Canada's two main political parties are gearing up for the country's general election on Oct. 21, but the uncertainty over who will win is also extending to how science will fare in the next government, Nature News says.
With the exception of climate change, neither party has really talked about science during the election campaign. Researchers are worried that government support could fall by the wayside regardless of who wins. Though the Liberal Party-led government has been generally good for science, many researchers feel that the government has now decided it has done enough, Nature News says.
The Liberal Party's election platform has little to say about science, and has just one pledge of C$30 million ($23 million) for pediatric cancer research, Nature News reports. There's no mention within the platform of the 2017 Fundamental Science Review, a report commissioned by science minister Kirsty Duncan that found that Canada was falling behind other countries in basic research and funding.
But the opposition Conservative party, which is tied with the Liberals for the lead in the election, isn't any better, Nature News says. The party's platform makes no mention of its plans for science funding.
The Green Party has a more comprehensive platform that includes fully implementing the recommendations of the Fundamental Science Review, boosting funding for the country's main research-granting agencies, improving transparency in government science and supporting open-access publishing, Nature News says. But the party isn't expected to win more than a handful of seats in the Canadian parliament.
And even though the parties' plans for climate change could influence how many people vote, their stances on science likely won't, Nature News adds. That's probably why many of issues surrounding science funding and support aren't really being talked about during the campaign. Researchers will likely have to wait until the next government forms to learn what will happen for them during the next four years.