Monday, April 19, 2010

My Canadian Political Wish List

A study released weeks ago suggests that more and more Canadians have lost faith in the two primary political parties to run the country effectively. That being said, I would be willing to shed my existing political stripes if a party promised to adopt the following as part of their platform:

Re-commit, with complete seriousness this time, to establishing and then following world-leading environmental protection policy. I believe it is possible to set an example while creating new business opportunities by selling the technology we develop to the rest of the world. Canada used to be a leader in the forefronts of technology and we've become a nation of followers at best, dawdlers at worst.

The health care system, once the envy of the world, is starting to fall apart and becoming less universal, less accessible and tiers of cost and access are creeping in with no objection or interference from the government. This is 100% wholly unacceptable. Period. If I can pay $100 to get my MRI tomorrow, then the government should find a way to make this available to EVERYONE. For free (not counting health premiums). Speaking of which, we used to pay health care premiums and everything was covered. Now most folks pay little or no premiums and we wonder why the system ran out of money....

The Liberals used to win on a credo of 'social justice for all'. This is an ideal that most Canadians still believe in. So any party that can prove it is serious about adopting this mantra will get my vote. Go ahead, I know I'm a leftist.

Canadians do not want a government that cow-tows to American policy. Just because big entertainment demands certain privileges that are completely out of line with common sense and simply delay the inevitable death (or re-alignment) of their business model, does not mean we must obey. Our government needs to learn that the figures used by the industry to warrant waging war against consumers are made up. Canadians believe in consumer rights and freedoms including the right to use our entertainment content (legally) as we see fit. We believe in the concept of 'fair dealing' (or fair use as it's known in the US). We do not accept DRM. We do not believe in oligopolies in our telecommunications market and we are starting to abandon the idea that Canadian content can only be protected by government and deserves such protection.

Canadians do not want government debt to spiral out of control, but at the same time, there are essential social benefits that must be maintained, no matter the short-term cost.

Last but definitely not least, I think the essential weakness of 'first past the post' is more than evident now. I think it's time for electoral reform.

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