I really don't often use my blog to directly express my political opinions. Like religion, politics tend to be very personal, and I don't enjoy being preached to, so I don't like to preach. But, we're in the middle of yet another Canadian election, so, really, a lot of what I've been reading on line and seeing on T.V. has to do with the election. And it makes me sad to think that Harper is going to continue being our prime minister. I just really hope we can prevent a majority. I know I can't help with my vote from this Conservative stronghold in which I live, so I might as well express my opinions. This isn't preaching, by the way, except that I might preach to anyone who isn't going to head to the poles. We really need to vote. Even if we do keep having an election every couple of years. It doesn't become less important.
Harper is reminding me more and more of George Bush - evalgelical Christian, economy-focused, and, well, basically a liar. Why do we think it's okay to have a man in charge of the country who doesn't think twice about lying to us? And who thinks we don't care if he lies (or is in contempt of parliament or keeps important information from the opposition) as long as he cuts taxes?
Here's an interesting opinion: I don't care if we get taxed more. If we suddenly had universal childcare (although my son is too old to be in childcare, I'd like to see it for mothers of younger children), if I could suddenly actually get in to see a doctor (I went to the drop-in clinic last week 10 minutes before it opened, and they were booked up til the end of the day), or if the classroom sizes were smaller with more aid for teachers I'd be HAPPY to pay more on my taxes. Frankly, I'm not happy subsidizing the oil industry, or helping the wealthy few in this country get richer. Let's remember ... there are far more people in the "poor" category that need help - education, healthcare, elder care. And helping those people is far more important than keeping a couple hundred dollars (or thousand) a year.
Here's another thing - and probably the most important to me: I'd rather have clean air, nutritious, local food and alternative fuel choices at affordable prices than have tax cuts. I really do believe we are in a transition period away from being a consumer society - and we need access to those things that will help us live healthy, happy lives - not extra money that can help us buy more crap! Consider this carefully - if we don't have a healthy environment, it doesn't matter how much money we have.
I want a government that will stand up on the Global stage and be leaders in the environmental movement - like we used to be. Not a government that has sunk so low in the environmental movement that the commonwealth actually considered kicking us out over it (see www.shitharperdid.com it's a great site). We have some of the most beautiful country in the world. We have seemingly endless fresh water, forests that are incredible, deserts, tundra, the great lakes, the canadian shield. We should be environmental leaders and protect our greatest resource - our environment!
It seems so simple to me. But for Harper's followers it's simple, too. The more money in their pockets, the better. Doesn't matter about people who are poor, or old or destitute, they should have made more money. It's their fault. And Harper is protecting the rich. It's what he does.
Now, don't get me wrong. I recently discovered that I can be moved by the promise of money. All of us can, but at those times when money seems most important, it's vital to sit down and consider for a moment what would happen if we didn't have that money and the social programs we have developed in this country were gone (which they just might be under Harper). What would happen if only people who could pay for it got quality health care? What would happen if only rich parents could send their children to the best schools? What would happen if wealthy corporations were given free run over our food sources? These are things that are happening now and will continue to happen under the current government. Wouldn't it be better for us all to have our basic needs met well?
The most important thing we can do during this election (as we hear during any election) is to get people out to vote. Get the youth out to vote, get the elderly out to vote, get the apathetic engaged enough to want to get out and vote. I'm begging you. Your vote DOES count.