The Best Electoral Offer Yet

If you're wondering why electoral reform matters, take a look at the Green Party's proposals, and ponder the fact that despite getting several percent of the popular vote, they have little or no chance of winning any seats (and hence of affecting policy, or growing in size). I don't agree with lowering the voting age, and I don't think there'd be much of a software industry left if people actually banned unpaid overtime, but other than that, this is the most sensible election platform I've seen in years. (And for those who still think the Greens are pie-in-the-sky treehuggers, read #9 carefully: no new nuclear or coal power, but only if consumers can reduce consumption by 20%.)
  1. Cut personal income taxes by $5.7 billion over four years by boosting the basic personal exemption from $8,377 to $11,000.
  2. Cut corporate income taxes by $1 billion over 4 years without affecting tax revenues by shifting taxes from profits to resource use.
  3. Phase out the Ontario health tax introduce by Dalton McGuinty's Liberal government.
  4. Introduce a 2-per-cent carbon tax on oil, natural gas and coal imported or extracted for use in the province.
  5. Replace the existing property tax system with a "location value tax" based only on land and not building values, to encourage denser growth in urban areas.
  6. Merge Catholic and public schools into a single, publicly funded education system and introduce a mandatory world religion course.
  7. Cap university tuition at an average of $3,000 a year and college tuition at an average of $700 per year.
  8. Cap the amount of fresh water that water bottlers and industrial water users can take, and tax water use at $100 per million litres to encourage conservation.
  9. Ban the construction and refurbishment of nuclear reactors and phase out coal-fired power plants by 2009 if consumers can reduce electricity use by 20 per cent through conservation and energy efficiency programs.
  10. Adopt "California-style" emission standards for new cars, light trucks and SUVs by 2012, provide an additional $2,000 over the federal government's existing sales tax rebate on the purchase of fuel efficient vehicles, and add an additional $2,000 levy on inefficient vehicles.
  11. Lower the voting age to 16.
  12. Boost the minimum wage to $10.25 by June 2008 and ban unpaid overtime.
  13. Provide a $1,000 health care allowance to low-income residents.
  14. Spend $10 million to help farmers switch to organic farming.
  15. Boost provincial spending on northern communities, including $90 million for health, $180 million for economic development and $25 million for transportation.
  16. Encourage homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient by boosting the provincial grant for that purpose from $5,000 to $10,000.
  17. Encourage municipal green building projects through a $500-million grant program.
  18. Spend $100 million to compensate farmers who preserve wildlife habitat such as wetlands instead of farming it.
  19. Phase in a province-wide ban on the cosmetic use of synthetic pesticides.
comments powered by Disqus