Election & Families

In the early days of the federal election, The Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP are all targeting families. But the idea of family is undergoing major changes thanks to significant demographic and social shifts. We ask if our political parties' ideas of family match the realities across the country.



PART ONE

Satire

It's Wednesday, March 30th.

Michael Ignatieff is promising $1 billion to subsidize post-secondary tuition for all Canadian students.

Currently, they arrived at the figure by simply adding up what it cost to put Ignatieff through UofT, Oxford, Harvard and then Cambridge.

This is The Current.

Election & Families - Panel

Canada's three major national political parties are courting "The Family". Conservative leader Stephen Harper has pledged to allow income splitting for couples with children under the age of 18 in order to save on income taxes. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has pledged a Billion-dollars to help families pay for post-secondary education.NDP leader Jack Layton has promised to put a cap on credit card interest rates, to make it easier for families to manage their debt.

As each tries to attract the attention and the votes of those in the so-called "typical" Canadian families, we looked at their strategies through the prism of our project Shift on demographic change. Who are the politicians appealing to? Is there a typical family? To help us answer that we were joined by Susan McDaniel. She is the Prentice Research Chair in Global Population and Economy at the University of Lethbridge in Lethbridge, Alberta. Kathleen Lahey is a law professor at Queen's University. She was in Kingston. And Dave Quist is the Executive Director of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. He was in Ottawa.

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