For the life of me, I can’t figure it out. There are some interesting tidbits out there, to be sure, but there is something that I just don’t understand. The polls are now illustrating the fact that the Conservatives have pulled slightly ahead of the Liberals. That makes perfect sense to me, although I still don’t buy the tight race premise. There is no way the Liberals are even close.
That isn’t what has me perturbed. (For those of you in college, that means confused.) The latest media rant was asking Canadians whether or not they still feared a Stephen Harper win. Feared? Do people sit up worrying about what would happen if we cast off the Liberals?
The last line in the story that I had read late last night stated that “Ontarian’s are the most skittish about the prospect of a Tory government.” I wish I hadn’t read that far because it got me thinking, and that keeps me up.
I am trying to figure out what I am missing. Why can I look at Mr. Harper and feel no fear? He is not the devil, nor a menace to the Canadian way of life. I even shook his hand once. He has a sincere handshake, and he looks you in the eye. To the surprise of many of you, I didn’t even develop a rash. In fact, he is very down to earth, although he seems a little on the reserved side, and who could blame him for that. Other qualities that he possesses are honesty and integrity. He has a moral foundation as did our earliest founders, so I don’t see that as scary, but as a plus.
I have listened to the media for the past decade or so treat anything to the right of socialism with disdain and ridicule. It isn’t imagined, of that I am sure. I can understand why such a constant criticism would raise suspicions of a party or its leader, but to use words such as scary and fear is simply not a reasonable thing.
People at my work place talk about Prime Minister Martin with a tangible dislike, as he has taken them for a ride with the rest of the country. It is with fascination that I notice some of them look at Mr. Harper with the same appraisal. There is absolutely no comparison between the character of these two men.
I have asked a few of my co-workers what they have against him, and it is never anything concrete. It is vagueness. When I press them, they sometimes conclude that they don’t know what it is about him. “Maybe it’s because he isn’t a good speaker”, some say. Others simply say that they don’t trust any politicians. But most cannot give a definitive answer.
I usually try to open people’s thinking up when I talk about politics. I am always amazed at how many people have preconceptions about certain individuals, but when pressed as to the reasons for them, they come up empty, unable to form a decisive explanation.
It is then that I truly enjoy talking to that individual. I think that many Canadians do not take the time to try and understand their prejudices towards certain parties or ways of thinking, but if you ask them why they feel the way they do and they can’t explain the reasons, then you have opened a door that leads to change.
It is also amazing that so many use the word fear when talking about a political party whose policies reflect the very same desires that these people claim to embrace themselves, such as fixing our justice system and keeping more of what they earn.
I believe that we have fallen asleep when it comes to politics. We aren’t impotent unless we choose to be, and we have chosen to be for a long time. It is time for Canadians to wake up. We must start paying closer attention. The world that we will leave for our children depends on it.