Thursday, 31 March 2011

The Allure of Voting...

One major question that is on my mind and easily on the mind of many other people in office and involved with politics is why North American voters find it so difficult to vote?

There is usually a lot of notice way before the election actually happens and voting stations are set up in multiple areas located in populated sections of cities, yet voting numbers continue to decrease year after year.

Could it be that our society truly is not educated enough to understand the importance of voting? Maybe they are to educated and feel voting is futile?

Could there be economic factors that alter why a person decides to vote? To busy working to make the time? To tired from work to go out? Feel like the vote will not affect your work so why bother?

Why, when there are people who are dieing just so their people can get the freedom to vote, do we continue to ignore it? Do we need our immediate family members to be beaten and oppressed and or killed by death squads, to muster up the motivation to vote and partake in our political system? Are things really that good amid all of the trouble our way of life is having, for us not to need to vote in change? 

There is no single answer that truly can pinpoint why voting decreases, but when one takes a combination of different factors into play, a small picture seems to come through.

For example: Obama's election campaign helped bring out a large number of voters to the polls in the United States that would otherwise not participate.

Why is this? Some analysts may term this as a political anomaly that occurs once in a blue moon.

One explanation I have however,  is that when time's become very hard for certain groups, people will look for a leader that they can relate to. Someone who not only inspires them to have hope or do better, but also shares traits that their specific group encompasses. I believe this example is not an anomaly at all, but rather the fact that voting is on a decrease is more suitable for the title of anomaly.

Another suggestion I have heard is that voting become more "cool" or mainstream with the target audience that is currently not participating. This makes me feel a little odd, because I often think of "cool" as something associated with pop-culture or trends. Mind you, trends do take up an important part in the statistical world of voting, since different times bring out different trends. However, the trends I feel might be utilized for this would be those commonly used in advertising, especially advertising targeted at younger people.

How would it make you feel if voting became glamorized by fashion titles or brand names? Imagine how popular it would be to vote if Coke sponsored voting stations or Armani created fashion lines targeted at elections!? Or imagine how scary it would be...What do you think?

I will leave this discussion with the statement that although we Canadians and Americans live in our respective countries and enjoy their freedoms, we share the responsibility and burden of maintaining our great country as we share the freedoms that come with it. Voting is the smallest form of burden we as citizens have to ensure that our democracy continues on and that elected officials are kept in check by the people, the way it is supposed to be. One sad outcome from the lack of voters coming out is the influence that large corporations and wealthy individuals have had on our political system. We may not see it directly in the public eye, but our elected officials rely on campaign funding to continue on and this funding has now often come from the private hand. AS a result, the people who helped get a politician elected will often be the same person who will get help from such politician and this is where the problem lies in our system.

It may seem futile to cast that vote, but with the right mentality one person's vote can cause a wave of change in our system!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Our Election Hopefuls...

It's official! Election 2011 is on it's way and in 33 days we are going to be at the voting polls!

I figure since our main parties are back on the road, that I would do a quick synopsis on our potential candidates for the job of Prime Minister.

Stephen Harper:

Since he has held the position for some time now, I figure it cannot hurt him if I start with his image, party and values.Harper has been seen overall as a centre leaning Conservative throughout his stint as Prime Minister. He has found loopholes in our laws to find ways of maintaining his power. I truly believe that Harper has gotten so bad with his party that he no longer knows who the Canadian people are. Unless all the citizens of Canada inhabit bay street or Toronto that is...

During the Cold War, millions of children in the West were told to fear the threat from Communist invasion and Soviet missiles. In 2011, our children should be taught to fear Mr. Harper, the man who will be responsible for daddy losing his full-time status at work only to face a wage cut and potentially no pension. Not only that, also informing such children that if we continue on this business as usual model of governing, they can look forward to low paying jobs with no pension in an employment environment full of deregulation and a giant gap between the rich and the poor!!!!

By the way...I wasn't trying to scare you there because....

If Michael Ignatieff doesn't smarten up he will be no different than Harper. The liberals are in the position right now to take advantage of the weak points the conservatives have let bleed out, however Ignatieff doesn't seem like he is ready for the leadership that Canadians need. His reputation is shaky due to the many years he spent outside of Canada teaching, which was not improved when he came here touting that he was party of a line dating back to a Russian prince. Alright, we know your trying to play the elite guiding the revolution Mike, but what Canada needs right now is an EVOLUTION, we need to rethink our status in the world and focus on how we can continue providing our people what they need to excel, for it is with our citizens that we raise our country and not with the elites who carry a Canadian citizenship.

How do you think we even create the elites within society? They do not grow on trees and Walmart will never carry them due to well Walmart....anyways, the answer is that elites are caused by a society with the ability to live free, access health care and get a higher education. Ignatieff is playing the lets do this card, but we are in election mode...will he stick with what is needed and resist the temptation to help his friends in corporate?

Moving on...we get Jack Layton, he is part of the NDP and works on behalf of the families of Canada, that is when he isn't working alongside the conservatives, aiding them to push out their pieces of political work. jack Layton is a good man, but he is not Prime Minister material, he can lead and he has led the NDP right, but overall he just does not make the cut when we need someone who is able to surpass the norm and look toward the future.

Elizabeth May is an interesting candidate and like Jack she can lead her party and work on behalf of a healthier and greener Canada. However, her support is to fragmented across the country to give her a chance for power. The reality is that Elizabeth does not need to become Prime Minister, all she needs is enough votes to gather some seats and become a legitimized force in the Canadian political system, like the NDP her party needs just enough support to become a chip in the game and help determine what goes through and what is supported. Although this may seem like it will lead to a more fragmented political system in the future, it actually has the potential to turn into a more representative system.

Finally, I want to look to our Quebec brothers and the Bloc Quebecois. Gille Duceppe is one hell of a charismatic guy, out of all of our political contenders HE is the one guy I would sit down and have a beer with. Sure, his party represents the sole purpose of providing Quebec with everything and tearing the country apart, but the guy knows how to get the people's vote (In Quebec). I won't go into any more detail why he is going nowhere near the spot of Prime Minister, but I wish him the best(In Quebec).

I will end the discussion with a question about the election....Who do you feel deserves the support of the Canadian people and what changes do you believe should be important topics during this election?

The politicians will always resort to baby photos, hand shaking and smiles, but I want to know what the people wish the politicians introduce to better direct our beautiful country.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

A New Budget Falls, An Upcoming Election?

Today the Conservative government released their new budget for the Canadian people to witness. What was created to appease working families and help the average Canadian, has become the potential for a new election as everyone had previously thought. Stephen Harper and his Conservatives thought their numbers would appease many middle class and low income families, but the opposition parties have decided against supporting it.

Although this new budget looks like it is going to provide a much needed boost to badly hurting families, it appears that Mr. Harper has not been very clear with where all of the money in his budget will be heading. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty proudly announced that many programs will continue on with the support of government funding. One very important program for example was the Eco-retrofit program that was very popular and beneficial to improving Canada's green record.

The problem with today's budget however is that although an effort was made to help Canadians at need and also appease the opposition parties, enough was not done! I understand it is impossible to make everyone happy and often times there will be individuals who feel their demands were not met, but today is an example of utter disregard for valid demands!

Some might argue that the government should do what they think is best for all Canadians and although this statement is valid, the Harper government is a minority and as a result must work together with the opposition. This did not happen today and any attempts to make concessions for the oppositions sake were poor and lacking the necessary requirements to keep this country on the right path.

Why does Canada need to spend an estimated 30 BILLION dollars on new fighter jets that may be seen as the most advanced in the world on paper, but realistically would not be proper for our climate?

Why must corporations that are already racking in millions of dollars of profit (unfortunately at the expense of their workforce who is probably being paid peanuts) require more tax breaks to continue creating jobs?
Have we not already learned that the trickle down theory is not working when it comes to corporate tax breaks and the division of wealth? We are destroying our middle class and aiding in the oppression of foreign citizens just so our CEO's can guarantee entry-ship into the millionaire club, while our citizens begin starving and our infrastructure stagnates.

On a positive note though, as I have mentioned before there was some effort made at helping families in need with programs and also mention of some much needed R&D funding. Sadly though, compared to the money going the way of unnecessary fighter jets and overpaid CEO's these changes seem rather hollow.

I am glad the opposition parties have stuck to their foundations and have decided to not follow this budget, I only hope a resolution can be made to ensure the money goes where it is greatly needed and that as a result our country begins traveling on the right path. We cannot risk losing our way and becoming a stagnate and empty first world country. Canada is a beautiful country with a lot of potential and should be seen as an example to the world, not trying to barely keep up!

Until next time.

Monday, 21 March 2011

What is a Leader?

Hello!

The potential for an election is strong within the Canadian political sphere. With the upcoming budget, there is a strong chance that funding dedicated to certain areas may not only cause a loss of confidence in our Canadian Parliament and Stephen Harper's Canada, but also become hot election debates for Canadians to think about.

Our American cousins are also on the path of preparing potential contenders to take on Obama in 2012 for the job as President of the United States.

With these exciting and very important events comes the age old question about our leaders, how we choose them and the ethical philosophy behind them.

A phrase often associated with marriage states: "When you marry a girl, you not only marry her, but her entire family." This holds a lot of weight when it comes to an election and to choosing a leader to essentially run our country. I should correct myself though, as reality will show that our leaders do not essentially run our country, we the people do that via going to work daily and consuming, but it is true that these leaders will have a significant impact on the overall direction our country decides to take.

The question I have among many others though is how can we be sure that our choice of leadership is truly the right one?

The reality is that there is a lot of risk with every election that we partake in and even though a leader may seem like the right fit, it does not essentially guarantee that his/her party will follow suit.

There are many different factors that heavily weigh in on the political system and I believe that this does not bring down the importance of voting, but rather increases the responsibility for people to vote. Something that may further inhibit people, maybe due to the fear of having to much responsibility in ones life?

Either way, a leader has to be someone with whom we believe can truly make our ideals and values a common practice in government and as a result run the country for the benefit of all, right? Unfortunately, this does not always become a reality in today's politics and the reason why is due to the the previously mentioned fact: voting!

How do you think a population can truly select it's leader without knowing about the political system or information about the leader?

Society has become quite complex and with increased population and the multitude of different beliefs and styles present, we truly have become a race of individual people, who everyday are becoming more and more equal. However, with this great achievement of diversity, we end up tieing ourselves down with indecision and essentially to much choice. The reason for this is mainly explained due to the tyranny of the majority, we have so many people present and when someone is elected, they are often done so to the dismay of many smaller groups who were unable to extend their voice the highest. Not to mention, that many leaders today have to be very multifaceted in order to accommodate as many people as they can to their side of the race.

The question you have to ask though is: Why do leaders often promise one thing to the majority of voters and when elected go back on their original promise?

Could it be that our society has lost its step when it comes to the political process? Sure, a leader will make everyone seem full of hope and optimism, but with so many people deciding to not partake in the political system, that leader only has one thing to ensure and that is the happiness and satisfaction of the people who directly contribute to the leaders success. Essentially, what I am saying is that the tyranny of the majority is in reality a tyranny of the minority of powerful entities that vote and this has been allowed to occur mainly due to a lack of participation from the people who rely on the political system the most...the average citizen.

I will leave the discussion at this point and await some feedback from anyone reading.

Tell me what you think a good leader should possess? Be specific, often times many people will list general abilities that in reality should be the foundation of every leader, but sadly remains the perk of only good leaders.

Until next time.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Welcome to The Political Road Map

Welcome Friends!

My name is Anthony and this is a blog dedicated to the political system!

Our world is rapidly changing and although many people may not realize this, everything we do in our lives is related to a political system. Whether you are: Republican, Democrat, Liberal, Conservative, Socialist, Communist, Fascist, Libertarian or Moderate, there is a place for you in this blog and it is important that you not only understand where your beliefs stand, but more importantly where your political leaders stand.

Now to answer some basic questions about my newborn blog and why I chose this name. The Political Road Map if successful, will gauge where our current political system is and in what direction it may be heading. I hope to encourage discussion and debate over many different topics.

I have studied Political Science and Peace Studies at McMaster University and although this does in no manner make me an expert on anything political, I believe it has formed a foundation for my thoughts. As I have mentioned above, the world is rapidly changing and many people have pushed political discussion aside, which has unfortunately left things like voting and elections to a minority of our populations. People have forgotten the important value of being able to not only participate in society via regular daily activities, but also shape society with their voice. This has occurred due to multiple factors, but I believe it is important that we boost interest in our political system due to the impact it has on us.

I will finish with this and leave the rest for another discussion, but in doing so I would like to once again thank you for visiting my blog and would greatly appreciate any feedback or discussions you would like to have.

Do not be afraid to think and remember that if we push our duty as citizens of the world aside any longer, our thinking might end up being done by someone other than us!

Until next time.