Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why I'm changing my vote for the upcoming Ontario election.

There is an election coming up in Ontario on October 6, 2011.

In the last Ontario election I voted for Dalton McGuinty. I like his brother David, and I thought : why not.


This election the issue that is most on my mind for provincial politics is the HST. I think it is wrong to have added tax to labour in the form of adding HST to services which previously only had GST and not PST.

There are many reasons, some simply relating to job creation and others relating to sustainability, why a tax shift from labour onto other resources such as energy is appropriate. I have been a long-time supporter of the Green Tax Shift, before there was a Canadian political party that also supported it (Greens, and temporarily the federal Liberals).

An increase in the cost of services means that purchasing products that may replace services (replace rather than repair, etc) becomes comparatively cheaper, a policy that heads us in exactly the opposite direction to what we should be doing if we had any thoughts for the future.


After the anti-Green Tax Shift of the HST being added to services I wrote a letter to my MPP in Ontario, Dalton McGuinty, saying that I wouldn't be voting for him in the next election largely due to this harmful policy.

As if to remove their candidates from my consideration, both the NDP and PC party leaders have stated that they want to remove HST from gasoline at the pump and other energy. This makes the NDP and PC policies worse than the Liberal policy, since it not only agrees to the shift of taxation onto services, but removed yet more taxes from energy.

It is nonsense to say that removing taxes from energy will "help the poor". A policy aimed at the poor should be focused on the poor -- you don't subsidise everyone for the sake of a few. You also don't subsidise people for wasteful consumption in scenarios where alternatives exist. There may not be a substitute for energy to heat ones home, but there are many alternatives when it comes to transportation.

At one point I thought I would vote for the candidate most able to defeat Dalton McGuinty, but given the PC party is promoting an even worse policy I'm not going that route. I could vote for the lesser of the candidates from these three parties which may turn out to be Dalton McGuinty, or I could return to what I did in the 1990's and simply vote Green.

I haven't met the Ontario Green candidate for Ottawa South yet, but I suspect on this area of policy there won't be any conflict given the green tax shift has been a long-time policy of the domestic and international greens.
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