Our Five Pillars of the Future
There have been a lot of political shake-ups and unexpected results across the
board over the past few years – the world over. Politics isn’t the same as it was
10, or even 5 years ago. What these political upsets are telling us is that the
political landscape has shifted, the map has changed.
We support progressive, inclusive and modern values (and some conservative ones, too). Young
voters are more often associating with ideas over ideology and peers over parties. A Strong
Canada has identified 5 issues which are of key importance to young, urban voters.
Automation and Entrepreneurship
1) Reducing Polarization
A Strong Canada’s core mission is reducing the heightened polarization that many of us throughout the world can sense in the air ever-more-menacingly around us. Toxic, Trump-style politics have broken political discussion into slogans and shouting. This is a dangerous direction for our continent and country to travel – times have certainly changed, but the ability to hold a thoughtful and civil conversation with our political opponents is something that should never change.
Whether you’re alt-right, dirtbag left or somewhere else on the spectrum, we can all agree that getting together and talking about ideas is better than shouting at each other. Instead of hoping to see the world burn and a better one rise from the ashes, we must take a constructive approach and build a better future with the vast resources available to us as Canadians.
The rise of Canadian Bacon Patriotism is beginning to show the frayed edges of discourse in Canada for no other reason than pride and being right. We believe the only path forward is to break down and deconstruct this epidemic of narrow-mindedness. The deep resentment and polarization that has overtaken American politics and divided the former leader of the world into a state of constant panic – this must be quelled here at home.
There are solutions available though – join your local Electoral District Association and get involved, talk to your neighbours with an open heart and mind, maybe don’t hit send on social media with more than one word capitalized in a sentence. We can and must work together to preserve the country we all love.
Climate change denial has become an increasingly polarizing issue. To be clear, climate change denial is not a scientific opinion, it is a PR strategy formed by the fossil fuel industry. There is undeniable evidence that our world’s global, oceanic and many local climates are experiencing drastic shifts due to human influence.
Even if climate change deniers end up being right about everything, it still doesn’t make sense to normalize the idea that our environment doesn’t matter – it does. In the past, many leaders including FDR and Brian Mulroney championed environmental causes and promoted enjoyment and conservation of the natural environments around us, and they were still fully able to steer growing economies through uncertain times – why has this changed now?
ASC believes that continued global carbon-reduction, respect for our natural environment and moving to renewable energy sources are all important cornerstones of building a successful 21st century country. Canada has the ability not just to meet but to lead global ideas and expectations in environmental policy and lifestyle by respecting our natural environment.
3) Democratic Representation
Canada’s democratic process is not broken but it is battered, bruised, and bloodied. Our system is a mish-mash of precedents that, combined with a First Past The Post voting system, creates a natural state for consolidation of power in the Prime Minister’s Office. Was that confusing? We agree and believe an overhaul of our democratic process is necessary, starting in the parliamentary level.
Attention must be paid to the way our democratically-elected representatives act and serve (or fail to serve) their constituents. While we have a fairly strong series of checks and balances to ensure our representatives don’t consolidate too much power, there has been a constant erosion of power away from people.
ASC supports a serious overhaul of our electoral system. This could mean a complete reconfiguration of the system by adopting a Mixed Member Proportional or Ranked Ballot system – or simply a rebalancing of power away from the Prime Minister’s Office and back to the hands of individual Members of Parliament. Regardless, Canadian citizens must be able to exercise their rights and it starts by making sure the government isn’t just there to build an economy but the success of Canadians to exercise their will too.
4) Indigenous Reconciliation
Canada exists on land stolen from First Nations who lived here for thousands of years before the arrival of European Settlers. We recognize this not to shame our country, which we are truly and deeply proud of, but as the first personal step that we must all take in order to truly engage in Reconciliation work.
Across the country, First Nations communities continue to languish in severe poverty. With dilapidated housing, desperately insufficient infrastructure, and few economic opportunities, young people in Northern First Nations communities are killing themselves at an extreme and accelerating rate. This widely recognized national epidemic continues today as millions of taxpayer dollars go to bureaucrats in Ottawa to study the issue.
While money can never undo the damage of colonialism, Indigenous Canadians deserve to not live in squalor and despair. We endorse and support Indigenous-led practical efforts for reconciliation and call on the government to make substantial infrastructure and social investments in Indigenous communities.
5) Automation and Entrepreneurship
In the last decade the number of people employed by small businesses has risen to over 8.2 million or 70.5% of the private labour workforce. This trend is likely to continue as flexibility and contract work demand a labour force with agility. Automation of traditional manufacturing and white-collar jobs will erode the number of people employed in existing positions but also open new opportunities in tech and future-tech.
The Kitchener-Waterloo tech corridor is an example of how Canada is leading in some ways but we need to do more to encourage a strong economy and opportunities for young Canadians entering a tumultuous workforce.
Canada needs to be a leader in this area not just by continuing to build a robust and protected new entrepreneur economy but by trying to re-envision our relationship with work. We need to re-explore one of the original ideas of capitalism and automation – less time spent working for everyone. The reality is, unfortunately, the opposite as contract labour has turned too many people into forced entrepreneurs with less rights and more precarious labour.
We propose a shift to Consensual Capitalism where the end goal is valuing the work being done more than pure profit. Where people are able to enjoy their labour instead of being forced into it to pay rent and maybe take a vacation every 10 years. Where people that want to volunteer or take care of their own children don’t have to make the difficult choice of being stretched thin to do so.
By building robust entrepreneurship programs integrated into formal education, trades or any non-traditional paths we can empower people to own their labour instead of someone else. Building a more vibrant entrepreneur class will lead to more innovation across the country and position Canada as a global workforce leader in rights, efficiency and economy.