Today is election day in Canada. In Canada we don't fool around. An election is called and two months later - bang! we vote.
What is that? Oh, our Prime Minister passed a bill stating that we would have fixed election dates a la the USA? He ignored that because he was in a Minority government? Let's not talk about that...
I will vote. I have voted in almost every Provincial and Federal election since I was 18. I do my duty. I even follow politics - though rarely do I voice my opinion publicly regarding particular parties and politicians.
However, I must say I am truly tired of the political process as it has become. The so called debates and discussions are nothing other than an opportunity for the politicians to voice their "talking points." They all do it. All of them. However, the one politician in Canada that I think is the best (or worst) example of this is Jack Layton. It drives me crazy. Any question posed he turns into a discussion of his talking points. It is so transparent. And if I hear him say "working families" one more time I will cry. Tears. Actual tears rolling down my cheeks. Do you hear that Jack? Don't make me cry.
I am not the first to say this and I don't claim I am revealing any great insight here - but public discourse is dead. We no longer know how to discuss, debate, and argue in rational and meanigful ways. The fact that the term "rhetoric" has become a slur is indicative of the situation. Rhetoric: the art of using language effectively and persuasively. No - we don't want that in our politics apparently. We want monotonous talking points, ad hominem attacks, red herrings, and begging the question. Why? I don't know. It drives me crazy. But they wouldn't do it if it wasn't effective. Has it always been this way? Maybe. I don't know. Probably.
An example. The Conservatives attack the Liberal "Carbon Tax" on the basis of.... it is scary! It is a risk! The comercials don't lay out anything other than it may be a big risk and it is scary. I am not saying I like the idea of a carbon tax but how about giving some actual reasons against the the Carbon Tax rather than just saying: BOO!
The Liberals: I really don't know what to say here. I am not sure what they are about. Something about a Carbon Tax and they say Stephen Harper doesn't care about people or some such.
The Green Party: ?.
The Bloc Quebecois: A travesty that a seperatist party is even a part of the game. I suspect in many other countries instead of being a political party they would be in jail for treason.
So, I will vote. It is the least I can do. Literally. In a democracy it is the least you can do. I just wish I felt more inspired by the process.