I was never much of a political fanatic, and I had always avoided the subject as much as possible. When we began studying Canadian politics in Socials studies, I realized that I couldn’t just turn away from the topic any longer, and I ended up having to go home and research about things such as what the right and left wing is, and how different parties differentiate from one another. When we were discussing the political narratives in class, two in particular jumped out at me. They were Canadian government (involving ethics, policies, crime & punishment, taxes and their overall purpose) and identity (involving symbolism, foreign relations, how Canada is seen and what it is known for.)
Personally, I find Canadian government and identity as the most compelling political narratives because I actually have opinions about them since I find them easier to understand and discuss than the other narratives. I feel like the government’s purpose is to create Canada’s policies and run the nation based on people’s values in order to build a Canadian identity that we can all be proud of. In this way, the two narratives are related with one another, and it makes it all the more important to elect a party that shares similar values as we do in order to create this ideal Canada.
Obviously, there isn’t one single party that completely agrees with all my personal values and opinions on Canadian government and identity. However, out of all the parties, the NDP party seem to come closest to sharing the same vision of the ideal Canada as I do. In an NDP political ad, Thomas Mulcair sits in a peaceful coffee shop and says, “I was raised on middle class values, and I’ll work to strengthen the middle class…” This told me that the NDP pay attention to the middle class and make sure to provide them with benefits. This ad also clearly states what the government’s purpose is when they say, “You work hard everyday to give your family the best. Your government should be there to help your family make ends meet.” I am definitely in favour of a government that feels that it’s purpose is to help the middle class and it’s families.
Upon searching up their website, I found more information about the NDP. A recent article stated that they are “taking action to promote and enshrine gender equality in communities, work places and in politics,” by supporting M-444, which is the National Action Plan to End Violence Against Women. I think that women’s rights are very important, and hearing that the NDP are striving to create gender equality makes me support them even more. They stated their opinions on their website: “We know that without freedom from violence women cannot be equal and without equality women will never be free from violence. We will keep up the pressure for a National Action Plan, now and into the future.” I appreciate the fact that the NDP party are working towards ending violence and creating equal rights between women and men.
Moving into issue involving laws and privacy, I was pleased to hear that the NDP did not support Bill C-51. I believe that the bill intrudes on Canadian’s personal privacy, and takes away some of our rights. While our class was focusing on PLO B2 (Aboriginals), I read an article that stated that Bill C-51 was strongly and negatively affecting the Aboriginals since many of their human rights were being taken away because of this bill. Whether it was for the Aboriginals or just for the nation in general, the NDP thankfully do not support Bill C-51 and were against passing it. In an article, they said, “Terrorism is a very real threat, but it is the responsibility of the government to protect both public safety and our civil liberties. This bill is vague, dangerous and won’t make Canadians safer.” This statement shows that the NDP believe that the government values our safety, but also knows the importance of privacy.
Although the NDP are mainly focusing on Canada’s economy as many other parties are, they still make sure to state what they feel the government should support in terms of values, which reveals how the Canadian identity would look if the NDP were to lead Canada. I believe that the NDP would do a good job in guiding Canada to become a nation with Canadian government and identity that I would support.
As I stated in the beginning of the blog post, the NDP don’t fit perfectly with all my person opinions and ideas. The NDP, Liberals and Conservatives seem have an ongoing smack-talking battle between each other, which in my opinion, makes them all appear less favourable. I don’t know about other people, but I am not fond of parties that focus on bringing other parties down, rather than focusing on supporting what they think would be best for Canada, and have the votes just naturally roll in instead of trying to step on other parties. However, despite the small insults that are thrown around between the parties, the NDP seem like a good party to run Canada in terms of their vision of Canadian government and Canadian identity.