Volume 94, Issue 44

Thursday, November 16, 2000


CAMPUS AND CULTURE

Federal Election 2000

Federal Election 2000



Saving the world from imminent destruction, moving faster than aspeeding cream pie and every now and then, preventing a cat from falling out of a tree - the next Canadian prime minister?

Perhaps.

On Nov. 27, Canadians everywhere will decide which party will lead this glorious cold country into the new millennium. Barring, of course, a re-count in Manitoba.

Looking at the Canadian political spectrum, there are numerous parties vying for the big seat in Ottawa. Will their hopes be crushed by the proverbial whoopee cushion of minority government? Or will they drink from the cup that the Governor General keeps in her desk? Only time will tell.

Courtesy of The Gazette's Campus & Culture Section, including Tola Afolabi, Leena Kamat and Sean Maraj, here is the first of a two part series giving a brief overview of the political parties who want your vote. Let's get it on!




The Canadian Action Party


While they might not be seen much in the media, the Canadian Action Party is serious about its campaign and has a definite plan of action for the country.

Dave Banerjee, student liaison for CAP, said the main issue that the CAP focusses on is not health care or tax cuts, but sovereignty. "We must first guarantee sovereignty," he said.

CAP would address this issue by cancelling the North American Free Trade Agreement, he said. This agreement is a threat to the Canadian economy and can open up privatization in many areas. "Canada has the short end of [the North American Free Trade Agreement]. We're weakening at [ the US'] benefit."

CAP proposes using the Bank of Canada for its original purpose which is to provide the government with interest-free loans, Banerjee said. "We can't have interest compounding while we are revitalizing education, health care and the environment."

CAP supports a system of grants and interest-free loans for students, he said, adding he felt students were being overburdened with student loans. "Graduating with a $25,000 loan is ludicrous," he said.



Other points in the CAP's platform:

¥ An initiative to eliminate the Goods and Services Tax over three years by reducing it by two per cent per year for the first two years and the remaining three per cent in the third year

¥ A discussion on a new health plan where Canadians would pay up to 2 per cent of their gross annual income to health care and the government would pay 100 per cent of any excess costs



The Christian Heritage Party


The Christian Heritage Party of Canada may be small in size but they are big on ideas.

The CHP has a national family plan which suggests parents should be the first people to educate their children, said Annie Kok, media relations for the CHP. This would translate to a family tax credit of $1000 per month if one parent stays at home raising their children. Kok said this would save an estimated $12-15 billion dollars in day care services.

The education system would change, with families having the choice of what school system to send their children to at public expense – whether it be a public or a religious school, she explained. "The government collects taxes in order to educate children. We would like to see the tax dollars go with the child."

The CHP also supports one sixth of the budget going towards paying off the national debt, Kok said. "No government should be allowed to incur debt. They have to ensure our tax money is used sparingly."

Other points of interest in the CHP's platform:

¥ A push for abortions to become illegal, but the government should assist women in finding other solutions

¥ The CHP defines a "family" as a lawfully married husband & wife and their children. The CHP does not sanction any homosexuality activities

¥ The CHP would strive to keep non-violent criminals out of jail and working to pay compensation to victims which will also save prison costs

¥ Enact legislation to safeguard against abuse of air, land and water resources



To find out more, look at www.chp.ca.

C&C Party Slogan: The party of fire and brimstone

Check out www.canadianactionparty.ca to find out more

C&C Party Slogan: Putting action into Canadian politics



The Communist Party of Canada


Karl Marx may be long gone, but the Communist Party of Canada is looking to step up on Nov. 27 and give the Canadian political scene a strong left cross.

The CPC is hoping to turn some heads to the left when the big day comes.

According to Liz Rowley, the CPC's labour secretary, the party's platform opposes the privitization of universities and hospitals. They are supportive of reduced tuition and debt load for students. CPC is opposed to tax cuts to the rich and to flat taxes as well.

"We are opposed to privitization of universities. Resources that ought to go to public institutions will go private," Rowley said. "[We believe] in just taxation, the richer you are the more you pay. The bottom line is that people making below $30,000 shouldn't pay taxes."

The party is also making several stands on the Canadian Medicare system and according to Rowley, the party is prepared to make a stand to protect and improve health care in Canada.

"Medicare is a sacred trust and it's being put to death by the provincial and federal governments," Rowley said.



Other key points in the Communist Party's platform include:

¥ Introduction of a wealth and inheritance tax.

¥ Elimination of the GST and provicial taxes.

¥ Introduction of an Abortion Bill and keeping abortion legal.



To learn more, check out

www.communist-party.ca.

C&C Party Slogan: Let the revolution begin



The Canadian Alliance


The official opposition party is ready to change their title to that of government by taking on the incumbent Liberal Party of Canada in a challenge to win the election.

The Canadian Reform Conservative Alliance and its leader, Stockwell Day, have put together a platform they hope will win them Canada's leadership.

The Alliance will start off by immediately putting $26 billion into Canada's health care system which had been cut during the past few years, said Tony Gronow, manager of communications for the Alliance.

"We will also sit with the provinces and hammer a five-year agreement that guarantees a certain amount of funding," he said, adding this will be made into a law and will therefore be binding. This way, the provinces can plan for their health care budgets for the next five years without any fear of funding cuts.

Making student debt more manageable is also a part of the Alliance's platform, Gronow said. The Alliance wants to set up a payment formula based on earnings and other obligations recent graduates have.

"This country is experiencing a brain drain," Gronow said. Reducing taxes to 17 per cent and 25 per cent on income above $100,000, should encourage top minds to stay in Canada.



Some other key points on the Alliance's platform:

¥ Increase the Basic Personal Exemption from $7,231 to $10,000

¥ Introduce a $3,000 per year per child tax deduction for all children under the age of 16

¥ Cut the Goods and Services Tax on top of other federal and provincial fuel taxes, which means savings of 3 cents per litre of gas

¥ Automatically send 16 and 17-year-olds to adult court. Any 14 or 15-year-olds charged with very serious crimes to adult court as well.

¥ Repel the Affirmative Action legislation and will hire on merit

¥ Protect the institution of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.



See the Alliance's official Web site,

www.canadianalliance.ca, for more details.

C&C Party Slogan: Leading Canada on a Jet Ski



The Liberal Party


The Liberal Party has said it shares student concerns – they are also hammering away at issues such as education, taxes, jobs and health care as part of one big platform to snag your vote.

Akaash Maharaj, national policy chair for the Liberal Party, said the party has actively been improving access to higher education through scholarships, doubling tax credits and the Canada Education Savings plan.

And what about that ever growing student loan, a nasty little side effect of your attempt to 'better yourself'? The Liberals would address this too, Maharaj said. "We made interest payments against students loans tax deductible."

"We doubled the amount on which education tax credit is based." Students who work in the summer would now be eligible for a $400 tax refund, he explained.

The rich and poor will be taxed fairly under the Liberal action plan. Taxes will be reduced by $100 billion and cuts will be centred on low to moderate income families.

Entrepreneurship is another Liberal concern, Maharaj said. More graduates are starting their own business and the Party believes this is a good thing. "We think this is a wonderful change because it means young people are willing to take risk control of their lives at an earlier stage."

A major issue in any political campaign is health care and the Liberals are no exception. "Health care is one of the primary concerns of this campaign," Maharaj said.

Their platform involves a public, not private, health care system. "A single public system is more effective than a two-tiered system," Maharaj said. "Access to care should be based on need, not on resources."



Other Liberal goals include:

¥ A cut to all personal income tax rates on Jan. 1, 2001

¥ Raise the disability tax credit to $6,000 from $4,293

¥ Pay off $10 billion of the federal government debt by the end of the year

¥ Increase health care funding by $21.2 billion



See www.liberal.ca for more information.

C&C Party Slogan: Protecting the status quo for seven years and counting



The Bloc Québécois


Even though most Western students will not be able to vote Bloc Québécois, they are still a force to be reckoned with in Ottawa.

The province of Quebec currently has the lowest tuition fees for post secondary education, said Philippe Gagnon, press relations at the Bloc.

The federal government needs to ensure this by increasing the funding to the Canada Health and Social Transfer to maintain and improve the educational system. "Our position is that the federal government index needs to match the cost of living."

Gagnon said the money received through CHST should be left up to the provinces to decide how to spend it, as the province knows the needs of its citizens. "The Quebec government wants the money with no strings attached."

"We think there is inequity in the Employment Insurance system," Gagnon explained. Two-thirds of young people are ineligible for EI and the Bloc would like to change this by broadening access for seasonal workers.



Other party ideas found in the Bloc's platform:

¥ Allocating 49 per cent of the budget surplus to tax cuts, seven per cent to CHST, 17 per cent to employment insurance, 14 per cent to payment of the debt and the remaining 13 per cent to other measures

¥ The current $500 tax exemption for scholarships should be increased to $1,500

¥ Federal money put towards job training should be left up to Quebec to decide how to spend it



See www.blocquebecois.org for more details.

C&C Party Slogan: Trying to separate Canada for over 20 years.


To Contact The Campus and Culture Department:
gazette.editor@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright © The Gazette 2000