On Being Careful What You Wish For
I have been a Canadian all my life and for most of that time I have been aware that I am living in a country that genuinely is as much of a true democracy as you can get these days.
By that I mean that the leaders of this country, have, for the most part, cared about it and its people and have tried to do right by them.
But over the past decade and a half, this true democracy has become threatened by the marked shift to the right of the formerly centrist right Conservative party.
This follows, more or less the same pattern shift in the US, which produced the Tea Party, and gave rise to a resurgence in ultra right wing nationalism.
Anybody with a couple of functioning brain cells can tell you democracy works best with a centrist left and a centrist right, and the political will directed at making the country better.
But with this pull to the right, in Canada’s case, by the demands of big business to pay less tax and have less environmental regulation to deal with, what we have is a fairly substantial tear in the democratic fabric.
I believe this started with Stephen Harper’s 9 years of pseudo nationalism and almost complete disregard for the ideas of things like immigration, inclusion and socialized health care that made Canada into the great little country that it is.
There are very few of us, my age at least, who can’t trace their ancestry back even two generations and not find people who came from somewhere else. My own grandparents came from Scotland and Italy.
In terms of socialized health care and drugs, there are very few of us who have not heard stories about people growing broke courtesy of the American health care system.
Four years ago, we finally said that we don’t want that kind of stuff happening here and voted Harper out of office.
The guy we voted into office was more or less a political novice. But his priorities were aligned with ours, and he was more than willing to put a chunk of our tax dollars to work creating opportunity for us.
Yes, he made some mistakes. A couple of them were perceived as whoppers. But overall, the country has managed to remain stable and the economy has managed to grow. He has forged new alliances, renewed old ones and managed to deal with an extremely insane US government as well as any world leader could.
And now it’s time to either elect a new government or keep the existing one.
Electing a new government, IMHO, will literally take us right back to the time before the current government. Because the currently leader of the Conservative party is a disciple (read minion) of the former prime minister. He is also closely aligned with the current Premier of Ontario who’s policies have made him about as popular as a rattlesnake in your sleeping bag.
He is currently promising to put more money in Canadian’s pockets, and frankly they are going to need it when he starts to privatize the health care system because he’s been bought by big pharma.
Following this line of reasoning, it is very likely that he will start to deregulate the oil and gas industry and the manufacturing sector, which will create an abundance of new greenhouse gases for us all to choke on.
He will work to curb immigration using the same flimsy excuses that America uses, which is essentially just white bigotry.
And more importantly among many other terrible things, he will completely ignore the reality of climate change, which is already devastating many tropical areas of the world, and is on its way to us.
This is not any sort of theory I have cooked up. It is the reality of conservative thinking, (or non-thinking), these days which is to basically undo any and all of the progressive policies that make Canada a great country.
And why do they want to do that, because on the surface, it seems to make very little sense.
Well, there is a very simple reason. The Conservative party is financed and pretty much owned outright by the special interests of the industries in Canada that carry most of the blame for the massive amounts of greenhouse gases that clog the atmosphere.
Keeping these industries free from the troublesome and costly activities of getting their shit together is the Conservative mandate. Fuck the rest of the country. Fuck the people. Fuck the environment. Fuck climate change. Fuck it all.
This is essentially market capitalism at its worst, and most foolish, because the fact is that the new emerging sustainable industries are the reality of the future. This is where the jobs are going to be. This is the force that will displace these outmoded industries over time. And this is what the smart working people of Canada need to start preparing themselves for.
But these old smokestack industries, and the corrupt political right wing that supports them, all feel the same way. Let’s bleed the earth dry and damn the consequences.
So even if you elect a Conservative government, there’s really not much of a chance that it will succeed in the face of the new reality of things in the world.
All it will do is set us back for a time, when we really should be moving forward to solutions that can help fix the world that this old school thinking has endangered.
In the best of all worlds, The Green Party is the most progressive alternative, but the Liberals are a close second, and the Conservatives, ideologically speaking, are dead last. IMHO.