78 Days. 11 weeks. In this time, we’ve seen our leaders rise, stumble and fall. Some had risen again. Some just stayed down.
In this time, this election had become especially nasty as American style politics came to bear. There was a ton of accusations that one leader or another would be a disaster for the country, another would be a savior and another would stay the course and bring stability and peace. All cried out that they were the strong leaders that Canada needed, and accused the others of being found wanting in one aspect or another.
Being socially liberal yet fiscally conservative, and an atheist but former Catholic, I’ve found myself torn in the middle very often as the 2 extremes both appeal to me. As such, I’ve been able to do the one thing that many of the sides couldn’t… try to see things from the other’s point of view.
Needless to say, in the end, I don’t know what to feel as this long campaign comes to an end. The fanatics on ALL sides have had their say, and I’ve actually found myself quite disgusted with them. There is NO side of the major parties that is not guilty of having members who have willingly tried to play the games of property destruction, character assassination and outright hatred for his fellow man. And many of those fanatics hug tight to their beliefs while waving their cherry picked polls, selective arguments and “truths” with the thoughts that their philosophies will win out against the forces of “evil”, without even considering that there might be some good points regardless in the other’s views. It’s a deliberate choice to ignore perspective, which leads to tunnel vision and disastrous judgement.
I’m not naive. Politics is a blood sport. My belief in respecting the people who earned their place to run will always be there, just as my disdain for those who coast on a trend by a disgruntled public who are so tired of the screaming, would do anything to end the conflict. But at least, come what may, I still try to respect the candidates. They put their names out there into what can be a thankless job. They’re asking for the opportunity to literally miss seeing their families grow for years. They’re walking out there day after day campaigning, so that once elected, they spend MORE days walking out just to keep appearances, and still do the endless job of serving their constituencies as best they can. I may disagree with a person’s beliefs and/or record, but never the actual person.
But there was a distinct lack of civility, decency and more by a minority smug and arrogant crowd (again, on ALL sides) that was far too loud that has made the whole matter distasteful. And to those who destroyed a sign, wrote “bitch” or other slurs against another candidate or more, I truly hope you eventually understand that your actions are BENEATH you, and shames us all.
As I write this, there are just 2 1/2 hours left to vote. But as of tomorrow, there will be FOUR years of whoever will be our new government (or worse 18-24 months if there’s a minority government).
We all have to live together. I ask all Canadians to join me tomorrow to put down the rhetoric. Quiet your complaints and arguments for a little bit of time to give our leaders the time to organize and try to prove their plans correct for all of us. But let’s just stop the anger from the last 11 weeks to fade as we are all Canadians.
Sure, if they screw it up, then of course let’s speak out. But give whoever it will be the CHANCE to triumph or screw up. We’re all only human, but they’re playing with much higher stakes which is the state of our union.
Canada needs us united to be strong in this climate of economic insecurity. Canada will need our leaders to know they have our mandate to act for just a little while, no matter how much we may initially disagree. But in the end, Canada, and we Canadians need to hope.
We are all the children of this young, incredible country, soon to be 150 years strong. Let’s show the world why.