Expecting Election Problems That Matter to Me

You Were Expecting Something Different?

The dust has settled from the election for the most part. Mr. Harper is the new Prime Minister.

There is a lot of doom and gloom associated with this. People paint Mr. Harper as the devil (or worse). While I don’t like him, I would expect that we would at least give him a chance to screw up. This takes more time than just being in office for five minutes*.

Given how much of an uproar there is about this (at least from everyone I’ve spoken to), I wonder how we got to this point?

First, we must delve into my thoughts around this election…



The Election – A Jorge-centric Story

I’m not very politically-minded. I’m the first to admit it. I did a bit more reading this time around. Not just the platforms put forth by each of the parties, but also various other interesting tidbits. I used the internet to learn about what the parties had to offer. I chatted with locals to get their take on the local representatives.

As I was doing this, I wondered why I had never done it before. It’s quite enlightening.

After all of this research, I decided to vote locally rather than nationally. I placed a vote, not for the strategic purpose of filling the cabinet with a particular party, but rather for improving the immediate area in which I live. I wanted someone who could step up to the big table and voice concerns of the folks in my neighbourhood.

I’m glad she won.



Where the Problems Begin

Again, I’ll repeat that a lot of people I run into express surprise that the Tories even got in. They regard this as a step in the wrong direction.

Well, we all deserve it.



Part of the problem is that people don’t really give a damn about their country anymore. I can make this bold statement because from what I’ve heard and read, voter turnout was only sixty-four percent.

We, as Canadians, have no right to whine about how unfair our government is when we don’t even take the time (ten minutes – no lie) to vote.

Quite a number of people that you know will tell you how much they love our country. They will tell you how Canadian they are. Well, chances are that two out of every five people you know are not pulling their weight.

Knowing the national anthem and waving a flag around is only good if you’re cheering Canadian sports teams who participate on the world stage. Being Canadian is more than just eating maple syrup and being able to reference unimportant trivia**.



Would it Have Mattered?

Certainly there would be those that would question whether a higher percentage of voter turnout would have made a difference.

It might not have changed which party attained power. However, it would have offered a clearer indication as to what the preferences of the country were.

If everyone voted, you would have a crystal clear picture as to what thier perception of the best choice was.

Sadly, we are nowhere near this point.



Back to Me

While I don’t think that a Conservative government is the end of the world, I also don’t like a lot of items on their agenda.

But this is where things don’t look so bleak.

I will wait to see what they do. If I don’t like it, I can make my stand by presenting my case to others and voting at the next election.

After all, as a part-owner of this country, I have the power to effect change.




* – So everyone should calm down.
** – Try taking a real Canadian Citizenship test. It’s not easy.

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12 Responses

  1. People are always willing to complain, but not always willing to take responsibility. I agree that its smart to at least give this person a chance. Sometimes the least expected people can rise up to be great leaders, but sometimes not. Its just the chance when we vote.

  2. Your voter turn out was 64%!

    Oh, I think you got us beat for turnout. Waaaaayyyyyyy beat.

    Goood luck with that guy. I Hope he doesn’t suck as nearly much as he seems like he might.

    (that was a terrible sentence)

  3. Jorge, I love your egocentric take on politics. We should all be so enlightened. I’m behind you with 100%trepidation.

  4. Isn’t it sad Jorge??

    We have this priviledge to choose our own government and most of us (I say us and we meaning Canadians) vote, but the ones who do complain the most are the non-voters. I didn’t always vote mostly because I feel I can’t make an informed decision, so my decision was to not vote. I still feel very uninformed, but I did want a certain MP chosen in my area so this is how I voted. I liked the person I voted for, and on that alone, which is very weak, oh, and I didn’t want the Conservatives, or Mr. Harper, to become PM.

    Anyway, I hope this isn’t too much of a rant. I try to remain as unpolitical (LOL) as possible, but it is impossible.

    Take care,

    Adrienne

  5. I like the way you phrased that, “as a part owner of the country”…. that’s the feeling I went out with to vote and i’m glad I did.
    Hope you’re doing well ? *hugs*
    Karen

  6. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started putting more effort into knowing what’s going on before I vote. Funny, I was all information girl when I could first vote, then I lost interest, and now I’m back. 🙂 Good for you, for voting with knowledge.

  7. I’m not Canadian, but I think this post should apply to all countries – everyone should care enough to get off their asses and vote.

    Good job.

  8. Al Dante, eh? LOL! It would be cool if it was on fire instead of undercooked! That comment rocked! I didn’t even get to your second one!

    Take care,

    Adrienne

  9. And now I should thank you! That is very sweet of you to give me your e-mail. Mine is there too in case you get to MSN first!! LOL!

    Adrienne

  10. I totally relate to your Jorge-centric story. In fact, the Theresa-centric version is similar. I voted for the guy who I thought would represent me best.

    As for Stephen Harper- I find him rather creepy. But with him in a minority position I don’t think he’ll be able to effect disaster upon our nation too easily. To me he is a better option than Paul Martin, though I would have liked to see Jack Layton in office- I think he’d be good. I even think Gilles would be good- if it weren’t for the whole separatist-agenda-thing 😉

  11. I’ve been debating for a day or two whether or not to post. I’ve had a drink or two, and I’m listening to Spirit of the West’s ‘D is for Democracy’ so here I am — throwing caution to the wind!

    * 64% is actually a 4% increase than turnout at the last federal election (in June 2004). In truth — I am surprised that it was this high. Surveys I’d been reading echoed the sentiment felt by a number of Canadians (including me) that there really wasn’t a political party that we trusted at all. Also, it would be impossible to have 100% voter turnout. The list includes anyone who pays income tax (e.g. those in aged communities suffering from Alzheimer’s…)

    * In federal elections, I don’t vote solely for my local candidate — I vote for the party. The things that I consider local (like roads, by-law enforcement, parks, etc.) are under either municipal or federal jurisdiction; as such, the federal candidate can’t do much for you. I worry about my views and my rights on a much larger — more macro — level. Hence, the local candidate is secondary.

    * I am VERY scared about the new party in power. I have read some of the papers written by Mr. Harper (he who penned the original Reform Party platform, and who lead the ULTRA right wing National Citizens’ Coalition) and I just don’t buy his transformation into a ‘fiscally conservative moderate’ following his defeat in the June 2004 election. As a woman, as a socialist, as a proponent of the tenets of the Canada Health Act (universality, portability and equality) — I have fears about this brand of big C conservatism.

    I TOTALLY disagree with a lot of the stuff found in the Conservative platform. For example:
    *Why reduce the GST? Why not cut overall income tax rates, thereby increasing the real income to EVERYONE rather than the cash in the pockets of those who choose to consume? Those in the lowest income tax bracket already get back the GST via GST credits.
    * Why effectively reinstate the ‘baby bonus’ with this $1200 cash back? Why not invest in accessible, high-quality early childhood education centres (with standards like those of schools around the country)? This would combat Canada’s productivity gap (which is screwing us on a global scale with the emergence of uber-economies in India and China) by keeping parents in the workforce and giving all children access to quality education at an earlier age and ensuring a better educated workforce overall.

    Don’t get me started on the presence of women in the *new* Conse-reform party…

    I am generally vigilant about what’s going on in Canadian politics. I guess that Mr. Harper’s election will make me doubly so. If he introduces policies which in ANY way smack of sexism, racism (remember – he developed old reform party policy!!) or any other sort of intolerance, you’d better believe that I’ll be up on the Hill, protesting!!

  12. Hey Sarah!

    Thanks for the comment.

    – I tend to vote for my local because of the simple matter of responsibility. For example, I would like the views of my area reflected in Ottawa. Call me crazy, but a candidate who lives in the lap of luxury elsewhere and doesn’t spend very much time in the local area (thus looking like a fool at a local candidates meeting for not knowint the issues) won’t accurately (or even remotely) represent this riding properly.

    – Rolling back the GST is much better than doing what the Liberals did. That is, they didn’t roll it back and then claimed a “surplus”, causing a number of people to think that our country was in good hands (which it seemingly never will be). Toning it down would be excellent. Your idea of reduced income tax would also be a great boon to our economy. Why they haven’t figured this out is beyond me.

    – Bravo on the citing of early childhood education centres. I know a lot of people who don’t have kids, or have kids that are grown up. These folks aren’t thrilled about supporting children that aren’t theirs, and would rather see their tax money go somewhere more useful to them, which is their right.

    I, of course, would say that if everyone is going to be paying taxes towards day care for all, then those without kids should have their driveways shoveled by the kids for free once a week in the winter. 🙂

    J

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