I find the current political atmosphere in Canada to be rather stifling. Like getting on a bus to find it full of loud children engaged in school-yard debate. The arguments are senseless and emotionally charged. And it generally devolves into name calling of one sort or another. What ever happened to Canada?
A few weeks ago, I was a little miffed about the election. It seemed to me that it was called for the wrong reasons — to further a political agenda — and I found myself unwilling to vote. Not a single candidate for any party had a single convincing speech or platform. I didn’t see any point voting for any candidate that was sub-par for the job. None of them had any qualities that would make them even competent for the job. The results of the election didn’t surprise me, but that we had one to begin with was not helping.
Much to my surprise, I was somewhat ecstatic when I heard the news about a Liberal-led coalition. During the weeks since the election I was reminiscing about a past that I had no part in: the times when Canada was being formed. I romanticized the rebellions and bravery and hard-won democracy. In some way I’ve been disappointed in recent years by the apathy Canadians seem to have for Canadian politics. Aside from the well-ingrained distrust of politicians in the modern zeitgeist, I thought that there might be another reason: pacifism.
Democracy when it was first brought to the New World was an ideal won on conflict. The checks and balances of democracy ensured that the people had a right to choose their own government and to decide the fate of their country. Whether by freedom of speech, by equal representation, or by open rebellion — governance was no longer the sport of subjugation.
How much has that changed now? Governments are armed with police and military and laws that restrict your right to face them on even ground. You are forced to vote in this country when an election is called. There is no way to protest an election. The citizens are continually forced further away from the political process. If there is a record level of voter apathy, it might not only be distrust in politicians anymore; they might not even trust their government.
This maneuver by the Liberals will only weaken the trust that citizens will have in their government and politicians. How can anyone trust a government that doesn’t trust the will of its people? They aren’t even listening to us when they pull stunts like this. The opposition exists to make sure the Prime Minister is doing his job right — it’s just another check to balance the distribution of power. They should feel free to challenge the authority of Harper, his agenda, and his decisions; but it’s certainly not their place to wrest power from him — and it is definitely not their place to tell the people of Canada what is good for them.
This is why I didn’t vote: they’re all idiots that can’t see past their own noses (there are exceptions which are unfortunately in the minority).