It's almost election time...can you smell it?

Saturday, March 01, 2008
I'm getting stressed. More than before. And it's all around the upcoming provincial election on Monday. Never fear, I will vote. I'm just not sure how I'm going to vote. It's a given that I will nto be voting for the candidates running in my riding for the following parties: Progressive Conservatives or Wildrose Alliance. Nope, not going to do it. In case you haven't figured it out by now, I tend to lean just a tad to the left of centre. So, who does that leave?

There's the Green Party candidate, David Parker. However, I had to actually check their website to see if a candidate was even running in my riding. And while I realize they have a stand on all the major various issues such as the economy, healthcare, Oilsands royalties, etc, you don't ever really hear about them. And I wouldn't expect the Green party to litter lawns with placards and signs or stuff my mailbox full of pamphlets. However, I haven't seen a single television commercial or radio spot for them, let alone my particular candidate. Nope, sorry. I won't be voting for Mr. Parker.

Then there's the New Democrat candidate, Deron Bilous, an innercity school teacher. Of all the major parties out there, the NDP would be the ones I guess I would align myself to, if I had to pick one. Mr. Bilous' lack of experience holding public office doesn't bother me, politicians have to get their start somewhere. Definately a strong possibility.

But then there's our incumbent, Laurie Blakeman, the Liberal candidate. Now, seeing Kevin Taft on television scares the crap out of me. I envision women and children running for safety and the menfolk brandishing pitchforks and torches. Normally, I'd be pretty sure that I'd likely be voting NDP in the election but the Liberals are the one party who have a realistic chance of stealing some seats away from the PC's in the legislature. The question then becomes one of strategy or heart...

The Conservatives have been in power for the past 37 years and while we've seen a number of booms, we've also seen some busts. And those booms came at a high price ... unacceptable homelessness levels, overdevelopment of our fragile northern environment, Alberta becoming one of the biggest polluters in Canada ... That's not to say things would necessarily be any different if another government had been in power but the current government doesn't seem too eager to do more than put a temporary bandaid on any of the issues to make it appear to the masses that they're making an effort.

So, what do I do after work on Monday when I walk into the local polling station? Do I go with the Liberals in an attempt to try and unseat the current powers that be? Or do I stick with my heart and go with the party closest to my own beliefs on most of the issues???? Arrrggggh. I want change so badly but .... I just don't know.


Wandering Coyote said...

I'd go with my heart. I'm not entirely comfortable with strategic voting, myself, because it seems to me that there is something counter-democratic about it. Saying that a vote for X is actually a vote for Y, or saying that if you vote for A it actually means a vote against B or whatever, is just not right. Voting is about how you feel deep down. It's about values.

That's my two cents.

Uber Mensch said...

I am all for the sovereignty of choice, but I will tell you what I know and it might help you make your decision. I work with Deron and I consider him one of my closest friends. I was with him a year and a half ago the night he made the decision to run for the party's nomination. I helped him make that decision, in fact. I asked him whether or not he believed that his candidacy would be different and if he honestly thought he could dedicate himself to bringing a real change to government if he was elected. He said he could and, since he won that nomination a year and a half ago, he has truly dedicated his life to nothing else. I have watched how he has grown into the role of becoming the champion for the people in his constituency and I am convinced he will do great things despite the result of this particular election. If nothing else, watching him work has convinced me of one thing: doing something because you really believe in it is the ONLY strategy worth following.

SME said...

I'm relieved to read this, 'cause I don't know quite how to vote either. Because of Richard's activism, my attention is actually trained on U.S. politics more than our own (I hate that).

Candy Minx said...

Very similar temptations happen to me in Ontario ...and the last few elections I've almost voted Liberal in order to protect the province from scoundrels in the Conservative Party.

At the last minute...after meditation...and worries...I end up voting with my heart instead.

The NDPs in Ontario may not be perfect...but the most tolerant and innovative ideas in Canada have occured when the Liberals have the NDP on their asses hounding them. The Conservatives don't listen to NDP...but the chemistry between Liberals and NDP has been good for medicine and for health care...and environment and human rights.

I was shocked in Edmonton when I was there visiting my father last year at the corruption of the cutbacks and profiteering had ruined the streets, the poor homeless situation, the poil business...but most of all their schemes for privitizing health care were the most shocking. My fathers situation was disgusting as he had invested in privitized concepts and he got stiffed because of ctbacks to nurses private rooms etc.


I think Wandering Coyote said it with your heart!

I also enjoyed reading "uber mencchs" and their experience and friendship with Deron Bilous. Very interesting and he sounds inspiring!

sp said...

If you do not wish to continue the 37 year tradition then there's your vote. As for who the right person is...go with your heart.

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