Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Conservative Opportunity

We Canadians had our election yesterday, and I can't help but feel as though the country voted as some sort of organic entity. In my mind, if there's any such thing as a Canadian consensus, it's that it's time for a change in government but that we're also pretty wary of this Conservative party and its leader.


And so, we have got our change and also given Mr Harper and the Conservatives a chance to prove themselves. But we have withheld our permission for them to get all carried away with radical ideology and handle too flippantly the reigns of power.


I didn't vote for him, but my riding did. We live in rural and Conservative riding just outside of the capital. Heck, we're almost Conservative enough to blend in with the Albertans. (Please don't throw flames; I like you very much. I have even been known to wear cowboy boots if you'll recall.)


Why are many Ontarions so hesitant to give the Conservatives a mandate? It's partly because of our former premier, Mike Harris, who was a very belligerent and upsetting figure. He thrived on sowing discord and division, and many of us can neither forgive nor forget that. Somewhat naively, I voted for him the first time around, but I haven't voted Conservative since then.


So, Mr Harper, we have given you the opportunity to demonstrate that you have the best interests of everyone at heart. You have the chance to prove that you are fiscally responsible and not recklessly headstrong like Mr Harris who went as far as to borrow money to cut taxes, or that you are not as hapless as the country's last Conservative prime minister, Mr Mulroney, who could do absolutely nothing to stop running a huge deficit in each and every year of his two terms in power. You have the chance to prove that you can be pragmatically-driven and not solely ideologically-driven.


We want to trust you and to like you. We're like that in Canada. Although I have my misgivings, I sincerely hope that you do well, that you put our fears to rest, and that you prove to be an open-handed, open-hearted, and open-minded leader.


 

12 comments:

Simply Coll said...

I share your thoughts and your concerns. I guess time will tell.. hopefully Mr. Harper has received and understood the people's message.

mreddie said...

That's how we feel down here in the states, vote and hope for the best. Sometimes they actually mean what they say before the election. :) ec

Sarah Elaine said...

Well hello there! I found you through Dave's armchair. And maybe MCM's blog, too?

Anyway, I've been trying to read you for ages now, but when I open your blog on my home computer, the print is hideously small and I can't read it for some reason. From work, it is fine, so I'll just let the clock tick.

Good post. I'll check in again soon!

-epm said...

What's interesting to me, from an U.S. perspective, is that Canada seems even more politically divided by geography than the U.S.. Down here we refer to conservative states as "red" and non-conservative states as "blue." However, a breakdown of actual votes shows much more purple (with the a few exceptions)

In the Prairie region of Canada there seems to be overwhelming support for the Conservative party with Conservatives winning 48 of the 56 seats.

I would find this troubling, because when there's such a geographical segregation of political ideas you're setting yourself up for regional political orthodoxy that will squelch a free exchange of ideas within a given community, riding or province.

It seems Canada is in for some interesting times. But as you said, as a nation, Canada didn't give the Conservatives carte blanche to run the show.

madcapmum said...

Yes, we definitely vote Conservative over here in Alberta, despite the fact that nobody I talk to has anything good to say about Ralph Klein or Stephen Harper. That's a bit odd.

The NDP and Green both did better than expected in our riding, though, so that's looking up. I'd love to see some more balance, but a minority government isn't such a bad thing, considering the alternative.

Turtle Guy said...

Politics in Canada seems to be a continued story of the same old, same old. We need someone to mix it up a little...

-epm said...

Politics in Canada seems to be a continued story of the same old, same old. We need someone to mix it up a little...

I'll send you a couple of our guys for Texas. It'll be a hoot, you'll love it. :)

Granny said...

I'm in a "red" area of a "blue" state with a "blue" Congressional Representative.

Very strange, this country.

The "reds" much of the time vote against their own best interests. Even stranger.

PBS said...

Hope that turns out well for your country!

Karla said...

Very well said AC. For all of the electoral pork Mr. Harper dangled in front of us Canadians, such as cuts in GST, the very thing that makes us so Canadian, our socialism, will pay. I gotta admit though, being a politician today can’t be easy. I mean, with the change and complexity of today’s decisions, it’s just so damn hard to be right, or even find common ground.

I didn’t vote Conservative either, although not because of the “damn the consequences – slash spending anyways Harris government mentality, but because of their radical ideologies. My riding’s candidate, Rondo Thomas, started his campaign outside the Loblaws here in Ajax handing out pamphlets with a bible clutched to his chest and went as far as to declare “war” and suggest his followers “engage the enemy” on the topic of same sex marriage. This way of thinking is exactly why three major Canadian cities didn’t vote in the Conservatives. I shall say no more. *Shudder*

I don’t know what to expect with this party leading our country. I’m not happy about it, and I wish I could share in your sense of willingness to allow Mr. Harper to prove himself. I am still weary, but at least they have some balance of power to keep them in check. I just have a bad feeling we’ll end up caught in their downpour without an umbrella if they win that majority next time around.

Rob Good said...

Congrats on your new Prime Minister. I think that you will find that the Conservatives will be a breath of fresh air. He hasn't even been sworn in and he is telling USA the way it will be. Canada needs a strong and fair PM, and I think you'll find he will prove himself. Stand behing your new PM.

Lora said...

Could you put "riding" in perspective for me? I assume that that this is some sort of voting district.