As of this week, the Canadian Federal Election is officially underway! As firm believers in civic participation, we strongly encourage you to register to vote ASAP (particularly if you’re voting by mail) and watch the first leaders’ debate (hosted by Maclean’s) tomorrow at 8pm Eastern (follow the link for viewing instructions). The election will be held on Monday, October 19th, 2015.
In the meantime, we* want to hear your thoughts on the election! We’ve already had one election-related discussion, focused on the economy and the 2015 federal budget. One commenter in that discussion remarked – when Matt criticized Prime Minister Harper’s economic policies – that offering alternative policies would have been more constructive. This was an excellent point – one that applies to much of the negative political discourse we see these days in Canada. Thus, we have decided to focus our second election-themed discussion on policy suggestions.
What policies would you like to see enacted in Canada? These can be policies already in a party’s platform, but they don’t have to be. As citizens, we are not shackled by the need for political calculus. This gives us the freedom to propose policies we think are good for the country, even if they do not seem politically expedient at present. We suspect such freedom will breed good ideas.
We welcome policy suggestions on any issue – the more precisely formed and carefully considered, the better. That said, we want to hear your suggestions even if they are not yet precise or actionable. For example, it’s ok to say ‘we should address issue X’ without necessarily saying how we would address it; that’s what the discussion is for!
Some may ask: ‘What’s the point of this exercise? Don’t the parties largely have their platforms set at this stage?’ We have two responses: First, so far as we know, none of the major parties has unveiled its entire platform yet. There are always opportunities for new ideas to take hold during an election campaign, especially one as long as this. Second, don’t underestimate the impact that a good idea posted on a blog (even a relatively new and obscure one) can have on public policy (e.g. see powerful example here).
We have also decided to expand our discussions to Twitter (inspired by another (awesome) blog we discovered recently – Diversity Journal Club). If you wish to participate on Twitter, please use the hashtag #TheTeteATete.
We are gearing up for our final Election 2015 Discussion (3): Who should we vote for? In getting a dialogue started about preferred policies, we hope to build constructively towards our third election-themed discussion on who to vote for – to be launched in early October. In preparation for this discussion, please let us know if you would be interested in writing an endorsement article for one of the parties or candidates (see our Join the Conversation page for submission instructions). We will publish all endorsements together when we launch this discussion. Importantly, we welcome endorsements of any and all parties and candidates. We (the editors) certainly have our own political perspectives as individuals, but The Tête-à-Tête is a strictly non-partisan forum. In fact, we would be thrilled if we could have at least one endorsement article for each major party (allowing comparison). All that we ask is that any endorsement be reasoned and civil, and not include any statements that are verifiably false (e.g. Mulclair is taller than Harper).
*For professional reasons, Niya will be abstaining from all Canadian election-related discussions. Thus, please note that all editorial posts related to the election will be prepared by and will represent the views of Matt and Ian only.