I’ve been asked to re-post this original piece from last month. However, now that the bickering and politiking is getting down to the wire, I want to add a few words. First, I am increasingly dismayed by the vitriol, the pettiness and the diatribes from our various leaders – well, not from Elizabeth May or her people – from the big three, really. All this talk of vote-splitting is also in rather bad form.
We live in a democracy where the best way to get good government is to be informed, involved, and to vote for what you believe in – not against something. Please people – vote. That comes first and foremost. You cannot have a robust democracy in a country where the majority (or even a good proportion) of people do not vote. Vote for – not against.
And I do wish people would actually live by the words of the late Jack Layton, who said it so well. (although, sadly, his own party doesn’t seem to be following his words.): “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.”
And so – here it is: back, as they say, by popular demand:
With such a long campaign before voting Oct. 19, I’ve already had quite a bit of time to think about which way to vote.
My first thought was, “Anything but Harper.” I actually clung to that for quite a while. I thought strategic voting was the way to go – and it wouldn’t be the first time I have voted strategically. After all, this is traditionally an NDP enclave – may as well go for that.
But then I listened to quite a few friends of mine who argued for voting Green. And, I always told them, I would except for the fact that I feared splitting the vote and I couldn’t bear it if Harper got in again. But I do identify with the Green Party platform. First, I like their moderate and reasoned view of things. I like that they don’t go all negative and attack-ad style. I like the intelligence of Elizabeth May, the leader. She is, without a doubt, the best Parliamentarian we have in Ottawa – in fact, even her opposition colleagues have said as much. She shone in the MacLean’s debate.
Most importantly, however, this is about more than Canada: this is a vision for the planet. Our world population is too large and our problems too huge to take an insular national view. Anything that changes now has to be done on a global scale – and globally, nothing threatens this planet more than man and man-induced habitat destruction and climate change. This is certainly not the Green’s only plank in its platform – far from it – but they realize the importance of this.
Today, we must transition from fossil fuels to sustainable energy – there is no planet B. We must value all life. I believe one of the biggest issues facing mankind is the belief that some lives are worth more than others.
We must change – not just from our fuel sources and how we extract them – but our systems that leave the majority of the world in poverty while a tiny few have so much wealth they don’t even know how to spend it.
So – about my vote – what I know is that if I vote strategically, I will be casting my vote “against” something – not “for” something. Voting against never works – it’s a negative. It’s energy is quite sad.
I am going to vote for what I love. I have a vision of peace across the land – of friendship among peoples – of nations helping each other – of the wealthy reaching out a helping hand and lifting others up. I have a vision of a green planet and a green economy where every living creature is valued and treated with kindness.
The closest I can come to this vision in this election is to vote Green.
I am going to vote for what I love.
I believe it is the right thing to do.