As you ‘ve probably noticed (LOL), I’ve been posting a lot of political stuff on Facebook. I know that some of it may not interest you and I apologize if it annoys you sometimes. A couple of people have said “ya I get it, so quit it” or “I don’t discuss politics with friends” and well, that’s ok.
I’d like to explain why I’m so involved in this election campaign – something I have never before felt inclined to do. In past elections, I would have agreed with many of you that it doesn’t matter which party you vote for; that they’re all the same; they all have scandals; my vote won’t count in this electoral system etc. But this election is different. In this election, we’re not just talking about how each party will spend our tax dollars. This election is about our most fundamental Canadian values, it’s about what makes us Canadian – or not. I have never felt such fearful apprehension for Canada as I do now – or as much hope.
We’ve all grown up with a certain perspective about Canada; what it means to be Canadian; how we wish to be perceived as Canadians. My Canada has always been a country where looking after each other was more important than getting ahead, making more money and acquiring more stuff. Where the words “social safety net” were not sneered at or feared but were something to aspire to. Where women could be proud of their hard-won rights and look forward to an even brighter future for their daughters. Where nobody would be denied quality health care because they couldn’t afford it. Where immigrants and refugees could come with their families and forge a better life, and at the same time, enrich us with their thoughts and customs. Where we understood and appreciated the wild beauty and vastness of this land, and tried our best to preserve it and keep it safe. A country where people could speak their minds, whether it was their own opinion or to expose wrongdoing they’d discovered, without fear of persecution. A country which was regarded in the International Community as a non-partisan bastion of human rights, dedicated to fostering peace and justice in the world.
Over the past few years, slowly, subtly, I ‘ve seen my Canada change and become tarnished. I’ve seen long-cherished values, and hard-won rights and achievements be uncerimoniously swept away and buried, covered up under blatant lies. I’ve seen our country’s global reputation reduced from being admired and respected and even loved, to being the subject of anger, ridicule and yes, even loathing.
That this could all happen in a few years with Canada in a minority government is astounding. To think of what could happen to our beautiful country under a Harper majority is heart-breaking. Never before has an election given me cause for such apprehension – but also for such hope. I’ve seen social media explode with election fever. Students have become involved in droves and shine with pride for their country and for their ability to take democracy into their own hands and make a difference. People have refusedto be pigeon-holed and manipulated as “very ethnic” voters and have asserted their rights as Canadians. We may yet emerge from this as an even stronger, more connected society with a clearer view of our values as a country.
I’m not advocating any particular party to vote for – they all have good and bad points, but I can tell you in all certainty that if Harper wins, Canada will change even more drastically for the worse and I’m betting that it will affect us all in very profound ways. Those of you who have a long history of voting Conservative, please understand: the Harper Conservatives are not the PC’s of the past, they are the Reform Party, based on neo-conservative, Evangelical Christian values – think radical, right-wing religious. Is that our Canada? Think about it. Please.
People all over the world are dying to achieve the rights we sometimes take for granted. This is too important not to discuss with my friends, my family and all fellow Canadians!