Canadians go to the polls on October 21st.
Before I get going, please note: The liberal party of Canada is NOT liberal, in the way people in the US defined liberal. In Canada, if you are to lean left — you would vote NDP or Green.
Okay, here I go.
In theory we have several political parties to choose from. The Green Party, the NDP, The People’s Party and yes, even the Rhinos are running in some ridings, but until we have true proportional representation, the race usually comes down between the Liberals, lead by Prime Minister Trudeau, and the Conservatives with a trump wanna be leading, named Andrew Scheer.
Being a voter is hard these days, and being a politician is insane. It is so easy to screw up what you stand for. For example; wearing black and brown face to parties when you are in your 20s — not good. Photoshopping out a plastic straw from a water bottle you are drinking from — just dumb. Making cruel remarks made about same sex marriage, and not apologizing … horrid.
Mud slinging and stupid antics aside, most of the parties and people running, at least talk like they care about the people of Canada, the environment, and the rights of all people. It is 2019 after-all.
The conservatives, on the other hand don’t. They seem only to be concerned with big money. They are climate deniers, and use religious rhetoric to spout their way, are anti immigration, and seem hell bent on taking away the rights of the people in the LGBTQ community.
I honestly fear for Canada if this party gets into power. I can easily see Canada could go down the path the states have… and the polarization that I see and feel is terrifying.
Now, let me be very clear here. I’m NOT saying you need to vote or think like I do. (Even if I wish you would!) Yet, I feel if you vote for the conservatives, up here, you are voting for hate, even if you say, yeah… but… the economy, the taxes…
When we first moved here, Ken and I volunteered at the Botanical Gardens. It was great fun and good work, until we found most people there, thought the then PM Harper, was a great guy.
Talk about a conversation stopper! What also stopped was our volunteering there. I just couldn’t spend time with people who were openly racist, talking about “them.” And since we were new to town and had not yet, made friends, it was fairly easy to walk away.
A while ago, my PAWMA sister, Jamie Leno Zimron posted something on Facebook, and reading it made an impression on me. I’ve thought about the truth of this quite often.
Jamie wrote, “I came out in college, age 20, and used to speak on panels a lot ~ I’ve always felt that people have 2 choices once they meet me, think I’m a good person, and then hear I’m gay: They can either change their opinion of me, or change their opinion of “homosexuals” / gay people. People need to know each other, to get past all the fear, judgments, stereotyping, prejudice, separation. It’s true across the board ~ We need to make and take every opportunity to meet and know one another. Change happens, starting at the personal and human level.”
What stuck with me, was “They can either change their opinion of me, or change their opinion of “homosexuals” / gay people.” It’s true. Change happens when we get personal.
We go happily along in our community and then we get personal. We learn something about someone that may surprise us. We are challenged, our values are questioned, and we see we need to somehow get past all the fear, judgments, stereotyping, prejudice, separation that the new information may bring. Because, somethings gonna change!
Now, replace the word “we” with “I” in the above paragraph, and you have the gist and struggle of this post.
Honestly, I assumed I would always choose love. Of course my friends hold different interests from me. Hell, Ken and I share very few common interests. What we share are values, principles, and ideals, and we hold our relationship strong because of this.
When I learned a friend, who I admire and count on, is supporting the conservative party, I find a knot in my gut and fear something is gonna change.
I was told, “We need to agree to disagree.”
Now, if I am to do that, I would need to put my head down and ignore what I know, both about the conservatives, and my friend.
But, dammit, if I choose to over look and change my mind about the conservative party, I’d need to overlook all ethical, educational, or moral fibre I hold.
If I change my heart about my friend, I lose them in my life.
I have a lot of LGBTQ friends, family members, and love ones. How could I ever face them if I “agree to disagree”? Yet, how do I turn a blind eye on this particular friend as well?
I could tell myself, we can agree to disagree and not mention it again. We can pretend, nothing has changed… but… more has been revealed and the stakes are too high to be ignored.
Is this what a parent of a gay child feels if they’ve been told some shit all their life, then their loved one comes out? For me the THAT choice is easy. Fuck the hate — love the person!
Alas, right now, I need to find a way to love a person with totally different ideals than me, or say goodbye.
Agreeing to disagree, is total bullshit here. Cutting ties is crap as well.
My father and I held polar opposite ideals when it came to politics — he told me once that NOTHING I could say would make him change his mind. I do not want to be as closed minded.
Yet, people who vote to limit the rights of others and the demise of our environment… well… Fuck!
I think we can agree on one thing for sure, no matter who wins this election, we are losing, losing, losing.
Isn’t it strange how elections can reveal things we never knew about the people we consider our friends?
I had a similar relationship with my dad over politics. We were in such opposing positions that I had to stop talking to him about anything that meant anything to me. Our relationship became very superficial because of it. Or perhaps, it revealed how superficial our relationship had really been all along.
I’m not sure I see it as a loss, though.