Our federal election is quickly approaching and if you're still trying to cut through all the fluff and figure out what each party stands for, the Globe & Mail has compiled a chart comparing all of them (and for once, the Green Party is actually included):
2006 Party Platforms
It's worth taking 15 minutes to read this over. Some interesting things in there. Make sure you bring all your skepticism, cynicism and criticalness with you, however; things often sound better on paper than they are in real life.*
If this still doesn't help you, let a short quiz decide your vote for you! The Politics Watch Vote Selector Quiz asks you 18 questions and then based on your answers (Strongly support, etc.), will generate your preferences for each party's platform. I'm not ashamed of my results (and no one who knows me even slightly will be surprised to hear these):
1. New Democratic Party of Canada (100%)
2. Liberal Party of Canada (100%)
3. Bloc Quebecois (77%)
4. Conservative Party of Canada (33%)
Every time I do one of these quizzes, the Conservatives come up with an amount surpassing 0% and I don't understand why! The real surprise for me, though, was that the Bloc Quebecois didn't dominate the results (which is more usual since other than Quebec separatism, I think they have a well-balanced, socially-conscious platform) - here I think it's because the second-to-last question is a very loaded one which (a) shouldn't be part of the quiz, and (b) isn't one to which I could ever agree. ("Do you support a plan for Quebec to send its own hockey team, separate from Team Canada, to international competitions?" Um, no.) I bet they added that because after people finished the quiz from the 2004 elections, they were all shocked to see that their preferences lay with the Bloc.**
* "Spend money on physical activity, including amateur sport"? Sure, that sounds like a great idea! But wait, how are you doing this? Are you providing real monetary support to programs targetting inactivity and obesity, or is this just a thinly-veiled tax credit that will largely benefit the middle- and upper-classes?
**The other problem*** with this quiz is that it links your final results, not to the party as a whole, as I have listed them here, but to the individual leaders. As most people who know me will know, I have an affinity for the NDP but cannot stand Jack Layton. Same for the Liberals but minus the doddering old fool who heads them up (plus many of the current members of Cabinet, I might add). If I had to vote for the leader of the party directly, rather than the party and its policies, my vote would probably go either Green or independent every time.
***The other, other problem with this quiz, of course, is that it does not include the Green party as a voting option.