What’s Your Political Party?

When it comes to politics, I can be very clear in my opinions. That doesn’t mean that I’m not open to discussion or debate though, but sometimes I don’t think I make that clear enough. Let’s face it – I am not a political expert and I know I often disagree without necessarily knowing all the facts. I’d love to know the facts.

My opinions are formed through things I have learned, through historical experience (let’s face it – I’m old enough to have known a lot of different types of government in my life), from what I’ve learned from other people with different knowledge and ideas, and from reading the opinions of others for whom I have tremendous respect.

I’ve never understood the kind of people who vote for a particular party, regardless of who the leader or candidate was, simply because they’d always voted for that party, and maybe even because their families have voted for a particular party for a couple of generations.That’s so American though! As Canadians, let’s be smarter.

When my daughter was approaching voting age, she asked me how someone knows who to vote for in an election. My advice to her back then is advice that still works for everyone. I asked her to think about the kind of person she was and what she expected of her country, then to listen to each of the various party platforms and then vote for the party that was promising to provide that kind of country or those values.

Some people vote for a party because of a single issue, but I think it’s important to understand each of the issues.

Some people are afraid of change, especially in times of turmoil. Is it just a coincidence though, that we seem to be having a “time of turmoil” in one area or another before the last few elections?

If you’re waiting for the “perfect” time to change a government, economic or security wise, let me suggest there never will be a perfect time. The right time is when you really want change. As the author John E. Lewis once said “If not us, then who? If not now, then when?”

I know it’s easy to attack the person currently holding the office and maybe you don’t think that’s fair. Wouldn’t you agree though, that it keeps the governing party from getting too comfortable? If they KNOW that they’re going to be watched, measured and judged, don’t you think they might start coming through on some of their election promises? If you screw up in YOUR job, wouldn’t you expect to be let go eventually? Sure, the company might worry that it’s going to take a new person some time to get up to speed, but if they end up being better at the job, isn’t it worthwhile then?

Listen, I’m not suggesting who you should vote for. I’m going to continue examining my values and beliefs, and expressing my opinions, and everyone else needs to do the same thing.  Between now and October 19th, each of us needs to do three things:

  1. Figure out,
    • What kind of people are we and what do we expect of our country?
    • Which party’s platform better matches our values?
  2. Make sure:
    • We’re not voting on a single issue.
    • We’re not voting based on fear of any kind.
  3. Go out and vote. Because every vote matters.

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