In politics, family equals households with children – what about the childless?

By Paul Smith 

Canada is at the beginning of one of its’ longest election campaigns in history. Its’ four main party leaders have been hitting the trails, showing up at stops along the barbecue circuit. The party leaders are spending a majority of time (as any would in any country) talking about promising better policies for “families”.

In their championing of these “family” policies, there is a tremendous insensitivity shown towards those without children. So far, every single policy promised by these party leaders would require you to be a family with children. It is lost on politicians the world over that a family does not have to be a household with children. It leaves childless voters wondering, who should they be voting for?

Are there really any options? In these times, those who have no children may feel they do not have a voice. Marking down that X may not seem worth it, because maybe you might feel it is wasted. A difficult reality to accept even in a world that mostly has a jaded view of politics and politicians.

As a Canadian voter, I realize that I have the opportunity to approach each of the candidates in the constituency I live in, and ask each of them a few questions:

1. What is in it for my family if I vote for you and your party?

2. Do you accept that not all families are households with children?

I would ask these questions of each of them. Listen to their answers and ask any more questions that may come from their responses. If you are voting you deserve to have answers. Politicians, regardless of how you might feel towards them, are working to obtain your votes. So make them earn it. Question them on these “family” policies and find out what’s in it for you.

As someone without children, what questions would you ask campaigning politicians?

childless couples


  1. It is fair to say that most childless/childfree people identify with your article. It is a common grievance that we share. We pay our taxes, contribute to society in meaningful ways, yet we are never recognised.

    We cover for mothers when they go on maternity leave. Cover when they have to take time off at the last minute to deal with children related issues. We are often the first people that companies turn to whenever someone is needed to work those family unfriendly hours etc. It is quite short sighted for politicians not to realise that we are as useful to society as parents are. Take us out of the equation and the whole system collapses.

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