Sunday, June 06, 2004

Some questions about the Conservative platform 

Here is the Liberal Platform, and here is the ConservativePlatform Its hard to make comparisons because the Liberal platform provides 10 times the detail, including lengthy discussions of policy frameworks within which the liberals have already developed legislation and initiatives, and say they will develop more.
As for the Conservatives, their platform is a series of bullet points, which give short shrift to a series of regional and national issues, but which sometimes highlight bizarre specifics ("natural health products"?) Its unclear the extent to which these promises are meaningful because the overall framework within which the Conservative would implement these ideas sometimes hasn't been articulated.
For example, the Conservative platform says things like this:
• Ensure fairness in party nomination and leadership races [where did this come from and what does it mean? Surely the parties can do what they will in this regard.]
• Support Canada’s farmers, fishers, and forestry workers. [Seven words -- no other mention of agriculture, fishing and forestry. Why are all of these lumped together? Are farmers, with hundreds of thousands invested in land and machinery, and fishermen, who also have thousands invested in their equipment and licenses, actually the equivalent of forestry workers? And I could find no other reference to agriculture anywhere in the platform.]
• Improve access to new drugs and natural health products. ["Natural health products?" why would this be a national priority?]
• Work to improve economic and social conditions for aboriginal Canadians. [Other than these 10 words, I could find no other reference to First Nations in the platform.]
• Become an environmental world leader by focusing on clean air, clean water, clean land, and clean energy. [no specifics, just this 17 word sound bite - and what the heck is "clean land"?]
• Protect our children by eliminating legal loopholes for child pornography. [what loopholes? this panders to the base but doesn't actually mean anything]
• Build a more constructive partnership with our major allies and trading partners
and enhance the North American trade relationship. [The Globe said this means some kind of customs union - does it?]
• Implement a Made in Canada foreign policy. [what do these seven words mean? What have we had up to now? Its the Liberals who kept us out of Iraq, when Harper would have supported Bush.]

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