I am a desire-for-change voter who will vote for anyone but Harper


Opinion poll shows that the upcoming federal election is a three way tight race among the three major parties. Opinions on who will be the next Prime Minister vary widely across individuals. It has also divided my family. A fierce debate on the issue has increasingly dominated the family dinner table as the election date is fast approaching.

我的儿子是毅伟商学院的学生,他是保守党的忠实支持者。 保守党所推崇的强调私有制,有限政府和自力更生的意识形态令他信服。自从他两年前成为合格选民后,在每次选举中都会坚定不移地投票支持保守党候选人。

My son, an Ivey Business School student, is a loyal Conservative supporter. He believes the Conservative ideology that emphasizes private ownership, limited government and self –reliance.  He has checked the box for conservative candidates in each and every election ever since he became an eligible voter two years ago.


Needless to say, he will again vote for the Conservative candidate in my riding – regardless who he is. But I totally disagree with him. I don’t vote alone on ideologies. The election is a complex issue and in fact, all three parties have shown increasingly blurred ideological differences. What matters the most to me is whether the party’s policies and platforms address my concerns, satisfy my needs and will benefit me personally – in the short and long run, and whether a party can lead the country into a more prosperous economic future.


Despite that my son’s opinion reflects the positions of many ethnic community voters -- who support conservative ideology and values -- I am growing tired of Harper and his party. 


I don’t believe that Harper has been doing a great job in keeping the economy in good shape. He can hardly claim to be a strong steward of the economy at a time when Canada faces economic woes. Damage from a drop in crude oil prices widened while a rebound in exports failed to materialize, leading the country’s central bank to cut interest rates twice this year. As a result, the Canadian dollar has lost more than 20 percent against the US dollar in the past two years, and is now trading at the lowest level in more than a decade.  Consumers face soaring grocery prices due to the falling Canadian dollar, and disgruntled business owners are weary that the loss on currency exchange increasingly eats into their profit margin.


Moreover, Harper and his Conservatives have been in office for far too long, it is time for them to leave. Harper was re-elected twice after coming to power in 2006. A win in October would make him the first prime minister in more than a century to win four consecutive elections, putting him as one of Canada’s longest-serving prime ministers. If a political leader stays in office for too long, it will allow him to amass too much power in Ottawa and become too alienated from his constituents. If a political party is in power too long, it will lead to a predominant party system that can take a heavy toll on the country’s economic and political landscape.


My position may also be mirrored in my neighbourhood community and my close circle of friends. Based on the information I collected from my neighbours and friends, despite their differences in supporting a particular party – be it the Liberal or the NDP, none of them wants to see Harper to stay in office for another four years.  They all want another leader and they all want to change.


My next door neighbour is a public school teacher and a strong NDP supporter. Another one decides to vote for the Liberals, as Trudeau’s policy of taxing the rich while cutting the middle class taxes appeals to her. A friend of mine – who had three young children -- likes Mulcair, because of his promise of universal childcare. They all support Liberal and NDP’s pledge to stop Harper’s OAS cut from 65 to 67. And they all complain that Harper doesn’t care about Toronto and our infrastructure.


Amid a growing anti-Conservative, or anti-Stephan Harper sentiment among my neighbours and friends, I am a desire-for-change voter who will vote anyone-but-Harper, despite the objection from others – including my son. 

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