Absolute Equality

Absolute Equality -

The Kids Today

The campaign is on and already I’ve heard a news story about engaging youth in the election and getting them to vote. As always one of the aforementioned youth told the reporter that the politicians need to talk to them and address their issues.

This is the general loop we go through – we’re told that youth don’t vote because politicians don’t focus on the issues that are important to them and that politicians don’t focus on the issues important to youth because youth don’t vote.

But here’s what we should really be teaching our young people: Every single decision made by a the next government will affect your life.

It might not affect the life you’re living right now, but it will eventually affect you, and that’s something you should not be ignoring.

People are doing you a disservice by acting like it’s somehow okay that you don’t vote now. Chances are if you don’t realize the importance of voting at a young age you’re unlikely to pay attention and realize how important voting is as you get older.

And that will affect every part of your life – we’re talking the environment you live in, the education you get, you’re health care, your retirement (which may seem like a long way off, but it might take you that long to pay off your student debt), you career path…

Everything in your life is being determined by the governments we choose. And it’s not okay to just not care. It matters.

If you’re not informed and asking questions you lose out. It’s not about them talking to you and giving you things. It’s about you helping to shape what this country becomes, no matter what the campaign looks like for “your” issues

Christmas in July

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In advance of the federal election campaign (in fact, much closer to it than we realized) the Conservative government sent Pierre Poilievre around the country handing out cheques.

These cheques amount to an additional $60 per month per child ($160 for children under six, $60 for children over six). Except that in the end they don’t amount to that at all.

In the end the government has this spokesperson touring the country telling Canadian parents that they’re getting all this money which:

1) Will be taxed and amount to about $15 per month in the end;

2) Wouldn’t begin to cover childcare or most needs of a child even if it were actually $160 per month.

We paid childcare for two years. As it turns out we were about average for our area, and that amounted to approximately $1,200 per month.

What our family has been doing with the $100 per month benefit up until now is something I’ve recommended to other people – put it in your child’s RRSP. The government will match some of that money and after a few years they’ll have something built up to pay for whatever tuition is when they get there.

I actually heard this idea touted by a Conservative member of Parliament. But my answer to that is simple enough. If I hadn’t been paying $1,200 per month for childcare, we would have saved up her full tuition long ago.

So, all in all, the UCCB isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And this was made worse By Mr. Poilievre. He went on Twitter and asked Canadians to let him know when they had received their cheques. His response to one? “You earned it!”

How does that follow?

The Canadian government decided to win votes by giving away money to those who were smart enough to procreate.

Congratulations people with custody of children six and under! You earned it.

Further reading:

Global News: Who benefits from Canada’s Universal Child Care Benefit? 

Let’s be absolutely clear

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Source: Creative Commons

A story came through the CP wire today that caught my eye. Justin Trudeau made a stop in Montreal and during his visit there he told reporters that Thomas Mulcair and his NDP needs to explain why they think Quebec should have a “clearer path” to sovereignty than the Supreme Court thought in its decision on the question in 1998.

This story interested me because I happen to have heard what Tom Mulcair has to say about the referendum question and I also took a course in Quebec politics in which we discussed the Supreme Court decision.

In fact we read a very interesting article that pointed out that what the Supreme Court did in its 1998 decision was abdicate all responsibility on the issue. The justices were specifically vague. A referendum and what the federal government had to do with any result of that referendum was, the court said, entirely a political decision, so long as the result was a clear answer on a clear question.

And the decision does not actually indicate what the justices mean by “clear.”

What Thomas Mulcair has done is indicate that, for an NDP government, 50% plus 1 would be a “clear result.”

What the Liberals have done is say that 50% plus 1 is not enough, without indicating what they might consider a “clear result.”

What we know is that any federal government, in the face of another referendum in Quebec, would have to define the clear question to be asked and the clear result they would accept before the question was put to voters. This means that any party in power were there to be another referendum must have a percentage in mind. Separatists in Quebec would never agree to have the federal government decide after the fact that their question or their result was not clear enough.

What we don’t know is why Trudeau is so concerned about this when there is no current threat of another referendum, especially after the recent total defeat of the PQ government.

Nor do we know why Trudeau seems hellbent on misleading people on the NDP position when it’s his party that has yet to take a clear stand. Except, as the article points out, that the Liberals are falling in the polls again.

I want to ask political leaders…

The Alliance for Women’s Rights started the Up for Debate campaign earlier this year, calling for our federal leaders to debate women’s issues this election campaign like they did in 1984.

The Alliance is asking Canadians to tweet their questions for a women’s issues debate using the tags #UpForDebate and #elxn42 – all you need to do is finish the sentence: I want to ask political leaders …

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I had a few questions off the top of my head, but I’ll be very interested to follow the hashtag and see what other Canadians want to ask those who want to lead this country.

As the Alliance for Women’s Rights says in their email to supporters:

Whether we ultimately bring your questions about women and federal policy to the leaders through a standalone debate on women’s rights, or as key questions/segments in debates organized by Maclean’s, the Globe and Mail, TVA, the Munk Debates, or the Consortium, the important thing is that these questions are answered.