let’s take a look at Elizabeth May’s Green Party, a group that has traditionally disrupted the Liberal, Conservative, and now New Democratic Party stronghold. Elizabeth May is one of the strongest leaders you will see. She has kept the Green Party in the political conversation through Conservative dominance, despite some perceptions that the Greens are hippy idealists, who could never lead this country to prominence. With no disrespect to the Green Party, If May was the leader of the Conservatives, or Liberals, there’s a high probability that she would already sit in office. Click on the logo for a look at their comprehensive plan for the country

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The oldest federal political party in Canada has fallen from grace since the mid 2000’s, and now their hopes lie with the offspring of a man who is arguably our greatest Prime Minister. Youth has been a blessing and a curse for Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau. For some, his youth signals a return to fresh ideas and an idealism that has been lacking in the ruling party since his father. For others, especially the Conservative and New Democratic Party, his youth means one thing, he hasn’t earned a thing and, “He’s just not ready”. Some may argue that no leader is prepared for the job on day 1. Stephen Harper (who was in his 40s when he became Prime Minister) had no experience on his first day in office, neither did Jean Chretien. The thought that someone needs experience as Prime Minister in order to be Prime Minister is a complete fallacy that the Conservatives and NDP will try and exploit in soundbites for the Canadian populace. This world has survived for centuries with first time leaders at the helm, and in many cases it was exactly what the doctor ordered to shake up establishments for positive change. The ongoing narrative, will speak to the fact that the 43 year old ‘Justin’ hasn’t done anything to merit the respect that his father earned. But what if this ‘young’ leader were able to do just that? Read about his platform and ideas by clicking on the Liberal Party of Canada symbol.    

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If you sit back and think about the rise of the New Democrats, it’s a storyline that would have been laughable a decade ago. It began with the man, the myth, and the legend, Jack Layton. A man who lit a fire under the Canadian political landscape, challenged Mr Harper’s conservatives, and emerged with more seats than any New Democratic leader before him. The untimely death of Jack Layton left the country wondering if there was anyone who could replace him and continue the progress. Enter Mulcair. No one will ever replace a Jack, but the leader of the New Democrats and the rest of the party sure is making Mr. Layton smile.   In a historic showing during the last election, Thomas Mulcair’s New Democrats ousted the Liberal Party of Canada to become the opposition party to the Conservative Party of Canada. In the traditionally tory province of Alberta, the NDP’s marched into the provincial election and won a majority by a landslide, ending the conservatives 44 year reign over the province The New Democrats are making history with each election that comes their way. Can history be made a third time? You know the drill by now, click on the logo to find out more.

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The King of the Hill, has been in power since 2006, and whether you like his policies or not, he has changed the face of the country for years and maybe generations to come. Despite any policies that have drawn tremendous criticism from liberals, Greens, and New Democrats,  he has been at the forefront of a few policies that protect Canadian families in the poor and middle class tax brackets. The first that immediately comes to mind is the child care allowance, which guarantees parents with children under the age of 6 $1200.00 a year regardless of if they use child care services or not. The TFSA is a tremendous benefit for the fiscal-minded Canadian, and Tax-splitting has benefited numerous families with two-incomes across the land.  Harper has also tackled poverty and homelessness in Canada which led to many initiatives such as ‘Housing First’, which moves the homeless off the streets and into apartments. Harper has done some good for the Canadian public, but some shadowy actions have occurred in the Harper government, that the Canadian public has allowed to pass. Harper has been criticized in his treatment of the environment, most notably ditching the Kyoto Protocol, cutting federal funding to scientists, and waging war on immigration. These are areas that are in direct opposition to his three counterparts in the election. When it comes to international politics, Harper stood by Ukraine when Russia had invaded their borders. Harper also continues to place pressure on Putin to improve his relationship with Canada and the rest of the world, but he has also damaged Canada’s standing in the United Nations by ignoring major protocols and initiatives. Mr. Harper has survived a vote of no-confidence, bringing an American stance to Canadian politics, election scandals in which votes were stolen for the conservatives, and charges that his hair is a little too perfect in that protective bubble he resides in. This Prime Minister has proven to be the cat with 8 lives, but will there be a 9th? The Canadian public has granted him new life despite any controversy that has occurred. For the sake of the election, and your beliefs, do your homework on each of these candidates and make the right decision for yourself

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Nana

Nana Sechere is the Co-Publisher & Managing Editor of the Antidote Magazine. Armed with knowledge of pop culture events that happened long before he was born, Nana may just possess the most random assortment of knowledge you could ever imagine. With interests in all things relating to entertainment, media theory, sports, bartending, social psychology, and traveling to as many countries as he possibly can in his lifetime, it's his hope that his articles will provide a unique and fresh perspective. Nana hopes you enjoy all things Antidote and is working hard to facilitate the release of many more of our projects. Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/Soundcloud: @NanaCoppertone