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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Why I Am Not Voting NDP: but we need a provincial sales tax

* This is a guest post by Martina C. 
Related posts: How the Wildrose won my vote
How the Wildrose lost my vote
Elections: Your Vote Matters



I want to start off by saying I have a lot of political identities a libertarian and a feminist. One of my under 30 goals is to help in reforming the a Alberta Work’s welfare system. I hunger for opportunity and believe investing in our children, the future, is a top priority.

With the upcoming provincial election, I was excited to watch my vision of a Utopian Alberta come to life: equal opportunity and poverty free. Throughout my years as a Alberta Human Service’s employee I have witnessed many conservative government policies in action. Some lacked effectiveness.  Including, an unimpressive 2015 budget (withthings like tax increases on small businesses such as the local small-scalebreweries)  these recent policies were disappointing. And with the price of oil dropping, I was concerned the PC government would under-fund or cut social services first. With the upcoming Alberta election, I was eager to engage with the left-wingers of the New Democratic Party,   and I thought the Alberta NDP could plaster the walls of Alberta orange.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the NDP utilized the election to show off their pro (Lower Class) family and anti-business agenda. Nevertheless, I saw little depth.  While I searched for substance, I came up empty. There is a reason the NDP has never made a mark on Alberta; because we do not need them. The conservative government has done a great job maintaining our social infrastructure and economy. Is it perfect? No. Is everyone always happy? No. However, from a social welfare perspective contrasting and comparing various provinces’ social assistance policies, Alberta is by far the superior.

­­­Our child intervention system has had great improvements over the last 2 years and is unique. It contains extensive protocols for support and reunification for families, as well as supporting youth under government guardianship. The province emphasizes early-education needs and support for growing healthy children with positive programs. The Conservative government spent decades putting these services together, over 44 years—that has a benefit. They have been meeting the voters objectives and crafting programs for Alberta for a long time. A fast paced left of centre party will do nothing but undo the balanced web of services this province has put 40 years into.

That being said, we must preserve our hard-earned public assets and keep them running efficiently. Alberta has the lowest PST of any province- none. We need to stop believing we are immune to financial burdens of changing technology and developing administration expenses. Alberta needs a PST. I believe in paying for our services, fair and square. The demands of our public service sector have increased, and so will the costs. As individuals, we need to take responsibility and ownership of our public programs that we all will likely rely on at some point. Think Alberta infrastructure; from our roads, to our government staff; teachers and clerks alike, to the hospital beds; the EMS who come to every 911 call.

These vital, but costly services are the responsibility of all citizens. In the PST we have access to a greater source of revenue for the Alberta. Temporary workers, international students and tourists all contribute to the costs, of governing and administrating the province yet long-term do not fulfill the cost of maintenance. A PST would address this shortfall by ensuring that the transients in our province pay in as well: not just file income tax at home.

 A PST would bring in revenue for funds for where we need it. It's an effective alternative to the corporate tax. It is also not the sole duty of corporations to bear the burden of heavier tax simply because our province needs it this instant. Business will pack up and go, if only to make a statement. Small business will suffer the most. Chances are you won’t notice. And thank god it’s not 15%

But that is our job to convey our priorities to our leaders, and tell them what’s important. I will be voting PC in this upcoming election but certainly not without doing my due diligence of forwarding my PST concerns to our PC representatives. Rachel Notley and the NDP lack the experience to make an efficient government out of conservative Alberta and I’m concerned of becoming a part of a 5-year socialist experiment.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rachel_Notley_(17149105272).jpg