Friday, 7 August 2015

Split allegiance or Canadian pragmatism? Post #macdebate thoughts...

In the past couple of days I have posted things on Facebook and Twitter featuring Justin Trudeau more than is usual for me. Just thought I would explain. I like Justin Trudeau. He seems like a decent, friendly person who likes people and loves Canada. He is very natural, lacking the sort of artifice we usually see in federal politicians. I think as PM, he would be good for Canada, particularly internationally, in reversing the negative feelings generated towards our country by the past 9 years of Harper. He puts people at ease, he is relaxed and “normal”. Outgoing, even. Having said that, I am philosophically closer to the traditional NDP outlook. Thomas Mulcair is not who I would have chosen as leader to succeed Jack Layton (and I took a long time to warm up to who Jack was, but ultimately, I wept when he died). Mulcair comes across as bristly (and not because of the beard). His strength is as interrogator, prosecutor in the House of Commons. And that has been a valuable role, given the nature of the government. I think there is a more personable side to him. We get glimpses of it handing out Halloween candy dressed as an angry bird, for instance. And I hope he gets to show people that side of himself more during this election. He is intelligent and I do believe he truly loves Canada too.

Either would be a vast improvement over Harper, who clearly sees Canada as simply a warehouse full of things that can be hauled out or broken down to be sold to other countries, a job which would be much easier if it weren't for these annoying Canadians who keep objecting and getting in his way. He really seems to hate Canada, and most Canadians. What kind of leader of a twenty-first century first world country keeps an enemies list? And puts scientists, First Nations, academics, artists, environmentalists, journalists, Liberals, New Democrats, union workers, Quebecois, women, veterans, seniors, youth, the poor, Muslims, immigrants, refugees, Supreme Court Justices, and now Albertans, on that list? Seriously, there are getting to be pretty few Canadians left that aren't on his list. He can only jail so many of us, and I think that really frustrates him.

This is the ultimate difference I see between Harper and the leaders of the two other national parties that have a chance of forming government. He hates Canada. The other two, like every other PM in Canada's history, love Canada, despite different ideas of what might be best for the country. The second most important difference is that Harper is a law unto himself. He listens to no one, takes advice from no one, and rejects any evidence that runs counter to his goals/beliefs/desires. The other two emphasize the teams they bring to the election, and seem very open to a return to a consultative parliamentary process as existed prior to the Harper years. They both put a lot of emphasis on best practices, scientific evidence, and listening to Canadians.

Canada cannot afford another 4 years of Harper. Mulcair was right about that. Whether we get a Liberal minority government with a strong NDP opposition; or an NDP minority with a strong Liberal opposition, we will be so much better off than under Harper – like night and day. And I hope Elizabeth May and the Greens gain a strong voice in that parliament, because they have something valuable to contribute. With the nasty politics and controlling ways of the Harper Reform/Alliance/Conservatives off to the side, there is the opportunity for parliamentarians to actually work for what is best for Canadians, instead of everything being the world according to Harper. Minority governments have a lot of incentive to co-operate. And isn't Canada all about co-operating, diversity, being a community that can accommodate different needs and ideas? And all three parties; NDP, LPC and Greens, have respect for parliamentary procedure and process, for honour, for doing the best job they can. It's been so long, I think a lot of Canadians have forgotten what it was like.

With all this in mind, I am focused on voting for the candidate in my riding with the best chance of unseating the CPC incumbent. I hope everyone will do the same, regardless of their "home" party allegiance. We must not split the progressive side and let the Harperites win again with their 1/3 of the vote.

I think the best thing that could happen for Canada is if the CPC were reduced to a distant fourth party status; and if the good people of Calgary-South-Centre saw fit to vote Harper out of his seat, it would be like the whole country won the lottery. I really feel that he has been the most negative, divisive, and destructive force Canada has ever seen. If they can be forced to take their imported Tea Party election machine and go home, all Canadians win, even those that don't realize it yet.