Canadiana post #4

I enjoyed a genuinely Canadian moment earlier this evening. I attended an outdoor folk concert in the park by Paul Valdemar Horsdal, more commonly known as Valdy. The guy is pure Canadiana, a quintessential folk artist, and a great entertainer. He sang many of his most well-known and well-loved tunes: Play me a rock ‘n roll song, Yes I can, Peter and Lou; included a tribute song to Stompin Tom Connors, a Gordon Lightfoot song, some interactive folk classics, and ended off with “Come on people now smile on your brother, everybody get together. Try to love one another right now.” What a feel-good evening, spoiled by the following negative election blog post; but, the federal election campaign has begun and I must get this off my chest.

In more than three decades of voting I have voted for all four major parties, and even voted for the Rhinoceros Party once as a young adult. When voting in a federal election I consider the party, the national leader, the local candidate, and the policies and record of each. In this election the national leader of the Conservative Party has been so dominant that it trumps even fine local candidates in helping me to narrow down my choice.

Traditionally, especially in the USA but also in Canada, conservative Christians have voted for conservative politicians and parties in elections. I’d like to remind conservative voters that Harper has done absolutely nothing for their most coveted issues. He has repeatedly said that he would not open the abortion debate. It should also be noted that a motion to open the gay marriage debate was also defeated by a parliament under Harper. Here are ten reasons why conservative Christians should think twice before voting for Harper’s Conservatives.

10. Harper thinks that the economy is the most important election issue. I disagree with this as stated in Canadiana post #2. I’ll vote for policies that also look after “the least of these” not just oil barons.

9. His poor record on the environment with a long list of no-shows and non-actions when the opportunities were there. Taking care of creation is part of the biblical mandate.

8. His term in office has tended to be a one man show. What happened to teamwork and recognizing the gifts of others?

7. The senate scandal and the Mike Duffy trial; either way Harper is guilty. If he knew what was going on he is complicit in the crime and if he didn’t he is an irresponsible leader who has no idea what his people are doing.

6. He has failed to respond to any of the TRC recommendations [see posts #1 and #2 in this series]. Doing justice to those who have been oppressed is a core Christian value.

5. Really immature attack ads that poke fun at an opponent for being “just not ready.” Ironic, especially considering Harper was a similar age to Trudeau when he first came to power. Christians should encourage responsible and respectful advertising, which might be hard to find.

4. His evasive non-answers to questions prefaced by “let me be perfectly clear…”

3. The new child benefit that puts money in parents’ pockets during the election only to be taken away during the next tax season.

2. “Proroguing” parliament four times during his terms just so he could keep a stranglehold on power or get his way. Governments should act in the best interests of the populace not for their political benefit.

1. International policies that favor bombing over humanitarian aid. The traditional Canadian peacekeeping role in the world has been eroded during the last decade. As a Christian I want to vote for people who will promote life and well-being for all people. Of course, this is a big issue dealt with in numerous previous blogs but fear-based bombing campaigns have not been effective in ridding the world of terrorism; they have done the opposite. Perhaps sending parkas to Syrian refugees is not such a bad idea.