On the best bit about living in a democracy

My parents were Card Carrying Conservatives!    Not just for a few years!    Not just for a couple of decades!    No sir!     From the early days of displaying Dief for Chief signs, my hard-working Conservative at heart parents never wavered in their support until 1991!

Why?   What happened in 1991?     For those of you too young to remember, that was the year that Brian Mulroney passed the GST!    Was there such strong opposition to that?   You bet!     Had party discipline not been enforced, even the Conservative MP’s would likely have voted for their ridings!

And THAT boys and girls is when I learned the most important lesson ever about democracy!        What would that be?     Why of course that we ‘hire’ our politicians with our vote and that we can also ‘fire’ them!    

In the next election, the Conservative Party plummeted from a whopping 169 seat majority to only two seats in the House!   Two seats!     And that was in 1993 …. before social networking!    Best cartoon ever on the next day showed Kim Campbell out on the ledge with the Marijuana and the Natural Law Party Leaders,  captioned, ‘Welcome to the fringe’!

Did my parents ever vote Conservative again?   Not once …. not for the rest of their lives!

Now here is the thing ….  prior to 1991, my parents were like poster children for the Conservatives!     They were hard-working, old-fashioned,  church going Capitol C Conservatives!

So the moral of the story …. as the NDP bobsled team learned last fall … is that while politicians CAN do whatever they want when they are armed with a strong majority …. it is not always in the best interests of the party to do so!

As any restaurant owner can tell you … we Canadians generally do not complain if we are not happy!   We eat our meal, pay our check and then …  we just never go back!

Out where I live, most folks DID vote for the Conservatives last going around … even the more moderate ones.    My parents would have fit right in here, eh?

How about next year?     Will it be another slam dunk?   Somehow I suspect not!   Why?     Honestly, I could go on like the Energizer Rabbit .. but instead will stick to a Top Ten List

#10    A fair amount of folks around here earn their daily bread on a farm or on the water!   Both are hard work and take a big toll on the body!      By the time these folks are 65, they are ready to retire!   But wait .. now they will have to wait two more years!    Folks might understand if the government was struggling … but seem to take a dim view of sacrificing so that Senators can live high on the hog!

#9     This is a family oriented community!   What does that mean in realspeak?   Why of course that many women around here have been raising their children instead of contributing to CPP!     Now …. when they are widowed, these ladies will have to wait until they are 67 for their Old Age as well!    And before the keyboards catch on fire .. no … most farmers and fishermen and even tradesguys never, ever have pensions!

#8    Tourism is one of the backbones of the economy in Nova Scotia!     Here in the real world of Nova Scotia winters, tourism is a seasonal business!   Even  Nova Scotians who can afford to go on vacation go someplace warmer in the winter, eh?    So anyone who suggests that these folks are living high on the hog on unemployment in the winter has never tried to live on half income!    To suddenly insist that these folks be willing to drive upwards of an hour is absurd.     No one is going to give them gas or subsidize vehicle upkeep!   There are no buses running out here!    So to send Integrity Inspectors out with assigned quotas to meet was not the way to win votes in this riding!    Not to be mean … but that was even BEFORE the Senate Scandal!

#7     Here in Nova Scotia we are really very conscious of the effects of global warming!     We are surrounded by the sea … and so have seen first hand how much stronger the storm surges are!   Our own provincial government is urging our communities to come up with plans to deal with climate change, eh?     So we would really appreciate if the Conservatives would stop referring to environmental advocates as terrorists!

#6    The possibility of income splitting really appealed to hard-working families and was actually the reason a lot of my friends did vote conservative!      Now it would seem that the Conservatives have changed their mind about that!    Hmmm!    Will that make people change their minds?   Hmmmm!

#5     One would be hard put to go anywhere in this province without finding families of serving and retired military members.    Here in the Valley where the base is an integral part of the community, it is even more so!    What does that mean in realspeak?   Why of course that it is pointless for politicians and generals to combat concerns about suicides with ‘we didn’t knows’!     Here in the real world, where serving members are shown the door as being medically unfit for duty with PTSD, it should come as no surprise that so few seek treatment 😦

#4      In this riding … seeing the government swap out sustained support for injured veterans with a one time payout has not been popular!     It certainly has put paid to the myth that the Conservatives were the party who took the best care of the military!

#3   Around here, closing Veterans Affairs offices has been viewed on the same level as stealing purses from little old ladies!   That the Minister made such a public bollocks of the whole situations really just iced a cake that he had already laid out on the table!

#2   This government thinks that public servants are easy targets!   They hope that people will be so jealous of their job security and benefits that they overlook one very tangible fact …   these people provide service to the public.     Fewer servants = longer wait times + less disposable income in a community!      Hand in hand with that … Tony Clements is really hoping that nobody notices or cares that doubling public service health care plan costs fore retirees ALSO affects retired military and RCMP!     Or that nobody remembers that these rates were just doubled in 2011!

#1     Lets face it … this government has changed Canada as we know it!   Deliberately and willfully!   In the face of strong public opposition!    All these changes  ….. from stripping environmental protection to decimating Federal departments and libraries … through to this new Election Act ….  keep making the revolving rounds of social networking sites of all stripes!    In the face of such destruction … even the Senate Scandal pales by comparison!

What time is it?   It is always, always time to remember that the best bit about living in a democracy is that each and every one of us do have a voice!     It does not matter if those in government now will not listen!     All that matters is that we are only ever one election away from change!


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