"It doesn't matter who I vote for, they're all a bunch of liars anyway".
You've probably heard sentiments close to or exactly like this over the past few weeks. I heard that comment just this morning from a young twenty something guy I shared a taxi with.
And who could blame him? Harper said he'd never run a deficit, then handed Canadians the biggest shortfall in this country's history. He said he wouldn't stack the senate, then set the record for most appointments in a single day. Income trusts were to be left tax exempt, government would be more open and accountable with less waste. Great promises, but I doubt anyone remembers a promise to build a $2 million fake lake right next to the very real Lake Ontario for the G8 Summit.
So why bother voting? Whoever gets in is just going to do more of the same....Right?
Wrong. Yes there will be broken promises no matter what party ends up winning, but the direction our country moves in will be dramatically different depending on the outcome.
Do we go ahead with billion dollar tax cuts to profitable businesses at a time when Ottawa is bleeding red ink? Today's deficits equal cuts to services and increased taxes down the road. It happened in the 90s after the runaway deficits of the Trudeau/Mulroney governments. Health services once covered by provincial health plans were delisted, forcing taxpayers to dig into their wallets for things like a trip to the eye doctor.
Should we really be spending billions of dollars on American style 'Super Jails' when Canada's crime rate is in decline?
Is the F35 fighter jet really the best option for our military? Is there another solution that would be more cost effective? Why don't we put it to tender instead of signing a deal without allowing competitive bids?
Canadians deserve better than the government we've been getting in my opinion. But if we can't be bothered to drop our gaming magazines and I-pods long enough to inform ourselves on the issues, then our elected officials have no incentive to deliver.
We all hand over significant cash to Ottawa in the form of taxes. Now is the time to have your say on how you want it spent. You won't get everything you want, but it can mean the difference between a smoother or much bumpier road down the line.
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