Decision Canada 2006

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Green Party Policies reviewed

Well, I decided to look at the Green Party’s platform – they are trying to bill themselves as the environmentally-sensitive right-wing alternative. Let’s look at some of their policies (from their policy document) in detail:

“Rescind all uranium-mining permits and prohibit the export of fissionable
nuclear material.” Thereby trying to put Saskatchewan into the have-not category.

“Improve Canadian energy security by implementing a plan to address the
economic consequences of higher oil prices.” Sounds like the NEP to me – Good bye Alberta’s prosperity, and with the first policy there goes Saskatchewan’s two major natural resources.

“Shift taxes on fossil fuels to earlier stages in the production cycle to encourage competition among companies to lower operating costs while reducing
emissions.” Don’t these oil companies already have a reason to try to lower costs – so that they can maximize the profits for the shareholders?

“Begin a partial, gradual, revenue neutral tax shift from income, consumption
and business taxes to resource use taxes, pollution taxes and land value
levies reflecting corporate profits.” So, if I generate my own electricity, deal with my own wastewater, produce little garbage etc., I don’t pay taxes yet get the benefits of taxpayers? (police/fire/ambulance, roads/sidewalks etc.)

“Develop tax incentives for companies to meet the highest standards of gender
and pay equity.” So… the pay equity, sure, but what do they mean about gender equity? Are they talking about taxing companies based on the proportion of women to men?

“Introduce laws guaranteeing a proportion of seats for women in government
appointed bodies.” Even if there are more qualified men? Why not, ‘introduce a law guaranteeing the best suited individuals are appointed to government appointed bodies’?

“Recognize and value the unpaid work of women through reforms to our tax
system.” I have no problem recognizing the work that women do that is unpaid (although I would think a feminist would cringe at this thought, because it seems to reinforce the idea that there are “woman jobs” and “man jobs”), but, let’s also recognize the work that men do that is unpaid. If we are going to give a $1.00 tax credit for every dish washed, let’s give the same credit for every cubic meter of grass cut.

“Decriminalize non-compliance and eliminate registration fees with the national
firearms registry for firearms designed specifically for hunting…” See, that’s a misleading one. Many firearms used for hunting aren’t necessarily “designed specifically” for it. The classification “designed specifically” could also apply to some handguns or other restricted/prohibited firearms.

“Introduce a law mandating cinemas and video chains to have 20 per cent
Canadian content.” And watch the cinemas and video chains go out of business because they are being forced to make 20% of their content less profitable. This will work if a corresponding law is passed mandating that 20% of the movies watched by individuals are of Canadian content – in fact, if the Canadian Content was of higher quality (as judged by the viewing public), then more people would go to those movies/rent those movies, and this law wouldn’t be necessary.

“Use the full force of the Canada Health Act, federal spending power and the
notwithstanding clause of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms to oppose any
steps that open the way to two-tier health care in Canada.” Wait a minute, I thought the left hated the thought of the notwithstanding clause. So, I guess sports teams won’t be able to have their own physicians – professional athletes who are injured and require reconstructive orthopaedic surgery will have to wait a year and a half, just like the rest of us.

“Increase taxes on tobacco products, alcohol and junk food.” I can see the tobacco (although I disagree with the sentiment that the Government has to step in to protect me). I disagree with the alcohol because of the multitude of studies that have shown that a daily consumption of a small amount of alcohol is good for the health, and disagree with junk food because it is a discriminatory tax. “Junk Food” typically provides more calories per dollar spent then “good foods”, therefore unless this is combined with a reduction in the price of healthy food – this could make it difficult for low income Canadians to get the caloric intake they need.

“Implement a managed reduction in the standard workweek to thirty-five work
hours per week.” Either we’ll see paycheques go down (because people are working less) – or businesses start to go under because their productivity has decreased to the point of not being profitable.

“Combat racism in hiring practices and give greater recognition to foreign
qualifications.” So, would that include when public works forbade the hiring of white males? Let’s combat racism and sexism in hiring by ensuring the most-capable person is hired to do the job, not the person that will make the workplace the appropriate colour mix or the proper usage of bathrooms.

“Propose a reform of the UN Security Council, eliminating vetoes and
expanding membership.” Yeah, because those on the security council (who would have a veto over this decision, I would think) will really want to give up their power. We can propose it… and then listen to the laughter as the policy is voted down. A nice “feel-good” useless policy there.

“A” For effort for the Green party – they almost tried to move to the right of centre, but in such a manner that shows why they have not won any seats yet in Canada, and will not form Government for a long, long time.


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