Tuesday, October 14, 2008

While I expected a conservative minority government to be the result of today's election, I didn't expect the tories to come out as strong as they did. That said, my goal is not to recap the results (if you want that, read CBC's coverage here) but to give a few reflections...

1. It's a little sad to me that all during the election race - far too strong a term for what we saw happen, I think - we still heard more about the American election, candidates and platforms than we did our own. But, then again, it has just as much, if not more, influence on our country than today's election. Sad, really.

2. I was disappointed at how much of the Canadian candidates' campaigns consisted of mudslinging and finger pointing. It wasn't until the week prior to the election that Harper released the conservative platform and the other candidates, while releasing official party platforms earlier, weren't much better. Commercials, debates and interviews all featured party leaders, the apparent educated elite of our country, resorting to insulting, finger pointing and other such playground tactics. Grow up and stand for something. Please. Our country depends on it.

3. Democracy. It seems like an inappropriate word to call what we have in Canada. We don't really pick a leader. We pick a part who has chosen a leader and, if we're lucky enough to live west of Ontario, we don't even really do that. I felt slightly vindicated to be voting in Stephen Harper's riding but it's an unfortunate reality that a large number of voters chose to vote for a party they don't believe will win (but perhaps do stand behind the party's platform) - the Green party, for example - or for an independent candidate they don't believe stands a chance because they are boycotting the process, not believing their vote really counts...and in many cases seem to be right! What is the true essence of democracy? What do we really have here? How can we find some place of consensus in the middle where the people feel like they have a say in what happens and are not merely pawns in a game played by white, upper class, educated males on a power trip? How do we ensure that the best interests of the average Canadian are truly at the heart of the decision making process? While I love this country, I dare say that today's process is not the way.

4. Voter options are slim. It seems that there are no good candidates, only better than the other guy. I don't know that I agreed with any candidate on all, or even most, of their proposed future plans for our country. I do know, however, that there are candidates that seemed better than others. It's hard to be a black and white thinker in a land of lesser evils.

My brother seemed to have a handle on it a few nights ago. "Why vote in this election. I'll vote in the next one six months from now." It seems true and fair. With a minority government, a market in flux, environmental questions to answer and troops deployed, it seems unlikely that much will get done without party lines being drawn. I hope he's wrong. I hope that we see things moving and changing for the good of our country. I wish I could be hopeful.

We'll see.

1 comment:

Dayna Chu said...

I think we hear more about the American election because ...our outcome affects Canada... their outcome affects the entire globe.

Speaking of democracy, is it just me or is it more than ironic that we were given the option of VOTING for marxist/leninist ie COMMUNIST party? You can't have it both ways people, come on.