Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Monday, January 09, 2006

National Leadership Debate (en anglais)

I just finished watching the last English language debate between the four big Canadian Parties (er... well, actually I just finished watching Rollergirls, though I watched the debate prior to that - yay Sister Mary Jane!) before our federal election in two weeks time and came away shaking my head. It amazes me the low calibre of individuals we have running to lead this nation out of over 30 million people. I know, it's not just us as the U.S. elected George W. twice and they have some 350 million folks down there to select from. You would think, however, that somebody with some kind of vision and ideology would eventually rise to the challenge, become the head of a major political party and truly make a difference. Hell, I'd settle for someone who would simply answer a question "yes" or "no", even if they were against my ideological beliefs. Seriously, you ask a question about something like "did you" or "didn't you" and you get some kind of tirade about something completely unrelated.

And then they wonder why voting numbers are declining...

I have considered politics briefly as I feel that it's easy to stand back and take pot shots, and that you've got to put your money where your mouth is some time, but don't think that I would ever take the plunge as there is no mainstream or even fringe party that represents my views, nor is there a party that I could fully endorse and not feel a hypocrite. I am actually a Shop Steward for the Correctional Officers Union local at the prison where I work, but more often than not find it hard to tow the party line as the regional and national echlons often bring stuff forward that I personally oppose. My god, perhaps I'm a closet anarchist!

In spite of the bleak landscape, I feel compelled to vote for someone. Part of it is because many people died for the right to vote, though some may argue that they died also for the option not too. I do feel that to criticise one must at least partake in the process, and perhaps this is how I am validating my voice.

It really is amazing how we have survived as a nation...

In any case, to lead a Western nation these days we would be naive to believe that ideology really plays a significant role in that most mainstream parties are angling more to be the national CEO, and that's why the issues of money tend to receive somewhat more concrete attention than anything in regards to ethics or social policy. For example, the Liberals and Conservatives will give you a somewhat straight answer on certain tax break proposals (whether or not they follow through is a completely different issue) such as our 7% GST, but major questions like "polls indicate that the majority of Canadians support the death penalty for certain crimes; would your party consider re-establishing capital punishment?" will never get anything close to resembling a "oui" or "non".

Perhaps it's the lack of ideological rhetoric that characterises the lack of passion amongst the electorate. There is nothing really to get folks fired up, stimulating conversation around the water cooler or in the cafes and pubs. And this is what any successful corporate CEO wants of their workers: a bit of grumbling, but, at the end of the day, complete subserviance and antipathy. We look at the only parties with a strong ideological approach to government such as the Libertarians, Marxists, Greens, etc., and laugh as we are so entrenched within the corporate mentality and know that, sadly, any of these fringe parties would lead us to economic ruin. The only exception is the Bloc Quebecois.

...It would be interesting if every province and territory in Canada had a similar party to the Bloc who's primary concern is one province, in spite of being of national party standing. Imagine, the Nova Scotia Party in the House of Commons, sitting next to the Alberta and Manitoba Parties... It might not be a bad idea and could stimulate some debate amongst the masses.

...Ah, I am so dreaming!


  • At 2:13 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    nodroggout anon again, note empathetic feelings to your frustrations as a politically conscious entity in a country formed by phenomenological formation of Canada as "What-we-are-not", as opposed to all of "Who-we-are". We are too diverse to be identified by shared traits. Those who choose to vote have chosen and formed their impressions of how well their chosen leaders appeared before the debate occurred. Do not be discouraged but be true to yourself. I am stymied by the political situation and also just read my Anglican Journal. At the National level, matters of faith are clouded by political differences in conflict with "Traditionalist" feelings.
    I am now going to look up NDP web site and see if my chosen candidate can put up a Donna Martyn sign to combat the Hawn on the lawn. I cannot vote for Anne Cappa di Cappos de CSC/SCC because the party liberales got too greedy and kept no promises to us; they kept only promises to their loyal suckling pigs. I look at the clock and see you may be off to work by now; see you Thursday? Isn't it hard to hear der Grabber campaign for a party that would give us roll backs to 1982 age levels? But, I love the guy anyhow. Thank you for your expressions of doubt and despair, for this tells us more about what we know than (whether we are Buddhist or Anglican or "other") the confident stements made by those who have stopped short at a little bit of knowledge and assumed they know everything else to be known. The Creator/Person, or The One/One-ness that connected us seems to be with us in presence of mind, not-knowing, more than with those who in absence of mind, seem to be knowing. Clear as a bell? Dung?

  • At 1:16 p.m. , Blogger Real-E said...

    ...Gord, didn't I warn you about reading Hunter S. Thompson back to back with "Finnegan's Wake" while wearing your house coat and sipping absynth????!

  • At 11:36 a.m. , Anonymous bastubis said...

    Thanks for your comments real-e, pretty much agree. Nice blog you got here - your CV's pretty individual ;-)

  • At 7:16 p.m. , Blogger firedawg said...

    May be time to "Think Green"? It is too bad they got shafted and excluded from the debates as I think they may have added a new dimension.
    Do you find your background an enhancement or a liability at your present job?

  • At 8:14 p.m. , Blogger Ang said...

    Apparently the Sask-party is gaining momentum.

  • At 9:49 a.m. , Blogger Real-E said...

    I agree with you firedawg in that the Green's are a viable alternative. I especially like some of their ideas on taxation being more of a consumer based as opposed to income based. for my background and my job, perhaps the most difficult thing is to reconcile my "punk rock" mindset and being in a position of such authority. As for my education, it has enabled me to be a stronger voice for my colleagues (I'm a Union shop Steward) in that my oral and writing skills are often put to good use when addressing policy. At the end of the day, Correctional Officers have a rather misleading representation to the general public. There are lots of interesting and intelligent Officers out there.

    Ang, I've heard that as well. Here in Alberta I believe the Alberta separtists are running in a few ridings (13 I think). Coming from Nova Scotia originally, I understand the regional differences in this country from a cultural perspective - I've lived in England and Ireland as well and can say moving to Alberta was more of a culture shock than either of those countries. The fundamental problem is that we are a democracy, democracy is majority rule and, in Canada, we have just over 30 million people, 20+ million of them live in Ontario and Quebec. What we need to do is reform the senate, have it elected and give 3 seats per province/territory to truly have a house of sober second thought.


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