Wednesday, June 17, 2015

A Liberal in Canada? A Self-Centered Voter's Evaluation

Ever since I moved to Canada, I wondered how I would vote.  I still don't have a vote, as my citizenship application is probably two years from being fully processed (and assuming I pass the test), but yesterday provided a bit of clarity. 

Let's quickly summarize some of the Liberal promises made yesterday:
  • More accessible information by improving the Access to Information Act.  That would be wonderful given that my current ATIP request appeal is more than two years old (which, I believe, means that the actual request is more than three years old).
  • Open data
  • Stronger parliamentary committees.  This would be good for the Steve/Dave/Phil project as we could then have variation on our independent variables, so this is good for our project!
  • More free votes.  I am not a fan of superstrict party discipline.  Canada's parties are about as strict as they get.
  • Improving question period.  Anything that makes this less of a joke would be a good thing.
  • More clarity on budget stuff.  The budget might actually have real numbers?  Real independence to Parliamentary Budget Officer!
  • Stronger national security oversight by creating an all-party national security committee to monitor and oversee operations of every department and agency with national security responsibilities?  Oh my, yet more variation for our project.  Woot!
  • First past the post goes away?  Only if they cite my stuff to justify it!  I am, of course, not sure this is that important for ameliorating ethnic conflict in Canada since federalism does a handy job of providing the key minority with political access.  It would depend on the alternative chosen, but more discussion of electoral rules is good for poli sci business.
  • Ban partisan government ads.  This does truly annoy me.
  • Unmuzzle scientists.  I have been a harsh critic of the message management efforts of the current government.  So, this would be a big improvement.
  • Bring back the long form census and make Statscan independent.  Much love for social science here.
  • Data-driven decision making?  Oh, this sounds good, but I am not that naive.
Lots of promises, many likely to be unrealized or implemented in ways that are less revolutionary.  But there is much for this social scientist to love in this, both because it is relevant for my current project (yes, I am a narcissist) and because it is good for social science write large.  None of this is about taxes or spending priorities, but given the traps set by the Conservatives, I am not sure we can expect much from the Liberals or NDP in those areas.

So, yeah, I guess I would vote Liberal and not even hold my nose or anything, even if Justin Trudeau always says one thing too much when talking about Canadian defence stuff.

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