What are the top five election questions Tyee readers want us to relentlessly pursue until they get answered? We found out. And we’ll tell you in a minute. First, here’s why we’re doing election reporting differently from other news media:
Canada will choose a new government in October. We’re already gearing up for it. Political parties and their communications teams are, too.
Look, we know that democratic participation is not just voting in elections every four years. However, elections are a key moment when citizens can put our concerns on the table. That’s if media don’t get completely sidelined by covering outrageous statements and bozo eruptions, to the exclusion of important issues.
We’ve all seen what can happen if a media-savvy politician drives the public conversation. Does it make for entertaining and dramatic coverage? You bet. But are voters able to get some basic questions answered about how our biggest challenges are going to be handled by our elected representatives? Not likely.
We want to approach our election coverage differently. As a reader-funded publication, we want to stay laser-focused on questions that matter to our readers, and leave the “horse-race” reporting to other outlets.
That’s why we’ve been asking our readers for the last month to give us input on where we should pour our energy in the lead-up to the election. First, we flung open the doors and invited you to give us an answer to this simple question: What do you want candidates to be discussing as they compete for votes?
Over 600 of you took the time to respond, many with incredibly detailed and thorough responses. We took a week to compile and analyze your input, and then put out a long list of questions and asked you to rank them, in order to help us focus the list to five questions. Nearly 2,000 of you sent us your rankings.
We have been truly amazed at the level of engagement. The result is the Tyee’s Reader-Powered Election Reporting Plan.
Here are the top five questions, as voted on by Tyee readers:
1. Do you agree Canada should be on an emergency footing regarding climate change, and if so what actions will your party take?
2. What are the tax loopholes in Canada, how have other countries closed them, what are candidates willing to do to assure the rich pay their fair share and reverse the widening wealth gap?
3. How do we transition to a green economy without causing mass unemployment and upheaval?
4. What would you do in the next 36 months to improve housing in and provide potable water to remote First Nations communities? *
5. What would it mean to include dental care and pharmacare as part of government-funded health care, and where do candidates stand?
Rest assured, we’re not just going to chase candidates around, stick microphones in their faces, and jot down whatever they say. We’ll dig into the roots of the problem, explain how we got here, look at who with power is blocking or speeding change, and reveal the track records of politicians and their parties as well as what they now promise.
The Tyee is a reader-supported publication. We need your help to pull off this reporting plan.
Will you support The Tyee’s 2019 federal election reporting with a financial contribution? Click here to give now.
Our goal for this fundraiser is $60,000 by June 24. If we’re successful, we’ll know we have the resources to dig into these questions and get answers for you, our readers.
Now, a caveat: The above list represents questions that we will absolutely, intentionally cover and put resources towards. Naturally, we’ll cover other key stories we think deserve attention. But thanks to your amazing responses to date, we know your top concerns — which will be our top priority investigations.
We’re excited to get started. But we need your support. Click here to help us reach our $60,000 reporting fund goal by June 24.
With your contributions, we can unleash our feisty, independent reporters to dig deep, hold power to account, spotlight solutions within Canadians’ grasp. Please help make this happen and contribute now.
*This question is verbatim what was submitted by Tyee reader Walter Franczyk. Thanks, Walter! The other questions were crafted by our editors to summarize what many readers asked.