Don’t waste your vote

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Next Monday’s federal election may be one of the most important of this generation.

The past decade has seen a polarization of Canadian politics unlike anything seen in a lifetime or more.

Chatham Mazda from Chatham Voice on Vimeo.

The one constant in Canadian politics in that time has been the Conservative government of Stephen Harper.

As he has taken his party to the right, Canada’s other major parties have appeared to have drifted to the left without, in fact, moving much at all.

That polarization is mirrored in the public image of the prime minister. He is loved by the party faithful and largely despised by those outside it.

As political philosophies become polarized, common ground shrinks, leaving the nation, once sure of its values, questioning what it is we want to be.

That, in turn, has led to a climate of fear and distrust. We no longer have Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats. In “polite” conversation, we have Fibs, Dips and Cons.

The terms “righty” and “lefty” are regularly used, with a sneer, to discredit other opinions.

We’d like to tar the political parties with the blame for this, but in reality the fault lies with Canadians. As long as the politics of division work, parties will use them.

It’s our job as voters to tell them we’ve had enough of their attempt to manipulate us, mislead us and divide us.

We’re Canadians first, not political party members. That type of thinking leads to a totalitarian society where loyalty to the leader exceeds loyalty to the country.

No man or woman, regardless of experience or lack thereof, is greater than the sum of our society.

No one leader can protect us, save us or take care of us.

We’re quite capable of that. We just want someone to operate the government, not run our lives.

When you vote, and frankly you should be ashamed of yourself if you don’t, do so for the candidate who has the best vision for the kind of Canada you want.

All the rest is organic fertilizer.

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