The Canadian Election campaign is about half over and it is hard to get past the mendacity that seems inherent in being a politician. Whether it be from the political posturing, negative campaign ads, endless promises to political statements that seem to lack any basis in fact. Where the goal seems to be to get elected at any cost rather than about civic and social responsibility. It is the frustration of the voter. Who do we vote for? Who do we believe?
This election, like all elections comes down to deciding what kind of Canada we want. Do our current political parties, our political leaders share their vision for Canada? The Canada we need to become is not going to happen through policies and practices that are not founded in Human Rights. Creating a society that is inclusive, values people, cares about the environment, is compassionate and develops hope rather than despair will only happen with policies committed to human rights.
The United Nations indicates that a Human Rights-Based Approach requires policies that create the following:
Elements of good practices under a human rights-based approach
- Programmes identify the realization of human rights as ultimate goals of development
- People are recognized as key actors in their own development, rather than passive recipients of commodities and services.
- Participation is both a means and a goal.
- Strategies are empowering, not disempowering.
- Both outcomes and processes are monitored and evaluated.
- Programmes focus on marginalized and excluded groups.
- The development process is locally owned.
- Programmes aim to reduce disparities and empower those left behind.
- Situation analysis is used to identify immediate, underlying and root causes of development problems.
- Analysis includes all stakeholders, including the capacities of the state as the main duty-bearer and the role of other non-state actors.
- Human Rights standards guide the formulation of measurable goals,targets and indicators in programming.
- National accountability systems need to be strengthened with a view to ensure independent review of government performance and access to remedies for aggrieved individuals.
- Strategic partnerships are developed and sustained.
Which of our current political parties comes closest to these standards for the creation of a ‘Fair and Just Society’? It is difficult to determine this through words. We must judge through actions rather than words. Not by what they say but by their actions and the results of their actions.
Over the last ten years we have seen ‘My Canada’ have a widening gap between those that have and those that do not. We have watched as our taxation system and the loop holes created provide off shore tax havens to the wealthy. We have seen full-time jobs turn into part-time jobs without benefits. We have watched as youth unemployment has increased. We have watched as Canada has ignored our responsibility to the environment.
We must demand more from our leaders than veiled promises. We must demand to know their vision for Canada.
- What is your energy plan for our country?
- How will we create a society where we create good paying jobs for our young adults and families? Jobs with benefits?
- How will we create a taxation system that works to create a Canada founded on the principles of human rights?
- How will we create an evidence-based system?
- How will we create an inclusive society that provides the opportunity for everyone to benefit from citizenship?
The people of Canada are a kind, compassionate and generous nation. We care about each other. We care about our planet. We care about global issues. We strive for a better world.
When we vote and we all most vote, it must be a vote for Canada. A vote for humanity. A vote for a society based on the principles of human rights.
Where you ask ….between the Ferocity of Capitalism and the Complacency of Socialism…..that is the sweet spot that Canada needs to occupy.
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I agree there is a balance and if we sway to far one way or another we can create difficulties. The balance is one we can find when we focus on people. Thank-you for your comment,,,
And thank you – One thing I have been noticing is how big corporations keep stating their responsibility is to shareholders and increasing their return.This seems to have become a new mantra that has been accepted across the board.
If they mean they will increase the return by being more productive that is perfectly acceptable. Investing in their people, technology, R&D..is what most corporations should do to make themselves more attractive. What i am seeing though, is that they are raising prices, reducing service, outsourcing to lower earners and by default , reducing their exposure and responsibilities to society in general.
I don;’t like it. We’ve lost something. When CEO’s and boards are more interested in stock price and dividends to shareholders rather than performance, I lose confidence that a long term plan is in place. It wasn’t long ago that most CEO’s, when asked about stock price would always say….i don’t concern myself with the stock price, i concern myself with growing the company.
It’s getting out of hand.
You are exactly right. It is what Stats Can points out as the difficulty with the income equality equation as well as the high unemployment rate for our younger people. It is strange though that we are not having these conversations publicly.