Tag Archives: #elxn41

Post-Election Thoughts

The election for Canada’s 41st Parliament is over and the results are in. As expected, Stephen Harper has won a majority which should allow him to further his agenda (hidden or not hidden) and that of the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC). And, unexpectedly, the New Democratic Party (NDP) took over as the official opposition as the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) slipped into third place. I am a liberal at heart and though I am saddened by the result, I am also relieved. This result allows some real changes to occur in the LPC so that it better reflects what it is to be liberal and Canadian.

I don’t want to focus on the election itself as that is one for history, not about what comes next.  It doesn’t matter who did or said what, who did or didn’t take part in debates or who did or didn’t answer media questions, or about the role of the media during the election or about reports not released because there was an election taking place.  The results are in and we now have to live with them for at least four years assuming Stephen Harper follows his own election law this time around.  What I want to focus on is “Now what do we do if we believe in a Canada that is inclusive, a Canada that is unified in all of its diversity?”

First steps on the level of the political party – choose a leader and hold that leader accountable.  An interim leader is being chosen at this moment and will serve until a full leadership convention.  Care has to be given to the selection of the interim leader as many would see this as an endorsement and an unfair advantage to the interim leader in the leadership convention which follows.  Given the polarity of vision in various leadership contenders, this is even more vital as it is obvious to most that certain candidates would fold the party in order to have a “united left party” with the NDP.  Obviously, this is not something that can be decided by a leader, but must be decided by the party membership as a whole, and only after enough time, resources and research have been invested, including the EDA leadership doing an extended conversation with their local LPC supporters.  Will we have the courage and the patience to do this work?  Or will we throw up our hands and admit that we are dinosaurs and cease to exist as a political party in Canada.

Our choice, I hope.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

How Did We Lose an Honourable Canada?

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized