If we can rely on the polls from recent weeks, there is no certainty that the outcome of an election will return a parliament much different than what we have now. So why should we have an election? Many would say that we need to express our disapproval of the transgressions against parliament and the Canadian taxpayers by the Conservatives. Others say that these actions are not much different than committed by the Liberals during their terms in power. However those actions did contribute to a change in government.
The Green Party rejects this budget because it fails to address three deficits facing this country; the economic deficit, the ecological deficit and the social deficit. There are only tokens measures in the budget to keep up the appearance of addressing these issues. One may argue that an election will only delay these steps in the right direction. However, there are larger steps identified in the budget to be taken which lead in the wrong direction, especially on the economy, which is supposedly the Conservative’s strong suit.
The Conservatives want this election to be about the economy. I agree that it should be.
The corporate tax cuts in the budget are neither necessary nor helpful. Our corporate tax rates are competitive enough to attract investment and will mostly help corporations already making large profits. There are many businesses barely scraping by which employ many people but will not gain from these cuts. The budget did not end corporate welfare, especially the subsidies to fossil fuel companies which are among the most profitable in the world. Since the government has not fully revealed the costs of their prison expansion program, their tough on crime measures, the new fighter jets, and the corporate tax cuts, we cannot rely on the rosy projections in the budget.
The stimulus money will end soon and the economy may falter as a result. Had the stimulus been focused on cost savings then the benefits would have continued after the monies ended. Support should have been for energy efficiency projects rather than energy consuming projects. Repairing or replacing existing deteriorating infrastructure to reduce future costs would have been better than adding new infrastructure which add to government costs and eventually to taxes. Investments in the green economy reduce costs to government, industry, and families. They will help keep taxes lower, profits higher and the cost of living more affordable. This strategy allows for more public services, protects jobs and a better standard of life for all of us.
Do we need an election now? Yes. Even small improvements in our federal budget will make up quickly for the delays caused by the election. It’s time, vote Green.