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Dear Canada

Dear Canada,

It's time to step up. For the last eight years, we've been coasting on our reputation, secure in the crazy "I can do what I want, since I'm retiring" legacy of Jean Cretien. We're Canadians! We're pot-smoking gay-marrying hippies! We're so liberal, so progressive, we might as well be Scandanavian!

Look closer. Where's our Barack Obama? Where's our Hilary Clinton? One could argue that we had our own Sarah Palin in Belinda Stronach, but in a lot of ways the treatment Stronach got from both the media and the politicians was uglier than the US media's approach to the moose-huntin' maverick. Kim Campbell doesn't count.

We have fallen behind the times on race and gender in politics, here, folks. It's past time that we had some who's not a rich white guy in the running for Prime Minister.

On a related note: this is the first time I'm aware of that the Canadian voter turnout was below the American voter turnout. Canadian politics is just falling apart. We look like dinosaurs, and perhaps it's unsurprising that the population is becoming increasingly apathetic.


( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:05 pm (UTC)
Huzzah. Hear hear! Or is it here here?
Nov. 6th, 2008 01:12 am (UTC)
Or is it "hear here?"
Nov. 6th, 2008 03:19 pm (UTC)
Or is it "here hear?"
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:14 pm (UTC)
Starbucks gave out free coffee to US voters? That's awesome.
Nov. 6th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
Apparently there were sex shops in LA that gave out free sex toys, too. I haven't checked the veracity of that, but it was listed on Google news as one of the potential free items you could get for coming into a business with your "I voted" sticker.
Nov. 6th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
If we could get brothels in on this voting turnout would be at an all time high.
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
And I'd pity every TH worker out there, because people would be all like "I know you said 'free coffee', but can I get a bagel instead?".
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:16 pm (UTC)
Here here!

I also an a firm believer that NO ONE won our last election. The Tories even ended up having less people vote for them this time round, due to the embarassingly low voter turnout. Out voting system is truly broken, as is our democratic spirit.
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:23 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Our last election was an astounding triumph of cock-upery.
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:21 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I'm thrilled that Obama won last night - just over the moon. As I was lying in bed though, I tried to remember if we've ever had a non-white candidate for Prime Minister. I couldn't recall a single one. You're right - it's time for everyone to step up their game.
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:22 pm (UTC)
captainmushroom commented on the voter turnout thing today too. I remarked to him that people in the States had a rockstar to vote for, and that, by and large, people were voting for something. In Canada, I don't think we've voted for anything since Mulroney (and I'm sad about what we voted for, then).

Upon further reflection, I think there were two powerful motivating emotions south of the border: hope and fear. Hope among progressives for what Obama represents, for the change he heralds. Fear among progressives of what a McCain-Palin government would do, and of what happens if the US continues along its current path. Fear among conservatives of the change that Obama heralds and of what he represents.

In Canada, we're not very afraid of Harper or of what he represents. We* don't believe that things will go to ruin. We don't fear in the marrow of our bones that our warmongering ways will destabilize the entire world, cause domestic upheaval, and desperate poverty. We believe, smugly, that it can't happen here, that we'll be okay, that it's save to hold out for the perfect at the expense of the compromise of "well, it's better than it could be..."

I think this shows on the one hand a touching faith in our legacy of peace, order, and good government, and on the other hand a naive and frightening lack of imagination on our part.

* by which I mean Canadians as a population, not you and me.
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC)
In addition to that, our political campaigns amount to "I won't tell you what I stand for, but look at that other guy. He's so much worse than I am!"
Nov. 5th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
heh. That too.

How do you vote for "he's so much worse than I am"?
Nov. 5th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
At this moment, Liberal party henchminions are actively looking for a Canadian Barack Obama. Leaders like that are hard to find and even harder to convince to run for public office. If you run across one, or someone who could potentially be one ten years from now, you need to actively push them into politics and support them. These people don't just fall out of the sky at election time.
Nov. 5th, 2008 11:23 pm (UTC)
Nov. 6th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
Personally, the US election has disappointed me.

Yes, Obama won. Yes, this is a fantastic thing. However, it is less important than it appears. McCain was hardly the Bush clone that his campaign made him appear to be. As long as he lived long enough that Palin didn't have to take over for him, McCain probably would've been a decent president.

My issue is that several states tacked on bills banning gay marriage (or, in one case, gay adoption) ... all of which passed.

To me, that was really the opportunity for a change in the American psyche. For all the claims that Obama's victory is the "end of the civil war" (NY Times), and for all the poignancy of a black man becoming an American president (or even just winning Virginia) might bring, the fact that such bigotry was expressed in the same election is downright disappointing.

Obama was a repudiation of Bush. A cry for help in an economic crises. A recognition that change was necessary. It was NOT an end of American bigotry. But that's what it looks like.

It's a sad, sad world. Or I'm a cynic.

Or both.
Nov. 11th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)

if that doesn't work, here's a text copy

Nov. 6th, 2008 01:26 am (UTC)
Yeah, seriously. We have fucking Harper and they have Obama. All of us lefties are going to have to start threatening to flee to the States.
Nov. 9th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
Hey, sorry for the completely off-topic post here, but I'm having trouble accessing my home e-mail this week-end, and my phone's fritzing out now this morning too.

I'm going to propose meeting at 2:30 at Ryerson, 350 Victoria (the big auditorium), and we'll figure out lunch? I'm going to text Christina too. Hopefully my phone will be working again by lunch if we need to refine plans...
Nov. 9th, 2008 05:36 pm (UTC)
see you there, then. :)
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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