Friday, December 09, 2005

If you got a problem, yo, I'll solve it...somehow.

The CBC has a little quiz as part of their Canada Votes project. It asks if you agree with the four major parties on twelve key election issues, and you don't get to see which party has which opinion until you finish the quiz, so it reduces bias. I saw it about a week ago, and bookmarked it to show to the Peach for a little pre-election politicking, but I was at Accordion Guy's blog today and saw that he'd linked to it as well, and I figured I'd talk about it here for the sake of making it more visible to some of the Canadian visitors who need a little vaccination for election fever.

I decided to see how I ranked up against three of the four parties; I didn't bother with the Bloc, because 1) they don't run outside of Quebec, and 2) I know exactly where they and I differ on the issues already. Out of the twelve issues, I agreed with the NDP on seven, and the Conservatives and Liberals with four each (and yes I know that adds up to 15, sometimes I agreed with more than one party). Not terribly surprising to find that I had a lot in common with the NDP, but what really surprised me was the kinds of things I had "in common" the Liberals and Conservatives. I was really shocked with one item in particular: employment insurance.

I had put myself down as agreeing with the Liberals, who had as their position "Ensure that employment insurance meets the changing needs of the workforce and the economy." Sounds good, except that it doesn't actually say anything. That's like saying that your position on the issue of "Killer Bees" is "We'll make sure nobody gets stung." That's nice. Now want to tell me how you plan to do that, exactly? The position of the Liberals on this issue is full of empty words, and the sentence means absolutely nothing. No indication about what steps they will take to "ensure" this will come about, just that it will, and that's all.

Now, I'm not saying that this internet poll represents the parties' political platforms entirely, but this is just the kind of thing that suckers people in to siding with a party: empty talking points. This is even worse than another Liberal position: "Increase international assistance by $3.4 billion with the intention of doubling assistance by 2010-2011 from its 2001-2002 level." Sure, they don't say where they're getting that money, but at least there's a game plan there. Then again, you know what they say about good intentions.

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