It seems like this blog is becoming a place that I come to when I’m sad and disillusioned. It’s as if I can just vent and write what I’m feeling and not have to worry about what people think. Maybe it’s because I am kind of invisible here on this blog (no viral blog posts here!). Maybe it’s just that having this platform gives me the illusion that my voice can be heard.
Man, I try so hard to not be political, but I really am a political person! I have deeply rooted beliefs in issues that are important to me, like poverty, homelessness, childcare and the environment. But for some reason, I try to live my life under the radar. I don’t want to insult anyone, or hurt anyone’s feelings. I don’t want to get into an argument and I avoid conflict like the plague. I’ll probably lose a couple of facebook friends when I post this blog.
But today, I’m sad. Today I feel defeated.
To my many, many followers (sarcasm!) who may not know, I live in the Yukon in the northern part of Canada and yesterday we had an election to vote in a new territorial government. Not nearly as exciting as what’s happening in the US right now, but still democracy in action.
I have been a New Democrat for many years, since I started voting. There, I said it. I really believe in the ideas and policies of the NDP and I love the many things they have brought forward for my country as a whole. Workers rights, human rights, environmental rights and of course, our universal health care.
Health care in Canada is free. It has been one of the things that Canadians are so proud of and if anyone even hints about getting rid of it or introducing privately funded health care, well you better watch out. You will get an earful.
You know who started Medicare? Tommy Douglas from the New Democratic Party. He was a champion for human rights and believed that free health care was a part of that. He was even voted “The Greatest Canadian” in 2004 when the CBC conducted a nationwide survey. As a country who believes that universal health care should be considered a constitutional right, I don’t know why we haven’t elected a more socialist government.
And the thing that bugs me the most, and probably the reason I’m writing this, is that people vote out of fear. They vote because they don’t want a certain government anymore. But that won’t change anything. It will just bring more of the same. If we really wanted a change, a change of view and ideas, we should have tried something really different. I think, as a person who votes, you should always vote for something, not against something. And I will always vote for a better world, for all of us. A better world for the homeless, for the poor, for kids, for single parents trying to make ends meet and for workers who can’t makes ends meet because they don’t make enough money to get above the poverty line.
To quote Jack Layton, a great man and a great leader of the NDP, God rest his soul;
“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.”
Maybe next time, Jack, maybe next time.