Today is voting day in Canada. I haven’t voted yet, but I soon shall be. I have never ‘not’ voted since I was of an age to exercise my franchise. I’m old-fashioned enough that I still regard it as a huge privilege.
I have no idea at this juncture how the damn thing will turn out. It will be either the same old knaves or another group of knaves. All pols are knaves in my esteem. Knavishness is in the nature of the calling. I mean, what sane person of good intentions would ever want to go into politics?
But, I am not griping about our democratic system. To cite Churchill, what we have is “the best of all bad systems”. I believe that.
One element of the recent and seemingly endless election blather of the last many, many, too many weeks, has been the nastiness of it all. Mr. Harper has iterated time and again that the vital issue is the economy. OK. So how then did intolerance of groups some might find unsavory factor into that message?
Harper is likely right in that the big issue is the economy. So, does he offer anything better than the other guys? His track record is pretty sucky. Of course the NDP will spend like drunken sailors, he attests and we’ll go right down the toilet. And how the Liberals will approach such a vital aspect of our well-being is yet to be seen. Will Justin be tending his hair and not paying attention? Mr Helmet Hair seems to think so. Is he truly ‘just not ready’? Hard to say. While he is his father’s son, he’s also his mother’s. That might prove scary.
The one element of this long-long-long campaign I have found particularly unsavory has been the injection of racial and ethnic bias in an attempt to win votes in certain sections of the country. Decent-thinking Canadians are a bit aghast at the manipulation of anti-Muslim sentiment by the boss Tories. It’s despicable, in my esteem. Terrorists, yes. Ordinary Allah-fearing Muslims, no. Wearing a niqab whilst being sworn in. Frankly, I don’t give a shit. Anymore than I gave a shit about Sikhs a few years ago wearing turbans in the RCMP.
Racism and ethnic bias is nothing new in Canada. Nor is a politician pandering to it. We are a racist country in full-denial. “No, Americans are racist, not us.” If you think that you might want to ask our First Nations folk. Or, try the Japanese, the Chinese, the folk from India, even the Ukrainians in days of yore before it became trendy for Mr. Harper to love them because they were anti-Russian. Harper, of course, loves the Jews and Israel and hates anybody who doesn’t like Israel. I believe it’s compulsory to love Israel – oh, and Saudi Arabia. Hmm, that gets confusing. Of course, he’s had to work at this latter one. If he thinks those of Hebraic persuasion are universally loved in Canada he might want to read some Mordecai Richler.
Oh and it seems to have been worthwhile for the Tories to have milked the teats of fear. Especially fear of terrorists who lurk around every corner and are likely of Muslim persuasion. That evoked the despicable (in my esteem) and dangerous Bill C-51 in which we were all expected to bring up documentation of suspicious goings on and maybe spy on our neighbors for their barbaric practices. Prolly Muslim practices. Justin got caught by the curlies on this one since he endorsed it. But, he is the scion of an old man who evoked the notorious War Measures Act years ago. So, maybe in the Trudeau vision of Canada liberty is something to be trifled with. Mulcair played this one smarter but it likely lost him the Quebec votes that Jack Layton once had.
As for the other parties in regards to racism, well the Aboriginal thing is really screwed, so what in hell are they really proposing to fix that mess? I haven’t read much in that regard. Oh, and Mr. Mulcair might consider how he really feels about the niqab thing since that is a bit of bigotry that plays well in Quebec, even if it is a yawn in the rest of the country.
“O Canada, glorious and free!”
If you haven’t done so yet, then get your ass out and vote. Vote early and often.