Get Out and Vote

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It’s election day in Canada and no matter which political party you are rooting for, get out and vote!

I received a couple of interesting forwarded emails lately and I’d like to share them here. The first one comes from a concerned citizen from Edmonton, Alberta. The other, from concerned American filmmaker, Michael Moore.

SOMETHING WORTH THINKING ABOUT

Hello. My name is Alan Robberstad I am a Canadian. One voter out of millions of Canadian voters.

Paul Martin is no friend of mine. Liberal governments have not made my life any better. Liberal governments have made the future worse for my children.

Jean Chretien and the Liberal Party became Prime Minister many years ago. Guess who was the Liberal Finance Minister…..Paul Martin…LEST WE FORGET

Since 1993:

  1. My taxes have increased.
  2. My family’s share of the national debt has increased.
  3. My personal expenses have increased.
  4. My waiting time to see a doctor has increased.
  5. My concerns for my family’s safety have increased.
  6. My costs to educate my children have increased.
  7. Government interference in my life has increased.
  8. My personal debt has increased.
  9. My income has stayed more or less the same.
  10. My savings have decreased.
  11. The buying power of my dollar, in Canada, has decreased.
  12. The value of my dollar, in the U.S., has decreased.
  13. My trust of elected officials has decreased.
  14. My trust in the justice system has decreased.
  15. My trust in the immigration system has decreased.
  16. My hope that a Liberal won’t waste my tax dollars has decreased.
  17. My dreams for a better future for my kids, in Canada, have disappeared.

That is my story since the Liberals came to power.

I am not voting for Paul Martin’s Liberals. I am voting against Paul Martin and his Liberal Party in January.

I am voting for Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party.

Do I like the Conservatives? Not particularly……I don’t really like Politics. I am not political by nature. I am not passionate about politics. I am a middle age guy (48). I live in a small house on a fairly quiet street in Edmonton. I have a wife, Kathy, and two children (ages 19 and 17). I have no pets. I am a middle class man. I don’t usually say too much.

Until now.

Now I am going to say something!

In 35 of the past 37 years, Canada has been ruled by:

  1. Pierre Trudeau – a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec.
  2. Brian Mulroney – a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec.
  3. Jean Chretien – a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec.

And now we are going to vote for Paul Martin???? – a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec???

The leader of the Conservative party, Stephen Harper, is:

  1. Not a lawyer.
  2. Not a multi-millionaire.
  3. Not from Quebec.

Stephen Harper says that the Conservative party will:

  1. Reduce my taxes.
  2. Pay off the national debt as fast as they can.
  3. Shrink the size and influence of the federal government.

That’s good enough for me. I am going to give the Conservative party a chance with my vote.

But wait! Paul Martin is now saying the same thing. My mother told me forty years ago: “Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me!”

The Liberals have had 34 years to be financially responsible. Remember, Jean Chretien was Trudeau’s Finance Minister.

Remember also, Paul Martin was Jean Chretien’s Finance Minister.

These people have been raising my taxes for thirty four years. They have been mis-spending my tax dollars for 34 years.

34 years!

And now Paul Martin says he will stop taxing and spending. No way.

Thank you for reading my story so far! Why am I telling my story to you?

Although I feel alone, I know that I am not alone. Your story may be similar to mine. And you may also feel alone. One small voter in the midst of millions of voters.

What can you and I do together to change things? Here is my idea: Lets you and I join up together. Just you and I. Together. As a small team of two. How can you and I fight a huge political machine?

You and I have two things that we can use:

  1. Our individual personal connections.
  2. The Internet.

The Internet is supposed to be this globalizing tool, right? Let’s put it to use.

I have 27 Canadians in my personal e-mail address book. I am sending this e-mail to each of them.

I am asking you to do two things:

  1. Forward this e-mail to every Canadian in your own address book.
  2. Vote against Paul Martin and the Liberal Party in January of next year.

Vote for the Conservative candidate in your riding.

I have probably written this e-mail too late. As I said I am not politically adroit. I feel like Peter Finch, in the 1976 movie “Network”, when he shouted: “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take this anymore!”

Please, forward the e-mail RIGHT NOW!!

My best wishes to you. My best wishes to Canadians everywhere.

My thanks to David Stokes from Toronto He actually wrote this just (5) days before the last federal election. Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me!”

Alan Robberstad Edmonton, Alberta.

I’d just like to point out a couple of things that bother me about this email. I don’t want this to be construed as support for one party or another?¢‚Ǩ‚ÄùI’m as mad at the dishonesty of the liberal party as much as the next person, but at the same time I feel like this email has a few very misleading statements that I want to pick out.

I would recommend to the writer of this email that if your personal debt has increased, your income has stayed the same (more or less? which is it?) your savings have decreased and you’re looking for someone to blame, check the mirror.

After whining about how you are in debt, you then have the nerve to complain that inflation has reduced the buying power of your dollar. Take an economics class and you’d know that a weaker dollar means it will be easier to pay back those debts. I’m not saying that that’s a good thing, I’m just saying you’re arguments go against each other.

As for the value of the dollar compared to the Americans, as anyone that’s ever exported anything to the States knows, a weaker dollar is so much to the advantage of the seller. If you don’t like the idea of trading with the Americans, remember who it was the brought in Free Trade in the first place?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùthe conservatives. Also the American dollar is falling like a brick due to the incredible overspending of their “conservative” government. If Stephen Harper had of been in power when the Bush Administration asked Canada to join them in Iraq, I guarantee you our dollar would be a lot weaker, and our image as a peace keeping country tarnished. Is that what you’re asking for?

You’ve also said that hospital waiting times were a concern for you, as are taxes and the national debt. These are all concerns of mine as well. However, I understand that privatization of health care is NOT the answer. Making ourselves more like the United States is NOT the answer. If I wanted to live in the United States, that’s where I’d move to, I’d rather not turn ourselves into that country?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùdon’t you think there is a good reason we put up with Canada’s cold winter climate?

Michael Moore is currently in production on his next movie. As an avid lover of all things Canadian, he has also issued a statement regarding Canada’s federal election:

Oh, Canada?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùyou’re not really going to elect a Conservative majority on Monday, are you? That’s a joke, right? I know you have a great sense of humour, and certainly a well-developed sense of irony, but this is no longer funny. Maybe it’s a new form of Canadian irony?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùreverse irony! OK, now I get it. First, you have the courage to stand against the war in Iraq?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùand then you elect a prime minister who’s for it. You declare gay people have equal rights?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùand then you elect a man who says they don’t. You give your native peoples their own autonomy and their own territory?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùand then you vote for a man who wants to cut aid to these poorest of your citizens. Wow, that is intense! Only Canadians could pull off a hat trick of humour like that. My hat’s off to you.

Far be it from me, as an American, to suggest what you should do. You already have too many Americans telling you what to do. Well, actually, you’ve got just one American who keeps telling you to roll over and fetch and sit. I hope you don’t feel this appeal of mine is too intrusive but I just couldn’t sit by, as your friend, and say nothing. Yes, I agree, the Liberals have some ‘splainin’ to do. And yes, one party in power for more than a decade gets a little… long. But you have a parliamentary system (I’ll bet you didn’t know that?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùsee, that’s why you need Americans telling you things!). There are ways at the polls to have your voices heard other than throwing the baby out with the bath water.

These are no ordinary times, and as you go to the polls on Monday, you do so while a man running the nation to the south of you is hoping you can lend him a hand by picking Stephen Harper because he’s a man who shares his world view. Do you want to help George Bush by turning Canada into his latest conquest? Is that how you want millions of us down here to see you from now on? The next notch in the cowboy belt? C’mon, where’s your Canadian pride? I mean, if you’re going to reduce Canada to a cheap download of Bush & Co., then at least don’t surrender so easily. Can’t you wait until he threatens to bomb Regina? Make him work for it, for Pete’s sake.

But seriously, I know you’re not going to elect a guy who should really be running for governor of Utah. Whew! I knew it! You almost had me there. Very funny. Don’t do that again. God, I love you, you crazy cold wonderful neighbors to my north. Don’t ever change.

Michael Moore

28 thoughts on “Get Out and Vote

  1. “Brian Mulroney – a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec.”

    So, this guy isn’t voting for Stephen Harper because he’s a Conservative, but because he’s not a lawyer and not from Québec?

    “And now we are going to vote for Paul Martin???? – a multi-millionaire lawyer from Quebec???”

    Paul Martin was born in Ontario, the same province as Harper.

    “Stephen Harper says that the Conservative party will:

    1. Reduce my taxes.”

    Ha ha. Yeah, lowering the basic exemption amount and increasing the tax rate for the lowest tax bracket isn’t really my idea of tax reduction. And maybe if the previous conservative government hadn’t introduced the GST in the first place, Harper wouldn’t have to promise to chop off 1/4 of it.

    “Pay off the national debt as fast as they can.”

    Given the nearly 30 billion dollars in additional government spending, I’d love to see how they plan on eliminating the national debt.

    “These people have been raising my taxes for thirty four years.”

    Whoops, I guess we forgot about the taxes introduced by the conservative government.

    Sadly, a lot of Canadians are going to believe this ignorant drivel.

  2. Kim, the current conservative party and the conservative party of the 80’s and early 90’s aren’t really the same party are they? It seems odd to link them to Mulroney and Clarke.

  3. Not entirely the same, but the current conservative party was created when the Alliance (an amalgamation of Reform and PC MPs) and the PC parties amalgamated previous to the last federal election.

  4. Wow, looks like Michael Moore gets around! I thought he was only concerned with mucking-up American politics? Seems he is an equal opportunity liar for two countries. :-)

  5. Well, I agree with Michael Moore on many things, but I would have to say that he isn’t always completely up front about everything. Not so much as lying, but more like witholding truth.

    There are a few things that he used in his movies that were not completely truthful if you know what I mean.

    I do not disagree with him, I just think that he should try to be a little more forthright sometimes.

  6. Ok, I’m just out of the loop enough, but I don’t get the reference to the Governor of Utah. Is there and inside joke there I just don’t get, or is it a backhanded slap at Mormons?

  7. I think it’s because out of all the red states, Utah is the most red (i.e. conservative). I don’t think his comment was directed at the faith that makes up the majority of Utah, so much as the strong political leaning.

  8. C’mon Jeff. You just accused Brian of being un-Christlike because he identified Michael Moore as a liar. I don’t have any objection to what Michael Moore said in the letter published above, and I certainly don’t know enough about Canadian politics to offer an opinion on that front. But I did some searching when Moore came to Utah a while back. I discovered this page that documents multiple outright lies by Michael Moore. He has not proven to be an honest debater, whatever you think of the positions he advocates. Accurate name calling isn’t necessarily un-Christlike, and your comment to Brian was inappropriate.

  9. I was disgusted by the behaviour of some people in Utah as observed on This Divided State movie trailer. It was probably an extension of that disgust that caused me to lash out.

    For me it shouldn’t matter whether or not you agree with Michael Moore—the behaviour shown in the movie trailer is despicable.

  10. I read on the internet some place that somewhere between 80% to 90% of the LDS membership voted for Bush. There was no other religion in the USA that voted in such a solid group. I find this to be a bit dangerious.

    I am an American who came to Canada as an LDS missionary, and then returned here as an American Refugee seeking freedom. Freedom from unwanted hateful wars, freedom to be sick without loosing all I own, freedom to speak, freedom to be myself as a gay person. I am certainly afraid of Harper.

    His indorsement of a war that was not supported by the rest of the world and should be classified as an illegal one is, by itself, enough to frighten me. During that war they told us on the CBC how the treasures of Iraq were stolen from their national museum. However, there was NOTHING touched in the large oil offices. THEY were carefully garded. Isn’t that enough to explain the real reasons for that war!

    When the Dixie Chicks came out against the war, they were banned in many parts of the USA….. the press was not allowed to show the bodies of soldiers coming home…..where is freedom of the press and freedom speach.

    A faithful LDS judge Bybee introducedto Bush an accepted standard that prisoners could torchured just as long as it was not life threatening. And this is Christian?

    A law making hate crimes against gays in Utah was not passed. Is that Christian?

    I note that Harper’s speeches, sound more American that Canadian. He ends them all with “God Bless Canada.” I see the same sort of Bumper Stickers on cars in the USA…. they say “God Bless America”. I always thought that that was certainly true. With a man such as Bush as president the Americans need as many blessings as they can get. Now Harper is using the same “American Slogan” at the end of each of his speaches!!! It is NOT that I do like Blessings…. but it makes it sound as though we are so VERY good.. and so VERY right….. that God is ONLY on OUR side….. close to the idea that the Germans had during the last world war when they were teaching that it was their destiny to lead the world.

    One third of Americans have no insurance or are under insured. For every violent crime in Canada per capita in the USA there are two to three times more in the USA…. and now we have a Bush supporter as Prime Minister…… who will support private health care. My cousin who had cancer in the states was an upper middle class man… his insurance paid for 80% of his health care. He died in totall bankrupcy…. the 20% was more than what he could pay.

    I move to Canada to come away from that. I agree with Michael Moore. I only hope that with the minority government that Harper has, that he will not devestate our country.

  11. I think our only comfort now is that Harper has a minority government, more of a minority than the Liberals had (although the press doesn’t jump on that like they did last time)and he won’t be allowed free reign. Let’s hope, anyway.

  12. Dean says that the expression “God bless Canada”

    “…makes it sound as though we are so VERY good.. and so VERY right….. that God is ONLY on OUR side…”

    What leads him to that conclusion? Merely invoking the blessings of God on one’s country has nothing at all to do with the kind of jingoism that Dean is describing.

  13. I notice the traffic on this topic has really dropped off since the election actually took place. That surprises me.

  14. The original post encourages, “no matter which political party you are rooting for, get out and vote!” Why? Is voting a good thing by itself, irrespective of how right or wrong, how well- or ill-informed the voter may be? I’m inclined to encourage those who are informing themselves and making rational choices (especially those that agree with me). I don’t encourage people to vote no matter what they’re going to vote for.

    As an extreme example, let’s say there’s a referendum on legalizing child rape. Should we encourage people to get out and vote “no matter which side of the issue you’re on”? Or should we do all we can to get out the vote only on the one side of the issue we believe is right?

  15. Well if you believe in democracy then you would want everyone to vote no matter what their opinion, even if it meant a potential outcome with which you disagree.

    I believe in representative government and if someone doesn’t vote, he or she is not expressing which candidates and their platforms that he or she supports.

    To counter your obviously very extreme example, if the majority of people thought that child rape was a good thing and “legalized it”, then I suppose as a supporter of a democratic society I would be obliged to honour the law of the land and not invoke some kind of vigilante justice.

    Though I’m not living in the United States, I understand they have passed some pretty far reaching privacy violating laws in the Patriot Act designed to protect their citizens from terrorists.

    I don’t think the majority of people want those laws and if a referendum were issued I would be a lot more interested in supporting that law if I knew that is what the majority wanted.

    One last point, the majority doesn’t always make the best decision. We often associate negative connotations with dictatorships, but with a righteous leader, I believe a dictatorship or a theocracy could be a very successful government.

    I just prefer the idea of a democracy because it seems (in my mind anyway) easier to remove corrupt leaders in the event that corruption occurs. I trust in the people around me that while we all might make mistakes as a group, we can also fix them as a group too.

  16. “Well if you believe in democracy then you would want everyone to vote no matter what their opinion…”

    Jeff, I believe in democracy as a means to certain desirable ends, not as an end in itself. I support democratic government (in the attenuated form of a Republic) because I think it has a general tendency to help bring about ends that will benefit more people more of the time. But like you (I think), I don’t believe is its own justification. If democratic government is bringing about awful things and some other form can bring about better things, then I say institute another form.

    I don’t believe in unlawfully repressing the votes of people who disagree with me, but I also don’t believe in encouraging them to come out and undermine what I’m trying to do for my society.

  17. “I also don’t believe in encouraging them to come out and undermine what I’m trying to do for my society”

    That’s a very good point.

    At the surface that would appear to be the wise choice. And in fact I don’t know that it isn’t, but for whatever reason I believe that groups will make the right choice more often and based on the fact that my opinion or whatever it is I’m trying to do for my society might be wrong, I’d want everyone to come out and vote as they believe.

    I believe in the separation of religion and state and feel that the desires of the majority are more important than having my own personal beliefs represented in government – as nice is that would be.

    It’s more important to represent a majority than to represent what I or any individual thinks is right.

    Maybe I’d change my mind if I was in a situation where the majority voted for a war-mongering religious fanatic but since I don’t live in the US I’m not in that situation.

  18. After the 2000 elections, a lot of critics were whining that a majority hadn’t elected the President. Since the 2004 elections, most of the same people have been whining that a majority DID.

  19. Dean: The Dixie Chicks weren’t BANNED. They were BOYCOTTED. The first would be a government action, and the second is a voluntary choice by free citizens about what they listen to.

  20. I was thinking again about Michael Moore’s comments this morning. The fellow doth protest too much, I think. He says, in essence, “Hey, Canada, I’m not going to tell you how to vote. And by the way, here’s how you should vote.”

  21. Dean: By “A law making hate crimes against gays” I assume you mean a law giving special status to certain crimes if they are committed against gays as opposed to when they are committed against others.

    Is the crime more heinous because the victim was gay? Are the gay victim’s life, or comfort, or rights, inherently worthier of protection than someone else’s?

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