I’m a political junkie. I follow politics the way sports fans follow football, only, because politics actually matter, I get to feel all self-righteous and holier-than-thou about it. Given the fact that we are twenty some days out from a Federal Election in Canada and a year and some out from a Federal Election in the U.S., you would be correct to assume that I’m happy as a pig ‘n shit. And I am. But I’m also worried, less so about the train wreck that is the electoral process of the United States, my home and native land – as far as I’m concerned, that train has already derailed, exploded and is briskly leaking toxins into the watershed.
No, what I’m worried about is Canada.
For years, every time Americans seem to be on the verge of doing something colossally stupid, my American friends and relatives declare they’re moving to Canada: “If George Bush is re-elected, I’m moving to Canada!” “If Donald Trump is elected President, can I live in your guest room?” They say this because of Canada’s long-standing international reputation for its stewardship of the environment, its pristine lakes and rivers, its high tolerance for diversity, its support for the arts and culture, the emphasis its people place on peace, not war, its common-sense gun regulations, its universal health care and generous social safety net. . . . In short, Canada has a reputation for being not merely nice, but super nice. And enlightened. And progressive.
It’s a reputation, which, thanks to the government that has been in power for the past nine years, it no longer deserves.
I will not here elaborate on the many ways Stephen Harper has led us by our nose down the garden path, how the actions of his government have systematically made Canada a meaner, nastier country. For that, click here or here or here. Suffice it to say that Harper’s Canada is starting to look a whole lot like the Good Ole US of A, and it’s not pretty.
I know a lot of Conservatives who are good, hard-working, well intentioned folks — neighbours, friends, colleagues, elected officials, people I respect. . . . But, fellas, in my not so humble opinion, you’re taking the country the wrong way; you’re trying to turn us into America! You so don’t want to do that! Trust me! I’m an American. It’s crazy there.
But, hark! Are those rumblings I hear? Just about now, there will be some among you who say, “Well, don’t you see? She admits to being an American! How does she get off thinking she can speak for Canadians?”
- I’m an American, so, of course I feel it’s my god-given right to do and say whatever the Hell I please. While remaining heavily armed.
- I’ve lived here for forty years, thirty of which as a citizen,so just think of me as a forty year old Canadian who has aged badly.
- I’m a Americanadian, an immigrant in a nation made up of immigrants, wanting a better life in a better place than that from which I hailed, which is to say, you know, the United States. Hello!
And that is why I will not be voting Conservative in the upcoming election: Because I want a Canada based on caring for the Earth and one another, not some mini-me to the Bizzarro World that is the U.S.A. And, please, if you agree with me, join Naomi Klein and David Suzuki and Neil Young and Stephen Lewis and Donald Sutherland and over 24,000 other great Canadians who care deeply about Canada and what it means to be a human being living on this planet and take the leap.
It’s time to save the world and somebody’s got to do it. Why not us?