Upon carefully analyzing and critiquing the six main parties’ policies and promises for Canada’s upcoming 2019 election, I have come to the decision to vote for the New Democratic Party (NDP). Of course, just like the rest of the platforms, the NDP platform is not perfect. However, it is the one that best reflects my own personal political ideology and hopes for the future of Canadians. The NDP takes (or “takes”?) pride in its slogan “A New Deal for People”, which emphasizes how they aim to be the government that will work for you, rather than you working for the government (cite NDP.ca). Compared to conservatives who feel that government intervention jeopardizes individual freedom, social democrats are willing to give up some freedom if it results in everyone–not just the rich–experiencing the benefits from our country’s wealth (cite an article, p. 21). For that reason, making life more affordable for Canadians is at the heart of their platform. They plan to quickly and effectively tackle Canada’s most pressing issues such as the need to expand Medicare for all Canadians, the skyrocketing housing crisis, and putting an end to the crippling anxiety parents suffer when trying to find affordable, but quality child care for their families. With that being said, I feel most aligned with the commitments and claims of the NDP than the other political parties for the reason that they come across as the most relatable and authentic; therefore, I have the most faith that the NDP will do their best to keep their word. Though at the end of the day you can only vote for one party, I believe it is completely normal to both agree and disagree with certain aspects of each party’s platform based on individual influences in your life such as friends and family, your field of employment, as well as certain social issues that are most important to you. Based on my own political ideology, I will discuss how the influences in my life and the issues I am passionate about have affected my decision to vote for the NDP in October, as well as how my political ideology will affect me within my future field of social services.
As previously mentioned, the party that best suits my own political beliefs is the New Democratic Party. The emphasis that the NDP puts on bringing Canadians together to build our country up and to create a much more affordable, sustainable, and enjoyable life for all is a commitment that I can stand behind. Canada’s New Democrats leader, Jagmeet Singh, is dedicated to helping the ordinary, hard-working Canadian who struggles to make ends meet by making the ultra-rich pay a little more, and then re-investing that money into the rest of us so we can all reap the benefits of growing our economy (cite NDP commitments doc). In my opinion, this is a great commitment to implement and I am in full agreeance with the NDP on this social issue. As a result of the huge wealth disparity within our economy, the rich are getting richer and the rest of us are barely getting by. Contrary to popular belief, the NDP is not looking to punish the rich, they simply just want to make large companies and polluters pay their fair share that is needed to improve the services every Canadian depends on. Unlike conservative governments, social democrats do not view the poverty of an individual as a direct result of said individual’s shortcomings, but rather as the consequence of capitalism and wealth disparity (cite The Nature of Canadian Social Welfare article, p. 2). One of the devotions promised by the NDP that I am fully in accord with is the expansion and strengthening of public health care for all Canadians. New Democrats’ do not forget to take full credit for their accomplishment of bringing universal access to public health care to Canada, but in today’s society, the topic is once again a problem for many. Too many families are paying out-of-pocket for services that are not covered by Medicare such as prescription medication and mental health services, leaving them with the horrific choice of getting the help they need and deserve, or putting food on their dinner table. Meanwhile, the most powerful corporations who are anti-public health care continue to advocate for privatization, leading Liberal and Conservative governments to cut funds and oppose the expansion of access to care (cite NDP commitments doc, p. 56). Following the same notion of making it easier on Canadian families financially, Singh acknowledges that the cost of living in today’s society is outrageous and unattainable for so many; therefore, he claims that an NDP government would build 500,000 new and affordable homes within the first 10 years of parliament (cite CBC journal). The NDP would suggest that the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) support co-housing as well as 30-year mortgage terms; two new measures that will help with the country’s housing crisis (cite global news article). Overall, I am in strong agreeance with the platform of the NDP and believe that they have the best intentions at heart for the average, working Canadian.
There are a lot of influences in my life that affects my political beliefs leading me to vote for the New Democratic Party. The main influence is that my friends, family, and I are the ordinary, hard-working Canadians at the forefront of the NDP platform; therefore, we would benefit tremendously from the promises they want to bring to life. We are definitely not the rich, but we are also not the poor. However, with a conservative or liberal government, I would fear for my future in terms of student debt, affording my own medical bills once I am no longer covered by my parents, and potentially having to give up my dream of owning a house and starting a family. I can acknowledge my privilege of having everything I needed growing up–a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in my fridge–but that does not mean it was always easy for my parents to provide what should be deemed necessities for every Canadian family. Tragically, there are too many individuals who are juggling multiple jobs and still struggling from paycheck to paycheck. With that being said, as a young student living on my own, I am quickly learning how well the economy does for the rich, meanwhile, the rest of us can hardly keep up. During a time when I should be most excited and optimistic about building the life I want, I am instead left feeling very anxious about my future and too busy working in order to pay my bills that I have no time to enjoy where I am in life. These are essentially the issues the NDP wants to tackle if elected, making sure it is not the norm for Canadians to feel like a good life is impossible to afford.
Lastly, I will discuss two points that are interconnected: a social issue I am very passionate about and how my political ideology views it, as well as how my political ideology will help me in my future endeavors within the field of social services. Public health is defined as “the art and science of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts of society” (Acheson, 1988; WHO). With that being said, given Canada’s troubled relationship with Indigenous peoples, it should come as no surprise that the government has not prioritized the practice of public health within Indigenous communities. Strong public services and safe infrastructure are crucial for a community and its families to thrive. Yet today, this is a very serious obstacle Indigenous communities across the country are being forced to live with. These communities are lacking basic emergency services, secure public transportation, help with environmental initiatives, and most shocking of all is the number of communities still without clean drinking water (cite NDP document p. 75). New Democrats recognize the importance of acknowledging Canada’s colonial history of cultural genocide and believe this is the only path to reconciliation within the Crown-Indigenous relations. New Democrats believe that we owe more than just an apology and money. The federal government owes Indigenous communities the services and infrastructures that are required for the community to prosper. This means lifting all drinking water advisories so families are not required to boil water to ensure it is safe, immediately tackling the mold crisis in order to provide quality housing, and improving access to services for prominent issues seen in Indigenous communities such as suicide and addiction (cite NDP document p. 76). By implementing these commitments, New Democrats are taking the actions needed towards closing the health gap in Indigenous communities and ensuring an overall better quality of life for the communities we have damaged and burdened the most. Although the NDP want to do everything in its power to work towards healing our country’s relationship with the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities, they are aware that it is still ongoing and will be a long-term collaboration. In conclusion, my political ideology will help me within the field of public health because of its emphasis on helping one another so that we can all enjoy the benefits of a healthy and equal country.
- Chappell, Rosalie. Social welfare provision: ideology and approaches. Social welfare in Canadian society. Nelson Education, 2010. 9780176500641, 514. (pp.17-29.)