Monday, November 08, 2010

Post civic election report

Over the course of Calgary's just concluded civic election campaign, I have had several friends scold me for being too open, too personal about my political views regarding the candidates.

I listened while they spewed clich├ęs and stereotypes about one person or another and deride my choice of candidates, even suggesting (erroneously) why I was choosing that candidate, icing the discussion with the claim that now that I had let the genie out of the bottle, I must suffer their political wrath. That will teach me to be open and honest and personal about my politics.

Never have I heard a more ridiculous assertion. Since when did politics become a taboo subject? We live in a democracy. Since we have the freedom to choose the people we elect to govern us, if follows that we also have the right to discuss issues that are important to us and how various elected members and those who want to be elected measure up.

I think I took a few of these well meaning friends off guard when I encouraged them to get more involved in the process. I think they expected me to sheepishly back down about my ideas and personal feelings. If that's the case, some people don't know me very well. I love a good discussion and I especially love a good political discussion.

I have had similar debates in my past with pro-separatist folks (meaning people who support politicians who have pro-separation views). I was often amused by the fact that while they stood by their nationalist stance, if you confronted them and asked if they could explain their position in more detail, they would play the 'I don't think it's appropriate to talk about politics' card. I would then argue that the only way anyone gets to hear all sides of the issues that are important to them is when we talk about them. Out in the open. Not just with people who agree with us, but especially with people who do not.

Because there's always a chance, albeit a small one [wink], that what we think about a certain issue or political philosophy, or party, or politician, or policy - is wrong.

1 comment:

Bernie May said...

I too wish there was more intelligent political discourse. Alas, most people when provoked, er, prodded are unable to defend their assertions with anything approaching reason or fact. Rather they fall on the lazy brained crutch of repeating without critical thinking what they've heard "them" say. It's discouraging.