1/03/2006

The Green Party Platform: No Chips for You

I decided to take a break from the usual Conservative vs. Liberal stuff that I usually write. Today I want to take a look at the Green Party Platform. Their entire platform can be found here, but I want to take a look at their stance on health, one portion in particular.

- Increase taxes on tobacco products, alcohol and junk food...
- Introduce a national standard of daily, quality participation in sport and physical activity in schools.

Before I begin what is sure to be an obvious rant, I'd just like to point out the irony of the fact that I had the following quote by Redd Foxx in the Funny Quote of the Day feed in my Gmail web clips: "Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday, lying in hospitals dying of nothing."

I like to keep healthy. In fact, I used to be a vegetarian. Pregnancy changed this due to an increased need for protein, but otherwise, my body does its best on a vegetarian plus fish and occasional eggs or cheese diet. I don't smoke. I drink very little. I like to keep relatively fit.
However, I also like the occasional Dorito. Hell, let's make it the occasional bag of Doritos. I also enjoy cheesies, sour cream and onion rings or chips (as long as they aren't All Dressed, Salt and Vinegar or Dill Pickle). I adore chocolate.
I would be opposed to the idea of taxing junk food. I would get out and protest if chocolate was included in such a tax. Quite frankly, I think I pay enough taxes already. I also do not feel that alcohol or tobacco taxes need to be increased. The occasional drink is not harmful and taxes are not going to dissuade drunks. True, smoking is harmful. If any government were really that concerned with the harm it does however, they would ban it altogether and not tax it, thereby getting rich.
As far as enforced work outs go, this is a silly idea. People are lazy. Please don't waste tax money in a sad attempt to encourage them to run a mile. Everyone knows that perpetually sitting on the couch, eating too much junk and watching TV for all hours of the day is not helpful to the body. Some people just choose not to care. Healthiness begins at home, sorry for the cliche. It is not the responsibility of the government. People really need to be able to look after themselves. If they choose not to, then that's their tough luck.

5 comments:

Sean said...

I'm not a Green supporter at all (I'm a proud Conservative), but I don't neccesarily mind a tax on junk food.

However, it MUST be coupled with a decrease in income taxes for all brackets. This was it is pretty much revenue neutral, but if you choose to eat healthier because of this tax you're saving more money. If enough people make this choice, our health care system will benefit.

And if you want to go nuts on the Doritos, it isn't costing you anything extra.

The question is though: would I trust the Greens or any other left wing party to implement this tax while lowering another?

Ruth said...

I wouldn't.
Although the Greens do propose a cut to the GST where school supplies are concerned, overall their plan for Canada would be quite expensive. They also propose several "studies" into solving various problems. I consider this ot be a problem, as study after study would result in a lot of expensive talk and not enough action.
However, to their credit they have better and more complete ideas than the NDP.

Sean said...

Their plans may be expensive, but you're right in that they're better than the NDP. I wouldn't mind seeing the Greens as the main party on the left.

Policy-wise, they're better than the Dippers. But the Greens' actual candidates are what's keeping them down. If they could get some quality people to run, I think they could overtake the NDP.

Anonymous said...

this smoking thing drives me crazy not because I smoke but if you look at who actually does smoke a larger proportion of lower income people smoke than any other income range. How does taxing them more help anyone? They aren't going to quite because of it an it will just cause even more income disparity.

Sean said...

I don't have a problem with cigarette taxes. Smokers know it's dangerous and will take a toll on their health. Why should my tax dollars go towards keeping a smoker healthy when I don't choose to smoke? If a lower income smoker wants to smoke, let them pay the taxes. If they want to quit, then they'll save money, and their health.

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