It’s Election Day, Canada.

Photo from the dailyhive

Please, please, please, I beg of you, go out and vote. Don’t spoil your vote. Don’t throw your vote away. Don’t refuse to vote. Just go and vote.

People all over the world are wishing they could do the very thing we have the privilege and right to do today. People in our own country are wishing to do what we have the right and privilege to today. So please, don’t waste your chance.

Vote.

Politics from a ten year old’s perspective.

So, I’ve been hanging out with my nephew for the better part of today. At one point, whilst we were driving past his school, I mentioned that his school was the location in which we have to vote at for the upcoming federal election.

He said ‘Ah, that’s cool. On election day we’re having a mock vote at our school to see who the kids would elect!’

Thinking that sounded like a really cool idea, I pressed him for more information.

He said that every Wednesday, the local representative of each party comes to his school to speak at the assembly and allow the kids to ask them questions. Then on election day, taking the information they’ve been given, they’re going to have a mock vote within the kids at their school to see who the kids believe should be elected.

Firstly, KUDOS TO THIS SCHOOL. I think this is an amazing activity for kids to do and amazing way to make the next generation interested in politics and have them care about voting. (He just goes to a regular public school. The teachers just decided this was an initiative they wanted to take for the kids)

When I asked him who was left to come and speak he said the Liberal Party Representative and the Green Party Representative. So then I asked, based on what he’s already heard from the Representatives and what he knows form the news and from his parents (as I’m honestly not sure where my brother falls on the political spectrum… we have some wildly different beliefs in life), who would he vote for on election day?

He said ‘My first inclination when this started was to vote Conservative because they say they’re going to cut taxes a whole bunch which means I’d have more money which means I could buy more stuff!”

I laughed. I said ‘Good train of thought kiddo.”

Then he said “Yeah, but I’ve been thinking lately…”

“What have you been thinking?” I asked him.

“I’ve been thinking they might be lying about that. In which case, it’s not really going to benefit me to vote for him. I don’t like liars.”

“Why do you think they’re lying?” I asked.

“Well, their leader lied about being an Insurance Broker. And then we found out he lied about where he went to school… which is such a stupid thing to lie about because it’s school, HEELLO? And if he can lie about such stupid and small things like work and school, I really don’t know if they’re telling us the truth about anything.”

Thinking that was an incredibly mature answer to hear from a ten year old, I told him I was proud of him for considering all of the options and for taking an interest in politics.

“I’m just glad we’re not as screwed as the people in the States though. I mean, whoever gets elected, it can’t get as bad as it does down there,” he said.

“You know about American Politics, too?” I asked him.

“Yeah,” he said. “I pay attention to the news and what people say about it.”

“What’s your thoughts on American politics?” I asked him.

“Well, there’s this kid at school named Justin. Justin is really mean to all of the kids in our grade and below us. He’s taller than all of us so he tries to intimidate everyone. He’ll take your lunch money and then tell you that you have to thank him for taking it or he’ll punch you.But then he’s totally fake nice as soon as a teacher walks around. “

Confused as to why he was telling me about a kid at school, but also worried my nephew is being punched by a bigger kid I asked, “Does Justin hit you, B?”

He said “Oh, no. Justin hasn’t hit me. I just think… like… he’s mean to everyone and some people choose to be friends with him not because they like him but because they think if they’re friends with him then he’ll be less mean to them. But the rest of us, we didn’t do anything wrong and we suffer his wrath anyway. Just because we wound up in the same school as him.”

“Uh huh, so how come your telling me about Justin?” I asked.

“Well, the way I see it, Justin is a kid version of Donald Trump.”

And there you have it friends. If my ten year old nephew can understand politics this well, and be forming thoughtful, rational opinions based on what he’s been told and what he’s seen, then adults should have no excuse whatsoever as to being uninformed.

It’s more important than ever to go out and vote. Please, please, please, whatever your views are, get informed and go vote on Oct 21.

Snarky Snippet

Photo: Paul Ekman Group

***The idea for this post came from my reading of the blog Filosofa’s World. (I love her blog by the way. If you haven’t checked it out, you should)

The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada (the ‘Official Opposition’ as he refers to himself as) has been caught in a lie about what he did as a career before entering politics.

Colour me shocked. Colour me surprised. Never did I ever think that he could tell a lie. (Hey, that almost rhymed)

In true fashion of what is his personality (a pathalogical liar, in case anyone is curious), he refuses to acknowledge the lie, or apologize for continuing the lie for the past umpteen years. Instead, he’s trying to ‘spin’ the story to make it sound as though he never lied to start with. Doubling down and tripling down in an effort to bury the lead.

Sound like anyone else we know? (Possibly someone south of the border?)

In the province of Saskatchewan, you are required to pass licensing in order to be an Insurance Broker. This is a law that is in place specifically to keep citizens from getting swindled by people claiming to be Insurance Brokers who are not. For the record, it is against the law to claim to be an Insurance Broker if you have not completed licensing.

In claiming that he was an Insurance Broker when he was not, it is 1) Clearly a lie, 2) Against the law to misrepresent himself as such.

Is this a big lie? No. Is he being an idiot in his response? Absolutely. He’s single-handedly pissed off everyone who has gone through the time trouble and effort to get legal licensing to be an Insurance Broker in Saskatchewan and followed the law to maintain their right to do their job. He’s also single-handedly pissed off everyone who works as a clerk, both in the insurance industry and in other industries because his falsities carry the notion that being a clerk isn’t a reputable enough career… that he’s too good to be a clerk. In still refusing to acknowledge that he was a clerk he’s underhandedly telling the clerks in this country that they’re not good enough.

For reference, a clerk is a really good job. It’s a reliable job, it’s important work and it’s a great, steady, sturdy career.

Am I shocked that he lied? No.

Am I shocked that he refuses to apologize for such a stupid lie? No.

Do I think more lies will come out over the next 21 days prior to Canadians heading to the polls? It’s more than likely.

I’ve already shared my thoughts on the man (here). What I will say at this point is, if he’s willing to lie about something so little and so stupid, and refuses to acknowledge this lie (or apologize), imagine what the sheer extent of possibilities he could lie about if elected?

I’ll leave it there.

The upcoming Canadian Election

Photo from The National Post

I’m going to talk, at length, about Politics. I am hesitant to talk about Politics because I understand that it’s an extremely divisive topic, but there are some things I feel I need to say.

First and foremost, I am choosing to not name any individual politicians in this post because I do not wish for this post to come across as hate filled. I just want to have an open and honest discussion about how I feel about the present state of Canadian politics. There is no hate here, just cause for alarm.

I consider myself to be very Liberal in nature. It’s who I am and what I believe, it’s the party I most align with. I do not agree with everything the Liberal party of Canada does, but, I understand that in life, you’re not going to agree with everyone 100% of the time and I still very much believe in the platform and policies they present.

Presently, in Canada, the media is playing the upcoming election out to be a neck-and-neck race between the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. (If you’re not Canadian, these two are basically the equivalent of Democratic and Republican)

The individual running for the Conservative Party is, in my personal opinion, a scary dude. I say that he’s scary because he’s someone who can look you square in the eye, lie directly to your face and laugh about it after the fact. I believe that he’s under the impression he’s got the country fooled and that this election is ‘in the bag’ for him. His campaign is filled with bullying rhetoric, he doesn’t seem to have any plans or policies… at least none that he’s going to allow the Canadian public to hear before the election. Furthermore, every time he opens his mouth, it’s not to say something productive, but rather, to say something he believes to be bad about our current Prime Minister.

Canadian’s are not immune to this. We understand in politics there are certain parties and people who run on bullying campaigns (Exhibit A: The current President of the United States). We understand how this world works and, for the most part, I hope that his negative/hatred spewed, filled with lies, rhetoric towards the Prime Minister is seen for exactly what it is. This particular man has done a lot of alarming things over the course of his career, not only just during this election period.

This man is vehemently against the LGBTQ2 community. He’s not willing to admit to this on the campaign trail, regardless of how many times reporters have asked him about this, but he has been on record in the past (on video) campaigning against giving Lesbian and Gay individuals the right to marry, comparing their relationships to ‘the tail of a dog’.

I want to know how someone thinks that he can stand up for all Canadians when there’s such a large population of our country who’s very indentities he refuses to acknowledge.

One of this man’s constituents, someone running in the riding of Airdrie, Alberta has recently posted some alarming videos to twitter to proclaim that, regardless of your Citizenship, if you’ve not lived in Canada for five or more, you don’t deserve the right to vote. He also says that if you don’t hold a valid Canadian government issued ID, you don’t deserve the right to vote.

This is alarming to me, for a lot of reasons. My brother, a Canadian citizen who lived in Canada up until he was 22 years old, has lived in Denmark since 2012. He’s still a Canadian citizen. He still cares about what happens in this country. He still spends his two week’s holiday here every year. He still donates to charities here. He still considers Canada his home. He still holds a Canadian passport. Why? Because he’s Canadian. He may be choosing to live in the country in which his child is being raised, but he is still Canadian. By this man’s opinion, because my brother has lived in Denmark since 2012, he doesn’t deserve the right to vote?

This could affect so very many people. There are people living and working in Hollywood who still consider Canada to be their home. They don’t deserve the right to vote? There are people who are teaching at Universities internationally, who’ve retired internationally as a means to make their money stretch farther, there a million reasons under the sun why someone might have not lived in Canada for five years. That doesn’t mean they don’t care about what happens in this country. So why should their right to vote be stripped, despite the fact that they are now, and will forever be Canadian citizens who hold Canadian passports?

To the second point of the video the man of the Airdrie riding made, that you shouldn’t be able to vote if you do not have a government issued ID, this just isn’t fair. There are so many people in this country who do not hold a valid ID. This is not to single out any particular portion of the population for any reason on than examples sake, but something I ran into a lot with my last job was that people who live on Reserves often don’t have ID. Why? Because they were born, raised and have lived in a two block radius their whole lives. They don’t get on planes, they don’t get on trains, they don’t own their homes (their homes are owned by the Band), and a lot of them don’t even get the adequate medical attention they deserve. They can go their whole lives without needing or having an ID that would be required by this man to vote. They’re still human. They’re still Canadian. They still care what happens in this country. This isn’t just a Canadian problem. This is something that happens all over the world. It’s something that John Oliver pointed out as a specific issue the United States had in the last election.

One could argue that, if these people without IDs want to vote, they should go out and get an ID. Well yes, I guess you could get them all an ID. But it’s not that simple of a process. If you don’t own a home, because it’s owned by the Band, then you don’t pay bills for that home. If you don’t pay bills, then the only thing that the government has for proof of residence is Band Records. Band records being something that the government has accepted for decades, because of the very reasons I’ve listed above. So if all of these people need to jump through legal hoops to get an ID, are you (Mr. Airdrie riding) going to help them do that in the next 30-some-odd days? That’s what I thought. You don’t want them to vote.

Another piece to this election I find alarming comes from one of the constituents running for the Conservative party in the Burnaby North Seymour. This individual posted a photo their Facebook page of Rick Mercer. The photo has a quote on it, that is attributed to Rick Mercer on the photo making it look as though he’s telling Canadians to ‘Vote Conservative’. Rick Mercer is a widely popular TV personality in Canada, an openly gay man and a man who is openly critical of the Conservative Party and what they stand for. Never in my life to I believe that he would be telling Canadian’s to ‘Vote Conservative’ like this photo suggested. He pointed out this fact on his twitter page when he vehemently rejected the photo on it’s face and stated he was reaching out to the Conservative party to ensure his photo and name are not used on their behalf ever again.

The thing is, Conservatives are banking on people being uninformed. They’re banking on people not knowing that a photo and quote like this are fake. Because uninformed people won’t take a second look, they won’t investigate. Conservatives are banking on people just believing what this photo says. It doesn’t matter if it was up for ten minutes, ten hours or forty days, the fact that it went up at all is widely deceptive and showcases a very alarming side to the Conservative party.

I really don’t know what is going to happen on October 21st. I sincerely hope that Canadians do not elect the Conservative party for federal government. I sincerely hope that we’re not about to send our Politics, way of life and position on the world stage backwards. I sincerely hope we’re not planning on making the wealthy wealthier and the middle class weaker. But, I don’t know. I see a lot of hate being spewed on places like my television, Instagram and Twitter accounts towards the Liberal party. And I get it, people are frustrated, but I just want Canadians to remember that not everything you see is always the truth.

I also want Canadians to remember that you don’t have to agree with 100% of what a party does to vote for them.

Whichever way that Canadians choose to vote, I respect that. I sincerely do. I just hope that they make an informed decision and don’t necessarily believe things being presented to them as true when they’re so blatantly not.

I respect the political positioning of everyone and I respect their right to vote for whomever they please. I respect differing opinions and I respect people who are willing to share their opinions in an open, respectful discussion. There is no room for hatred in Canada, in Canadian politics, nor on this blog. So if your opinion differs from mine, and you would like to share, feel free to do so, just keep it… kind.