Monday, October 13, 2008

I Envy Central Nova Voters

Well, it's almost over. Tomorrow is voting day. You will be voting, right? Right??? I hope so!

It's been one of the more interesting elections in recent years, with the differing visions presented to us and with Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, so visible this go round, thanks to the Canadian public who took great exception to the stuffy pundits and Prime Minister Stephen Harper trying to shut her out of the debates. She was valuable, and I could see why Harper didn't want her there. She provided facts and analysis, and next to her, he sounded like a wind-up toy in a constant loop of nonsense. She also showed us a different kind of politician, one who isn't afraid of the truth, saying things like, in tight ridings, vote strategically, or complimenting a politician she thought was doing well. She showed genuine respect for her competitors and wasn't afraid to show it. Such a contrast to Harper, who has sown divisiveness, in a way I haven't seen for a long time, and encouraged secrecy in a way I've never seen before, not allowing many local candidates to show up at debates, not returning interview requests, cancelling previously agreed upon appearances, not answering Canadians' questions live. In short, Harper has scurried under a rock, dragging all Conservative candidates in after him, hoping no one will notice he has no plans for the future. Very odd.

I envy the voters of Central Nova. They stand on the brink of making history. They can vote for Peter MacKay, an able if somewhat lightweight politician who has kind of disappeared in the Harper ether, and so perpetuate the same old, same old. Or they can vote for the very first Green Party leader to get a seat in the House. They can make history and be remembered in the school textbooks for all time. They can vote in a leader who is well versed in all the issues affecting Canadians -- the economy, health care, infrastructure, environment, to name just a few -- and who will bring a startling note of civility, respect, persistence, and knowledge to Parliament, a note that will reinvigorate that august institution. She may in fact be the catalyst to bring about democratic reform, so badly needed as our current voting system is simply not serving Canadians well and is encouraging the idea of "my vote doesn't count so why vote," in short non-voting. All this on top of the fact that clearly these are her stomping grounds, her home that she will represent as vigorously as anyone would their own territory.

I envy the voters of Central Nova who can choose to stand on the brink of history or who can watch it pass on by. Unlike so many voters in so many ridings, their choice will affect every Canadian for a long, long time.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do you think anybody in the Green Party will end up being PM in the next 25 years ? why do they even try

talk talk talk / Shireen said...

They try because they have good ideas, and they want to serve their country. They'll succeed only if Canadians find that spirit once again, the spirit that demanded May be in the debates, and demand democratic reform of the electoral system. With a multi-party system with its plethora of good choices, we need a better way of voting. First past the post doesn't work anymore, hasn't forever, is contributing to voter malaise, and needs to be replaced like so many countries have done.

Frankly I enjoy an election with many parties to choose from. Two is boring.