The Numbers we Need to Know Before we Decide
with Kevin Page, Former Parliamentary Budget Officer, Founding President and CEO of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, University of Ottawa
Political scientists have developed several theories to explain voter decision-making strategies. In this workshop, we will assume that voters (in this particular case study: workshop participants), use a classic rational choice strategy -i.e., we are rational. Ideally, in order to maximize outcomes, we want electorates to have the information and cognitive capacity to make informed decisions. In this way, people could rationally elect representatives who would do their best to carry out desired collective decisions and make legislatures able to hold governments to account.
In this workshop, we will examine the political platforms of all major political parties during the 2015 federal election. We will review party commitments on policy issues (e.g. balancing the budget over the medium term), examine information and cognitive demands on electorates, and assess performance objectives using SMART criteria (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time based).
The purpose of this 2015 retrospective will be to better position us (as rational voters) for the upcoming 2019 electoral platforms. As a former Parliamentary Budget Officer, Mr. Page will draw on his own experience in this workshop to assess electoral commitments-including budgetary balances, reduction in income disparities or greenhouse gas emissions, and the elimination of socioeconomic gaps for Indigenous peoples, to name a few. This workshop will also examine non-numerical party objectives such as electoral reform.
Former Parliamentary Budget Officer, Founding President and CEO of the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Democracy, University of Ottawa
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