Monday, August 21, 2006

On Being Partisan

On the one hand, I think Harper is doing all sorts of harmful things to our country, and will do much worse if he gets a majority, so I feel I should do what I can to oppose him.
On the other hand, he was elected democratically, and it's healthy for the country and the Liberal party to have the Liberals out of power every once in a while.

On the one hand, the record of the last two Liberal governments, especially Chretien's, is pretty spotty in a lot of areas, and it seems sort of hypocritical to criticize Harper when Chretien was no better. Chretien specialized in promises and lip service on things like foreign aid and the environment.
On the other hand, while Chretien had his failings, he successfully tackled some key issues that Harper is not doing so well on: the economy, the deficit, resisting US pressure to help it illegally invade another country, keeping Canada together. Having a healthy economy and low deficit makes social programs possible. Plus, Paul Martin was taking bold moves on some of the things Chretien let slide, like the environment and foreign aid. Plus, while Chretien may have been a bit negligent in not moving on certain issues, Harper will/is completely reverse the direction of policy.

On the one hand, it's sort of fun to get up a self-righteous head of steam in opposing the Harper government.
On the other hand, it doesn't lead to clear or objective thinking. It may be my age, but it doesn't feel right.

###

3 comments:

Red Tory said...

Damned if you, damned if you don't.

Graeme said...

One thing that irritates me about people who are overly partisan is that they refuse to admit that (a) their party occasionally makes mistakes and bad decisions, and (b) the other parties do get it right once in a while. Kudos on being objective enough to see both sides.

Opposition MPs are the worst for this - they oppose seemingly everything that the government says and does, even for things that their party would also say or do if they were in power. I realize that it's their job to do this (and if they didn't, they'd likely be kicked out of the party), but it's still irritating.

Luke said...

There are two ways of looking at it.

Only one party can win. So, after careful research and consideration, you can pick your winner and support them absolutely despite their faults. If you are fair-minded in your representation of your party, and the other side promotes themselves without reservation, you might lose the election despite your honourable efforts.

or...

The parties can promote themselves. We should try to keep people equally informed so they can make their own choices, rather than force our choices on them. The best party for you might not be the best party for everyone. To try to convince them otherwise is not only anti-democratic, but encourages politicians to provide only spin and lip service to important issues, since their supporters follow them anyway.

Make your choice. Just be aware of the choice you're making.