There is a federal election coming up, Oct 19th 2015. Let's try to figure out who you want to vote for. To begin with, if you don't know already, we will need to see who your candidates are. Elections Canada has a website that you can use to make your determination.
Using your postal code you can find your candidates. Once you have entered your postal code, you can click on the "Who are the candidates in my electoral district?" link.
My candidates are:
You need to go off and do your own work, since I don't know anything about your politics and beliefs. I'll continue with my work through the rest of the post. Read on if you are interested.
Now that I know who I can vote for, I would like to know how or if, they will represent what I believe. This is going to take some time. Just for fun, I will tell you who I think I will vote for before my analysis is completed. I think that I will vote conservative, mostly because I want someone who leaves the most tax dollars in the Canadian pockets and I think they are the least likely to run a nanny state. They aren't the kind of party I would really like, since they are opening up more prisons and ignoring data about what actually works to instead feed their political base.
Ok, I'll begin with the Greens.
Upon going to the green party website for Michael Barkusky I can see that they take this whole green thing seriously. His photograph is kind of green like the photographs of the dishes above the Asian restaurants at the mall. Not exactly an appetizing look. I know these guys don't have any money, but if any of you out there believe in the green party, you should lend them your camera before the next election cycle. I don't really care what he looks like though, so, I'll push on.
I can see that he has a main page describing how he has been involved in a number of different community organizations -- so he's not completely clueless when it comes to governance, good. When I click on the "platform" link I see a picture of someone else talking about optimism. I am guessing this is his Green Party leader. Reading it, hmmm... Keynesian economics... ok, too bad, next.
Onto the conservative Erinn Broshko's page, ok, he has some kids.. he's married, I don't care. He has some values, ok good, something about safety - don't care, keeping taxes low, good, talking about family again. Something about cracking down on crime - a cynical feeding of his political base, slight tax benefits for families. Balanced budgets, very good.
He writes something about how he likes to see a new-hire while he's walking down the street; bullshit. He doesn't seem to be talking about how the price of real-estate has been driven to the moon by Chinese speculators who are getting their money out of their country. No mentions of market distortions, just some simple writing to address value-affect. Not too offensive, but slightly slimy and in-genuine. Tax cuts for small businesses... I read on. He will allow the grandparents of recent immigrants to access free Canadian health care. Smart move, yet slightly cynical given the conservative approach to immigration.
Now He is talking about wars I don't care about, and last but not least something about being environmentally friendly while pumping oil, ok, next. Let's pump that oil, but don't ask me to drink it Erinn.
Mira Oreck's platform is easy to digest without all of the slimy spin.
$15/day child care, somehow she is going to make housing affordable -- good luck with that Mira, she is going to improve public transit, wait, what? She wants to lower small business taxes? Ok, good, she wants to get rid of oil subsidies and she wants to get rid of Canada's secret-thought-police (C51). This is sounding pretty good, too bad she is with the NDP -- beholden to the unions.
Lastly, we must consider
The liberal Jody Wilson-Raybould, the platform is a total smorgousbord with jumping points as visual panels. I clicked on the F35 bomber page and was happy to see that the liberals will not be buying this fighter-bomber, there is another panel for free-votes. They say that they will allow their members to freely vote for non-critical bills (as in non-budget like bills). If this is true, Canadians could get back to a representative democracy -- but it is easy for a party to say such things before they are elected.
Let's consider the cost of a single Mike Duffy scandal. Everyone in the medias seems to be upset about how this conservative appointed guy ran up $90,000 in illegitimate spending while ignoring his duties as a senator. Assume that he liked to run up 90,000 dollars more a year than he should of, this would be like taking away a $45/hour job -- just to cover Duffy's butter balls and appetizers. Ok, I can see why people are kind of upset.
Now let's consider the cost of a single F35:
A single Air Force F-35A costs a whopping $148 million. One Marine Corps F-35B costs an unbelievable $251 million. A lone Navy F-35C costs a mind-boggling $337 million. Average the three models together, and a “generic” F-35 costs $178 million.
It gets worse. These are just the production costs. Additional expenses for research, development, test and evaluation are not included. The dollars are 2015 dollars. This data was just released by the Senate Appropriations Committee in its report for the Pentagon’s 2015 appropriations bill.1
To use some back-of-the-napkin calculations we will go with the $178 million American dollars as the cost of a Canadian F35 jet. Converting this into Canadian dollars, this is $231.41 million. This amount of money is outside of my intuitive understanding of measurement, so I will relate it back to a Duffy. For a single F35 I could afford to feed 2571 fat Duffy scandals.
Given that the conservative government originally wanted to purchase 65 of these jets, assuming that this is possible at their current price, this means we could feed 167115 corrupt Duffy's for the price of this policy. In 2011 Sudbury Ontario had a population of 160274.
So, we could replace every man woman and child, in Sudbury Ontario, with corrupt Duffys and we would still have not spent as much money as we might for the F35 program. According to Wikipedia, the Conservative party has made no mention of the F35 program in their policy platform for 2015.2
However, the conservatives did run a Lockeed Martin lobbyist as an MP in the 2011 election. His name was Raymond Sturgeon and he didn't win his riding.2
This is not smelling good to me. I know that F35 debacle was handled by Peter McKay, who oddly enough was the son of a peace activist. He surprised everyone earlier this year by announcing that he will be leaving the conservatives34.
The previous analysis is not entirely fair, since we didn't consider the cost of an alternative fighter -- say like the F18 super hornet. According to this source the cost is at worst a 80.7 million dollars. Assuming this is in American dollars, the final bill per plan is near 105.11 Million. Ouch.
Surely the F35 is a better plane! I mean it has a higher number and it looks cool. It turns out that it might not be the better plane56 Here is Pierre Sprey (designer of the F16) talking about the F35.
This Russian aviation expert has a higher opinion of the F35.
Suppose Canada goes with the F18 super hornet, we will save $126.3 million Canadian dollars per plane. So the savings expressed across 65 jets would be $8.2095 billion Canadian dollars. This is roughly $250 dollars per Canadian -- just for a few aircraft.
To put the number into our measure of corrupt Duffy's, it's 91216. Or 91.2K Duffys. The city of Ajax has a population of 90.1K. Ok, lets repopulate that entire city with Duffy scandals.
My point is that the Duffy scandal does not matter as much as the media would like you to believe. Not compared to the F35 fiasco. The F35 program was a huge conservative gamble, in that they did not open this purchase to competition.2 They ran a Lockheed Martin lobbyist and they are not even talking about this important policy in their election campaign.
The Americans have a huge stake in our purchasing of the F35 fighters, since the cost of the plane goes down with each purchase. Other air forces are backing off from this agreement too, which means that the remaining players have to pay more per plane.
From a philosophical perspective the American F35 gamble was about the economics of plane manufacturing -- it was a grand plan. The more planes you make the cheaper it is to make the next plane. In addition to this, if all of their armed forces could use the same pool of spare parts -- they would save yet again in terms of supply management and procurement costs. It probably made a lot of sense while looking at the spread sheets.
Conservatism is about being distrusting of such grand plans, of massive step changes in policy or technology. I can understand that we are strategic partners with you United States -- but any conservative should have looked at this F35 gambit as philosophically anathema to their beliefs.
We are talking about a huge expense that completely undoes my personal belief that they are fiscally conservative. We are talking about a huge gamble that makes me think that they are not philosophically conservative at all.
I am surprised to say that I'm voting Liberal.
With that said, today I joined all of the political parties so I could vote inside of them to select their policies and leaders -- it cost me $36 -- and 10 minutes of time. I have also ordered all of their lawn signs, $3 -- another 10 minutes.
I am now a proud member of the Green Party, the NDP, the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party of Canada.
Good riddance ↩