The election Canadian voters cannot afford to ignore
Here we are ten days removed from the 2015 Canadian General Election. My wife, daughter and I will be going to the early poll station to cast our ballots. Some people are excited at the prospect of voting. I am not so excited. I find myself in a real quandary. I am a middle aged man, and I find this situation difficult to deal with. I read how difficult it is for the 24-35 age bracket to vote. The youth vote is a difficult group to gauge. They are tech savvy and are the most digitally engaged segment of the Canadian populace in our ever changing society. They are the digitally connected generation and do everything online. There is nothing “old school” that is familiar to them. They really don’t know how to engage in the traditional concept of voting. Many do not vote because it is not a digital process. The sense of going to a polling station and voting in a booth with a pencil to make a mark on a card is totally foreign to them, and to many the embarrassment is too much for them. Another reason is that they do not feel respected because all the issues are the issues of generations of Canadians that are older. It doesn’t matter how many times they are told that politicians respond to their voting members, and the reason the youth don’t feel respected is simply due to them not making themselves heard. The youth vote needs to vote, to let the politicians know they matter and that the political parties need to pay attention to them. It takes people like Rick Mercer to make Canadians aware that the youth vote matters. This election matters and is sure to change the face of our nation, and we cannot afford to have any registered voters not vote, from the very young to the very old.
Nothing like friends to dialog and discuss the issues facing our nation
I have some friends, like Bob, Claude, Glenn, Larry, and others who love to just talk and discuss the place we all find ourselves in. Dave stands out among them, who loves to discuss the politics of the day and the issues that face our nation. I see Dave every work day, and there is one subject that we don’t share thoughts and opinions on. It is refreshing to know Dave as he is not slow to share his heart. He is a man’s man and cares deeply about many things, and he cares deeply about the state of our nation, as do I. Both Dave and I are in the category of the “frustrated voter” and for different reasons. Both of us are “conservative” by nature, but are socially compassionate in our views compared to the Conservative Party of Canada. So we find ourselves at odds wondering what party and what local candidate to vote for.
What the Young Turks think about our Canadian election
Dave was quite in shock when I initially put my support behind the NDP [New
Democratic Party] and was just as shocked when a month later I withdrew my support of the NDP in favor of the GPC [Green Party of Canada]. We had quite a few discussions on the subject, and it all revolved around the lack of a place for a moral and ethical Christian to place their vote in this democratic process and system we have in Canada. We concluded that all the major parties really do not place much if any value on people of faith and their moral and ethical beliefs and values.
The original Christian political social movement in Canada was the precursor of the NDP
The irony is that the NDP were founded from the original Christian social democratic party in Canada, the CCF (Cooperative Commonwealth Federation). Tommy Douglas the founder, was a Christian pastor who turned to politics to bring about social good and change to help ordinary Canadians. He is known as the father of Canadian medicare and instituted it in Saskatchewan where he became the premier, and he influenced the Liberal government of the day in the 1960’s to institute it across the nation. In 1961 Douglas brought the CCF into a new emerging national party, the NDP and remained its leader until 1971. Douglas’ understanding of the Christian social gospel influenced his political thought and policies. The current NDP has done all it can to remove any kind of Christian influence in the party, and has made it difficult for any person of Christian persuasion to even consider running for the party, as they are secular to the core and espouse social policies that conflict with traditional Christian teaching on marriage, family, the protection of the unborn, and other similar social issues.
CBC Mini-Series on the life of Tommy Douglas ~ Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story
This is why Dave was at odds with my choice to support the NDP. He smiled graciously when I explained why I could not any longer support the NDP, he was not surprised. He was gracious and wanted to know what my options were now. I said I would vote GPC. I knew enough of the candidate that he was a moral and ethical man, and taught psychology at one of our local universities and was active socially in the city and was active in his church community. That was enough for me. While the Green Party will not form the national government, it is the only other party that supports proportional representation.
I had to swallow hard, because in the past, even the recent past, I had said openly that voting Green was a wasted vote. In many ways it is in our one past the post system. But this time I do not want to refuse my ballot and I never spoil my ballot, so this was the best option for me.
The importance of the personal and ethical beliefs of politicians
I cannot vote for the LPC [Liberal Party of Canada] or the NDP [New Democratic Party of Canada] as none of them really make room for people of faith to actually participate as candidates in their parties. Their national policies are biased against traditional Christian beliefs of conscience and the preciousness of life to be protected from the womb to the grave. Within the LPC and NDP there is really no place for a practicing Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical Christian, to actually participate as a candidate and hold to your moral and ethical beliefs and convictions. All these parties are interested in is your money and your vote, and they don’t give a damn about your precious Christian beliefs. The gall of Justin Trudeau is that he made a speech to those within the Liberal fold who held to religious beliefs and extended a hand to them in June last year, and asked them to come under the Liberal banner and reconsider their position. He had the affront to ask people of moral and ethical convictions to sell out their convictions and support the Liberal Party of Canada. Both Justin Trudeau of the Liberal Party and Thomas Mulcair of the New Democratic Party consider themselves to be Roman Catholic. They are the most insincere Catholics you could ever imagine. They are what I would call, “convenient Catholics”. They are conveniently religious when it benefits them politically, especially in the public eye, but the moral and ethical teaching and guidelines of the Roman Catholic Church have nothing to bear on their political decisions as leaders or their policies. In fact their policies reflect a complete denial of the Roman Catholic faith. Statistics have borne out that the Liberal Party has not retained Catholic voters, and if Catholic voters vote at all, they vote Conservative or do not vote at all. The conclusion is, that if you are a person of faith, no matter what faith, Christian or other faith, there is no room for your ethical and moral worldview in either of the two national parties, the Liberal Party of Canada or the New Democratic Party of Canada.
Your lot is no better in the Conservative Party of Canada [CPC]. Yes you can run as a person of faith in the CPC, and at least the party recognizes the rights of candidates to hold to their spiritual beliefs and values, but under the leadership of Stephen Harper as the Prime Minister, he has made it known that he will not do anything about the conservative social issues of candidates or the electorate. He will steady the ship and take care of his own issues of the economy, foreign policy, the war on terror, tough on crime policies, and will not do anything to upset the status quo when it comes to the abortion issue, or gay marriage, and any other moral or ethical issue that concerns the conservative voters in this country. For all practical purposes and intent, Mr. Harper is a “convenient Evangelical” where he will not allow the traditional Christian beliefs and teachings on morality influence his political decisions or agenda.
So what is a Christian voter to do?
- Christians need to get over themselves. I mean no disrespect to parties that have the word “Christian” in their name, but that has to end. To better market what is politically practical, ethical and expedient, we need to understand that politics in a secular state, means we need to form a broad enough alliance with people we have a shared ethical and moral worldview. The word “Christian” in any title causes division. We need to get rid of it.
- We ought to build relationships with people of faith across a wide spectrum of faith groups that share similar views on the sacredness of life, and moral and ethical decision making. This alone reinforces the dynamic of diversity that is uniquely Canadian. Why can we not have people of faith from all sides come together for the common good of all? The problem with the other parties is that they don’t want your faith to interfere with their political agenda. So, we need to create a political alternative, a “Life Party of Canada” that espouses the values and beliefs that life is sacred and that all aspects of the journey of life should be enhanced and not restricted by the politics of an organized society. I would propose that a new party should be formed to appeal to all spiritually aware people in Canada. Our voices need to be heard.
- Find out which candidate best reflects your beliefs and values and vote for them. You do not have to vote for the traditional parties. The traditional parties are only going to pay attention to the numbers when they realize just how many Canadians are turning away from them for other choices.
- Whatever you do, be it this weekend at an early poll, or on 19 October, go and vote. Your vote matters. You can make your vote count. Stretch a bit, and even vote for a party you may not normally consider. Who the local candidate to me is a big deal. Find out about the candidates and the one where you feel the most at peace with, that should be the one to get your support on election day.
- Remember, just because you vote “conservative” as a Christian, doesn’t mean your “Christian values” are recognized or respected by that party.
This will be my last post on the 2015 Canadian General Election. Please register and vote.
A request to young Canadian voters – please register and vote. Please make this old dude happy knowing our country is in good hands. You are not the future. You are the present and the future. You matter a great deal.
Canadian Politics Explained podcast: https://youtu.be/Zr3awoVw2oM
Elections Canada: http://www.elections.ca/
Wikipedia on 2015 Election: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_federal_election,_2015
Tommy Douglas links: