Think Like a Stakeholder

The Bloc may have been Orange Crushed, the Green Party may finally have a seat, and the Liberals may be sitting in a corner thinking about what they did, but I get the sense that most of my friends are angry about last night’s election of a Conservative Majority.

It might have been the low voter turnout, it might have been the Liberal Party Platform of “Hey, what are you going to do, vote conservative?”, but Conservative Majority is a reality, and no amount of calling Harper a robot or “Bush Jr.” is going to change that. Calls for electoral reform only dissuade us from the real problem, which is that my generation does not understand the Conservative mindset.

I really think that we have this image of the CPC that’s made of more ideology than reality. We talk about Conservatives like they are an irrational race of hairy barbarians who enjoy beating anything smaller than themselves with hockey sticks. They want to divide up the country among the rich and powerful, destroy the environment, and execute mentally handicapped criminals. Any intellectuals, poor people and minorities who have a problem with that can suck it.

We take this view at face value and yet we ignore anything that conflicts with it. Why would they be popular with low-income voters if they only serve the rich? Could it be because they keep trying to lower taxes and make home ownership more affordable?

The Liberals and the NDP have been praised for offering us “Freedom from” policies. Like freedom from poverty, health care, or child care costs. While the Conservatives are determined to take away those policies, they want to instead offer ownership stakes. The idea is that if you own your own piece of Canada, you’ll work harder to make it a better place. Is this a better offer? Can the other parties match it?

Until we can fully appreciate what goes through the heads of the politicians and voters that have made up this government, we will be cut out of the national decision making process. Public health care, education and the environment will be subject to the whims of the Conservatives. While they have shown themselves to be capable, by no means do they have a complete picture of how to run this country.