Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hot Election Issues: are Canadians compromising too much?

While our political leaders visit town halls and craft encouraging partisan speeches, the news reports on high long-term unemployment rates, household debt at 150% of income, and increased cost of living. I am thinking if our political leaders actually cared about Canadians as they state, they would not be on campaign trails preaching change and attacking rivals with ideological discourse.

Focusing on learning passports, job creation, health care, and relatively strong economy, our politicians are painting their parties with hot issues. But as a Canadian whose lives revolve much more than mere economics, education, and healthcare, do you feel that by placing your vote on the one hot issues that matters most you are somehow compromising too much?

As we are dynamic beings constantly changing within a constantly changing world, a more comprehensive approach to politics would be smarter politics. Our leaders are not only breaking Canada into partisan fractions through constant attacks and meaningless accusations, but they are breaking Canadians’ lives into hot issues on which we weigh our votes.

Where would I rather see our political leaders today?

I don’t want Ignatieff and Harper taking turns wowing Canadians in Brampton with their respective partisan rhetoric. I do not want to see Layton encouraging his crowd at the Thunder Bay town hall to chant “down with Harper”.

Canadians are experiencing concrete needs right here, right now. Abstract rhetoric of honorable promises is nothing more than that: abstract rhetoric.

What I think we fundamentally need is for our leaders to realize that there are real needs, daily needs as Canadians go to the grocery store knowing that should they purchase what their kids are whining for they might not have enough money to purchase nutritious food. Real Canadians are now at home, unemployed, constantly searching for jobs. Real Canadians are graduating now not knowing how they will be paying their student loans without a job to step into next month. Real Canadians are now losing their homes as feeding their children and keeping their homes warm have prevented parents from being able to afford their mortgage.

Yes, our leaders are addressing these issues, but on their own and one issue at a time. So, at this point, we are stuck listening to their promises wondering which of these candidates actually mean what they claim. Can you tell for sure who will keep their promises within the timeline Canadian have until they become homeless?

What I want to see is our leaders addressing all these urgent issues together. All candidates have been raised to this potential position for a reason. Thus, if they are all capable to lead a nation, why not sit down and help Canadians by working together.

I wish all leaders would gather and debate, and brainstorm, and engage with each other as concerned leaders. No, partisanship is not too tall a wall if candidates consider themselves human beings before politicians. Canadians need them to make a sacrifice and set their partisan stubbornness and pride aside. Although some issues would be approached from mutually exclusive perspectives, where there is the possibility of a common ground for some of our economic and social problems, they need to start working together. A lot of vulnerable Canadians just cannot wait for this political charade to end.

Is one party really above others? When there are urgent needs to be addressed, partisanship games do not only withdraw available resources from where they might fundamentally be required, they forget the real material conditions of Canadians whose lives are shaped by the resolution of these very same games.

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