Thoughts from a blogger @ the All-Candidates Forum in Kimberley BC
I was going to share some thoughts/observations on Instagram about the Local Candidates Forum I attended last night in Kimberley, BC (because that is where I live and Canada has an important federal election taking place on October 21) but I ended up rambling for too long and hit the character limit for Instagram posts. “Oh no!” I thought to myself, but then quickly remembered that blogs don’t have character limits and I haz blahg.
So, if Canadian election stuff is of no interest to you, please feel free to make your salutations now (but please accept this sweet all-Canadian playlist as a bonus parting gift/Canadian apology).
And now… let’s get Canadian political
• Not sure if it was intentional, but the candidates seemed to be sat left-to-right according to how their parties sit on the political spectrum. Fittingly, that sat the Liberal candidate 'right-of-centre' with the Conservatives and PPC. Visual information is helpful.
• I had never heard of the Animal Protection Party of Canada before (which was the party on the furthest left) and despite my initial Capitalism-programmed 'oh boy, here we go' gut reaction when first hearing the party name, I actually agreed with most of what Trev Miller was saying. I especially appreciated Trev bringing up how much of our taxes go to giving out subsidies for wealthy corporations and/or to prop up inefficient industries — which is maybe something more of us should keep in mind the next time we're sharing socialism memes or arguing on behalf of letting people go hungry because there's no money.
Trev also cracked me up the biggest when he mentioned how (and I’m paraphrasing a bit here, but not much) “…and people could have corn on the cob eating contests instead of having hot dog eating contests” while making a list to help prove a point I can’t totally remember — I think it was about pesticides. But, to be fair, he’s not wrong (and I appreciated his sincerity) so consider yourself on blast hot dog eating contesters.
• I had heard of the People's Party of Canada before (which was the party on the furthest right) and what I had heard sounded like they were Canada's version of UKIP. And as someone who had lived in the UK during the early rise of UKIP and still pays attention to what's going on over there… ain't nobody got time for that. I guess I appreciate the honesty in not pretending to believe climate change is very important when you know that your party platform goes against what the science is saying, but when you're the only person who felt the need to throw in an "I'm not racist, but…" while talking about immigration, something tells me there might be a pinch of that sneaky-kind-of-old-world-racism sprinkled throughout the policies.
Although, since the Liberals lied about giving us Proportional Representation last election, I do appreciate that's there's another party on the right to split votes from those who don't see what's going on in America as a red flag (spoiler: 'Conservative + PPC' is Canada's version of 'Republican + Tea', just like how Rebel Media is a less flashy Canadian version of Fox News, and you either see all the problems that way of thinking/manipulation has caused south of the border and all around the world or you’ve still got blinders on).
• Both the Liberal and Conservative candidates (similarly named Robin and Rob) felt very disconnected from their parties platforms/history. Which is understandable, given their parties platforms/history.
I hope the old politician trick of, 'hey… you're not voting for those crooks in Ottawa, you're voting for me, a straight-shooting local who believes and wants all the same things as every single hardworking local and I will totally stand up and vote against things my party does that I don’t agree with' stood out to others too. Because the optimist in me wanted to take heart that even the Conservative candidate was openly saying that Climate Change was serious (how refreshing), but then I’d be quickly reminded of how politicians work when he’d say something like, “when did politics get into science?” as if he was unfamiliar with Stephen Harper. But it’s important to remember that politicians often just say whatever will get them out of the room with the least amount of boos.
So how about we all just agree that over all the years, the Liberal and Conservative parties have both done a more than bad enough job of leading that NONE OF THEM deserve to be hired again? At least for one full election cycle? Like, as some sort of punishment or consequences or something. You know, kind of like how if we do a demonstrably rubbish job at our jobs we don’t get to just talk our way into another 4 year contract, where we can later vote for our own raises?
• Which leaves us with the last two parties from the evening: The Green Party and The NDP — who I am officially endorsing as the only 2 ‘#HI54-Approved’ Canadian political parties that environmentally-concerned and societally-disappointed Canadians should even consider splitting our votes between this election (ps - ALL Canadians should be concerned & disappointed).
Personally, as I’ve said in a previous post, I am going to be voting Green. I think it is time that we stop hedging our bets and actually start trying to make our collective lives better. I will admit that I’ve been one of those “well, I’d like to vote for X, but I’m gonna vote for Y because I’m scared that Z will win” people in the past, but I’m kinda super over it. It’s time to do what feels right.
That being said, I understand that the urge to play it safe and vote “strategically” is strong in us Canadians, and given how similar The Green and NDP platforms are, I’d be fine with Canada turning a combination of green/orange this October (related: my favourite time of the year is that green/orange season when it’s still kinda feeling like summer, but you can also start wearing your cool sweater again).
Also, it should be noted that, for me, The Green Parties Abra Brynne was the best candidate on stage last night - well spoken, thoughtful, calm, and a strong community-minded background. So, even though I was going in leaning Green, I left leaning even more (and fwiw NDP’s Wayne Stetski was probably my number 2 - followed by Trev, Robin, Rob, Rick).
But these are just the opinions of some guy in the Canadian mountains with a music blog (and a mountown blog, which is probably too many blogs for one guy). I can just share where my head is at and why. You’re going to need to take at least as much time as it took me to write /edit this post to come to your own conclusions before the vote.
So please don’t do that thing where you just repeat the talking points that get handed down by whatever side you continue to back as if they were a sports team that you have to support forever, unconditionally, even when they lie to your face and/or treat other humans like they are not humans. It’s ok to say ‘f*ck that sh*t’ (tbh we should all be saying ‘f*ck that sh*t’ way more than we currently are - so maybe start practicing by saying it to the same old ‘politics as usual’ game we’ve all grown tired of).
If you want Universal Health Care for yourself and your families and your friends and your neighbours (and I really don’t see how anyone could not want that), you need to vote for it.
If you can see past the nay-sayers and are able to visualize all the jobs that will need to be created in order for our society to jump in & aggressively take on a collective project like transitioning to Renewable Energy, than you need to vote for that. Stop falling for the “won’t somebody please think about the economy” lines. The economy will be fine because the economy will be whatever we decide to start placing our value on.
The money to pay for quality of life for all is ALREADY out there, we just need to stop falling for being told that the only place to look is in the pockets of the poor & middle class. And if corporations & the super rich are genuinely allergic to taxes, we can always just adjust wages and the cost of living accordingly — we’ve been bending over for generations, we’re flexible like that. The important thing is that we stop turning a blind eye to this obviously out-of-control, blatantly corrupt & inherently inefficient version of Capitalism we keep being told to cling to as if it was a life preserver instead of an anchor.
Because, despite what they keep telling us, life doesn’t need to work as stupidly as the way we keep letting a very small percentage at the top continue to sell it to us. Please vote accordingly.