It has come to my attention, through various discussions with friends, family, and co-workers, that many potential voters out there may have a basic misunderstanding about the primary issues we are voting about in this current federal election.
It seems that many people think that education, cap-and-trade carbon markets and health care are major issues, seriously affected by the outcome of this election.
Everyone should understand that fundamentally, these are provincial issues, and provincial elections are the primary venue to discuss policy and make changes in these areas. The federal government can certainly influence policy, however it cannot force provinces to create policy.
The Canadian government does have control over many important issues; such as national defence, foreign policy, the safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs, the safety of the food supply, national unity, border control including immigration, national and international transportation including rail, highway, and air travel.
This is by no means a complete list, but you can see the overall theme: matters of national importance that are not regional specific, and are not already under the domain of the provinces.
Matters of local importance, such as the Raven coal mine, ferry services, fish farming, education, extended care beds and the new hospital are all the responsibility of the Province of British Columbia and should not be major considerations in this election.
Finally, we all must always remember that anything provided by any level of government has cost. Whether it is maintaining beautiful flower beds along our streets or providing daycare spaces for all children in Canada; it all costs money and every additional service or program means higher taxes and/or debt.
Always ensure that existing government expenses are worth continuing, and ensure any new programs are well worth initiating before travelling down a costly road that turns out a failure.