"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Dawn of a New Canada

Well it's election's eve day. The final few hours before the country has a chance to vote in this all important election.

I think I've made it pretty clear what my position is regarding this election. In fact, in the many months leading up to May 2nd's vote, I've been quite outspoken. I haven't liked what I've seen and I've said so quite emphatically.

I hope that my political railings have not fallen entirely on deaf ears. I don't get many page views, but it's enough for me. I would be happy to know that I've caused at least one citizen to stop and think about the issues that have plagued our government for the past five years.

I also hope that my incessant ranting hasn't pushed anyone in the other direction. That's the danger of being outspoken I think. You run the risk of alienating folks and turning them off. You start to sound like an obsessive lunatic.

But if not through me, I hope via some other avenue, that more Canadians are paying attention to the issues that are at play regarding our country and it's social and political future.

Surprisingly, the Globe and Mail, which supports the Conservatives, published an op ed today by independent journalist Bruce Anderson entitled: How This Unnecessary Election Has Changed Canada For the Better. In it, Mr. Anderson makes some compelling arguments as to the good that has come from this election. He contends there are five primary positive effects: 

1) The Bloc Quebecois have been hugely destabilized by the surging NDP, something that can be seen as good for Canada as a unified entity. 

2) The relatively positive nature of the NDP campaign (as opposed to the Tories and the Grits) which instead of speaking to what should not happen, speaks rather about the positive things that CAN happen with a conscientious government in place. This is in stark contrast to the negative messages  and attack adds that have proliferated this campaign otherwise. And people like it.

3) Canada's youth are becoming engaged in the political process again. Like the youth of the 60s and 70s, today's young people have the ability to prove that they can be game changers. All they have to do is vote. Their collective voices can be heard.

4) A national debate on our priorities is occurring. Is it Corporate tax breaks?  The Health Care system? Or education? All very important issues. And Canadians have been talking about them.

5) The stark reality has come to light that if the parties of the center-left want to have a positive effect on Canada's future, they must consider merger. The Liberals can no longer claim themselves to be the "natural governing party" nor can the NDP claim to be the natural choice of the center-left. If they hope to effectively battle their natural rivals in the future, the far right conservatives, they must learn how to function together.

The point here good Canadians, is that this IS a very pivotal election. The face of our democracy may be forever altered as a result. We could see our first NDP government federally. We could see our first coalition government. Or, we could see constitutional wranglings like never before seen. Come the final tallying of the votes on May 2nd, it's not over. The result will be but the beginning of something very transformational. Where are we going as a country? What are our priorities? What will our democracy look like? And more importantly, will our country continue to be as socially focused as it once was?

So despite the political nattering and smearing, this has been a hugely philosophical campaign, loosely based on the core ideals of the political left and right. And it has been a very passionate campaign as illustrated by the myriad acts of vandalism, fear mongering, slandering, suppression of the press  and overt hate-speech. Not to mention the home stretch surge by the NDP and the huge participation from the social media.  Many many Canadians have very strong feelings about this election, like none in recent memory. So when the dawn emerges on May 3rd, we could be witnessing the birth of a very different Canada.

So if you want to have a say in what out country will look like come Tuesday, get out there and vote on Monday. Make a difference. As Gandhi said "be the change you want to see in the world". 

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