I have to admit it has been a long time since I wrote on this blog site. I have been more focused my Jungian Psychology site as far as blogging goes and have been using Twitter for my #cdnpoli and #elxn41 daily fixes while working at a university in China. Yes, I am writing this from China where I am finding some meaningful work in my retirement from teaching and educational administration. Obviously, I am not a hot-headed youngster, but a fairly quiet senior with a head of gray hair which is worn as a badge of honour for my decades of paying taxes in a country I love. I am proud of being a Canadian. But, I am sad at what is happening to my country.
When I was a teenager in Ottawa in the 1960s, great things were happening under the leadership of Pearson – a new flag, national pride, UN peace-keeping, international respect and a relatively respectful battle of parties in politics. Things got interesting with Trudeau and there was definitely a lot of passion. At one point, I joined the Liberal Youth, the NDP youth and the Conservative youth groups – experimenting.
Life changed for me and for Canada. I got a job teaching and began raising a family in Saskatchewan, teaching French. A lot of years later it was time to retire and enjoy being a grandparent in my country. But, something had changed – in rode a Torontonian masquerading as an Albertan. As far as I could tell, he was “just visiting” the west as he was in an awful hurry to change his home address back to Ontario. His name, Steve Harper.
I’ve lived and worked with western rednecks for more forty years and find them to be humorous and passionate about many different things. Forty years living with them I am still an easterner in spite of my children being born and raised in Saskatchewan. In spite of being an easterner, these people are my friends that I can trust, honest people though we often don’t agree on many things, especially political things. I know they have my back as. I have their’s.
So, it is with confusion that I see them voting for this city-kid from Toronto and claiming him as their “home boy.” He makes the right sounds, for my friends who are hunters or like to think of themselves as hunters (most of them don’t hunt though I did for quite a few years – LOL). As “their man” in Ottawa, he will set those easterners in their place and put an end to pork-barrel politics in Québec. It wasn’t long before Harper began betraying them. My neighbours see themselves under attack with regards to the CWB. They feel aggrieved that Ontario and Québec got so much of the CAP money, money that they felt should have gone to them for hockey arenas that needed replacement- after all, he was their man.
Curiously, the continue to forgive him though he lies to them. Harper told them he’d never appoint a senator, that he would only have an elected senate. Twenty-seven appointed senators later, they forgive him his lies in hopes that next time he will keep his promise. One promise broken after another, Harper is forgiven – he is their man and that is all that counts. They forgive his meanness and his disregard for them. They forgive him though the lineups for doctors is getting longer and it is getting harder to find a bed in a senior home for elderly parents and grandparents. Somehow, all these broken promises are lain on the doorstep of the other parties. They can’t blame their man, so they blame those damned easterners. And in the process, my neighbours are becoming angry with anyone who dares to tell them the truth of this man they have adopted as their man.
Reason has flown out the window when Harper is seen as a westerner (born, raised, educated and living in the east) while a true Albertan running in Calgary as a Liberal is vilified as “just visiting” and told to “go back to Toronto.” The last session of government saw Harper and his party fall in a vote of non-confidence due to contempt of Parliament. Yet, my neighbours believe Harper as he tells them, the government fell on the budget. When I point out the reality, the response is “Well, those damned Liberals, commies and separatists would have voted out the government on the budget, so what’s your point?”
Denial. We lost our country to denial, to lies, to broken promises, to anger, to tactics of divisiveness and the most blatant levels of disrespect ever seen in the history of this country (and that is saying something). My Chinese hosts can’t understand why our country puts up with this mean and angry man, this rude man. They don’t hold Harper against me or other Canadians working here. They know that he is not the country, that Canada is a great country with good people.
Canada has been seriously wounded and is suffering. It is a county divided because one man saw tactics of division as a way to personal power, a man so arrogant that he renamed the Government of Canada so that it would be officially called The Harper Government. We let it happen. When does this masochism end? When do we say enough, we want our Canada back?
PS If you want to follow me on Twitter, I am at @rgl_LPC