Thursday, September 25, 2008

From there to here

I believe it is important for readers to know the background from which I draw my opinions. So here goes.

I have lived in the heart of Conservative country my entire life. By this I mean that I have lived in what are now either the federal ridings of Calgary Centre or Calgary Southwest. (Yes, Stephen Harper is my MP. At one point I was represented my Harper/Manning and Ralph Klein. Lucky me.). My parents are both live long Conservatives and I took up the torch once I turned 18. One aspect that should not be understated is that the PC leaders at the time, Robert Stanfield and Joe Clark, were proud Canadians who would in the end put Canada ahead of party. Being a PC was not always synonymous with evil.

I voted for Mulroney twice. The second time because I believed in the FTA and I believed that replacing the Manufacturers Sales Tax was important for the economy.

Come 1993 and Kim Campbell was our first female Prime Minister. I thought she deserved a shot. And I still had some unresolved antipathy towards the Liberal Party due to the NEP. In addition, Preston Manning was running in Calgary Southwest (and would be elected). I was aware of Mr. Manning and I went to school with members of his extended family. I respect his integrity. I do not agree with his politics. So he was out. It came down to Bobby Sparrow with the PCs and the Liberal.

The deciding factor was a door knocking visit. Bobby made one. And that was the last time I voted PC.

The next election I could not vote for the PC candidate due to several controversial aspects to her background. Since Manning was still out, that left the Liberal.

I went and I voted and the Liberal lost. But the sun came up the next morning. After that I was able to listen to what the parties were saying and look past the labels. And interesting things ,to me at least, happened.

I went on a trip to Scotland, the country my parents emigrated from. I realized that although I had a wonderful time and my relatives were great I was a Canadian. The love, pride and respect that my parents had instilled in my Scottish heritage was important but I am not a Scottish Canadian. I am a Canadian. Canada is where I will live. I have a vested reason in seeing that this remains the best country in the world.

I found that the Liberals represented more of my world view. I had fallen in love and married a wonderful woman from T.O. Through visits to her relatives in Cape Breton I traveled throughout the Maritimes. I had read a wider range of the history of Canada. There is much to be proud of in our history and it is not boring. The history of a people who have found a way to live together peacefully and reach out to the world is anything but boring.

And I have been finding that as I get older I become more liberal. I read as much as life allows. Reading on a wide range of topics leads people with an open mind to realize that current conservative philosophies are ridiculous rationalizations of the rich get richer and the strong get stronger.

Why is this important? Why did you read through this? I believe that a lot of Albertans vote Conservative reflexively. I hear Albertans say how uncomfortable they are with Conservative positions. I refuse to believe that so many of the good people I know that vote for Rob Anders and Steven Harper believe that they reflect there views. There has to be a way to get them to travel a similar journey to the one I have. We need to get them moving in that direction.Recommend this Post

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