At long last, one of our finer statesmen has overcome the ambivalence of the leftists and the fear mongering that seemed to come from everywhere one looked. I have seen my fellow citizens settle for mediocrity time and again, while writing off men of character because they lacked the prerequisites of a conman politician; those being a smooth exterior and the ability to flatter everyone and answer no one.
I have often turned off the television after an election and retired to bed with a sick feeling in my gut, not because the party that I had voted for had lost, but because I felt that Canada had. It seems to me that we need to overhaul our education system to teach Canadians more about our history and the reasoning behind our system of government. It almost seems as some see elections as they would a football game. They jump on the bandwagon at the end, swayed by polls and sound bites. It occurs to me that one should have a better idea of their own principles and the parties and candidates that hold the same one’s.
I believe that this election may have profoundly changed the way Canadians look at their vote, at least I hope that it has. It is not a game, nor a contest. The point of making a choice is not to try and pick the man or woman who seems the most likely to win. Polls will sometimes leave that impression, that is why I hardly ever heed what they have to say, because whatever scenario that they lean to has absolutely no impact on my voting decision. That is made by looking at the issues that I think are important to Canada and also the way in which the different leaders hope to address them.
With so many issues in this election, many ideas were put forward. Many of them were simply pandering and when you pick them apart, will have little or no impact on this country. I am sure that you and I may differ on which issues that you think I am referring to, but that is irrelevant. The fact is, my vote is based on issues, ideas, and most definitely the character of the leader which wants me to vote for him or her. I am hearing plenty of discussion on the issues, a lot of debating over whose ideas are credible, but no one is talking about character and that is truly a warning sign for our nation.
Now that the Conservatives have been elected to run our nation, they have a chance to once again become a friend to the nation’s voters, but, as I am sure they are painfully aware, they will only get one chance. Should they fail to deliver what they have pledged, or fail to leave a positive impression, they will have simply sentenced our nation to a slow death under the control of those on the left who wish to turn Canada into something to the extreme left of Sweden. (No offence to Mats Sundin intended.) We will once again slide towards tyranny under a one party system and democracy will once again retreat from us.
Do I think that this will happen? No, for two very simple reasons.
One reason is that I believe Canadians will finally be able to put the “extremist rightwing” label out of their minds, despite the attempts of those in the media to petrify them silly. Stephen Harper has won the election, and women are still able to work. The sun came up today, and the catastrophic earthquakes that the left promised us did not materialize. I believe that many who stated that they were uncomfortable voting Conservative will embrace the changes that are coming in a positive way, and will embrace conservatism itself, as it has the answers to so many of our present societal and political problems.
That, however, will require effort on our part. Winning this election was the equivalent of stopping a car that was rolling down a hill. That was the easy part. Now we must begin pushing the car back up the hill. Canada’s problems haven’t disappeared, they have simply been stopped from worsening.
The second reason I don’t believe Canada will reject the Conservatives is because of Stephen Harper himself. He is a genuine person, and instead of putting his thoughts through the normal spin cycle and washing them, lest he incriminates himself, often comes out and tells how he really feels. Some have criticized him for that, but I think it is refreshing. He also likes to answer questions, not try to skirt them.
Now, those promises that were made must be delivered. Mr. Harper cannot allow those who despise conservatism to cause his goals to be altered or his programs and promises to be watered down. For all of the advice that he pays for and for all of the counsel that he accepts, there is only one real thing he must remember. Canadians know what he has said that he stands for. If he deviates from his principles, Canadians will smell a rat, and will dismember him posthaste. Stay true to your values and convictions, and they will respect and love you.
Don’t spin, simply speak. Sincerity, honesty, and conviction are three of the most underutilized tools in politics.
Do that, and you will be able to pull off a Diefenbaker.
God Bless Canada.