Almost everything on Facebook is meme-y, which is why I am unlikely to ever post something here that I see on Faceebook. Memes – especially political memes – are almost inherently simplistic and, usually, unreliable. But every so often, there is something different, something that is actually worth sharing beyond the echo-chamber of my Facebook friends.
Today I have something from a Facebook user I do not know. He expresses the real reasons to not vote for the Harper Conservatives this election, in about as eloquent a way as I have read, and in as about as respect full way as I can imagine.
If you are intending to vote Conservative this election – for any reason, but especially if it’s because you’re voting for the Conservatives because you think that this election is about the economy – please read his post:
To all my conservative friends, family, and neighbours,
I have a request to make of you. I wish to ask this in the most non-partisan spirit I can muster. Not to speak to ideology, but to good government. First, I want to say that I respect your opinions. I might not agree with them all, but I respect your right to your beliefs. I think it is great that after 148 years and many generations we have managed to build a truly awesome country, even with such competitive political philosophies pulling us left and right, left and right. It is a testament to the strength of our style of government. Which brings me to my point.
Fact: This Prime Minister is the only Prime Minister in Canadian history to be found in contempt of parliament. He earned this distinction by refusing to turn over documents he was constitutionally required to provide to parliament.
Fact: This Prime Minister is the first Prime Minister in Canadian history to not speak openly to the press. A leaders refusal to engage with the media is both worrisome and problematic. A leader should have the courage of his convictions and to be able to defend his positions and his words to the Canadian people through the media.
Fact: This government is the first government in Canadian history to invoke closure on nearly every government bill brought before the House of Commons. Ending debate on the peoples business after mere days again and again. Four days to debate a budget bill over four hundred pages long. One of the primary reasons we send elected representatives to Ottawa is to keep an eye on the money. How can this possibly take place in four days? An absurd abuse of parliamentary procedure.
Fact: This Prime Minister stands alone in choosing to single-handedly reinterpret the constitutional requirements for eligibility to the Senate. Over the objections of his own constitutional lawyer he went ahead and appointed several senators to represent provinces in which they did not even live. A direct violation of our constitution.
Fact: This government is the first government in Canadian history to openly and consistently attack the Supreme Court of Canada. As is a free press, an impartial court is an important pillar in the structure of a strong and free democracy. It is expected, even good to have the government of the day challenge the courts and for the courts to challenge government, but to disparage and attack the courts repeatedly is shameful and destructive.
Do you see a pattern? None of these things have anything to do with partisan politics. This has nothing to do with party loyalty. This is the bad behavior of a man who does not respect the traditions and rules of our system of government.
Which leads me to the request I would like to make of you. Please, look beyond which party you support. Look at how this government behaves. Voting for the party is voting for this government. Voting for the party is saying it is okay for a leader to act like this, to do whatever he wants. Please, I know it will be hard, but hold your nose and vote orange, vote red, vote green, vote none of the above.
What I am asking of you is to live for four years under a government you do not really agree with. Shitty, I know. You have done it before. You survived. Canada survived. If the party loses the election the economy will not suddenly implode. If the party loses the election hordes of terrorists will not pour over the border. If the party loses the election another party will take over and things will stay pretty much the same. The difference will be that we will have all stood together to make it clear that we do not want a leader who behaves in this fashion. No matter his party.
A leader should help build bridges between us, not work to wedge us apart. A leader should understand the art of compromise, not practice schoolyard antics of attack and slander. A leader should work to strengthen our government institutions, not connive to tear them down.
So this election, please, vote for your country. Vote for your democratic system of government. Just do not vote for your party. Sorry. Thanks.
To the best of my knowledge, this was written by Damion Mockford.