----- Are election promised bribes?
One of the recent letters to the Bulletin, or perhaps it was an official editorial, on a possible new federal election, listed a few topics that we, as voters, should push all candidates to comment and commit upon. So I decided to look up a few old promises to see how well we, the voters, have done in elections: I was very surprised to find that the Liberals and Conservatives in particular have promised just about everything to just about everyone at some time or other -- and yet here we are years and years later still talking about these same subjects which the politicians had promised to act upon so long ago. My question is then, what's the point? Why bother voting? Why listen to any of the candidates since they apparently can promise anything, with no concern about ever fulfilling those promises.
Assault-weapon bans, voting reform, national childcare, national pharma-care, the climate crisis, and nuclear pollution -- are all just a few old, old promises that are new again every election (all of which is thrilling news to the media each time, apparently).
The modern version is to promise millions or billions for each "problem", but without specifying where, when, and how much of that money is going -- and without ever informing us about how well that funding has helped (even if it's really just helping the corporate friends of these parties, who claim to be fixing the problems).
Maybe we should ask all the candidates to promise to support one proposal: that these empty promises become a criminal offense, like bribery. Promising anything merely with the hopes of having it help them get elected is fraudulent, isn't it? It is a form of bribery, so why not charge sitting majority MPs with bribery under these conditions? There's the only promise that will win my vote. It has come to that.
The Quebec youth voters who are today suing the federal government for failing to act significantly on climate change are doing exactly what I am suggesting here. But making false promises into a criminal offense takes the legal burden off the voters and youth, in this case.