Rosemary Ganley The Peterborough Examiner August 19, 2021
Here we are into Election 44. Ready or not.
If you are still in summer mode, I hereby offer to watch and ponder and write at least three columns on it, as it proceeds. So you will know this local voice is active.
First off, I have to make sure my sources are reliable. For the ones with bias, I will ferret it out and identify them and still read them. The ones I will avoid utterly are the “Trudeau-haters.” Or haters of any stripe.
The fairest sources will be the think tanks, though they, too, lean left or right. For “FactCheckFridays,” I’m planning to go to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, site (www.ccpa.org), longtime analysts I’ve supported with small donations and never been disappointed by.
CCPA is known for evidence-based, non-partisan commentary. Contrary to claims that this election is vague and unnecessary, it is obvious that we Canadians have a lot of huge issues to sort out, decide on and commit resources to. Climate reckoning is one. Inequalities, which become glaring during the pandemic, are these; racial, income and Indigenous.
I’d say it’s a good time to try to interpret what has just happened to us, and to plot a different future. To let the people speak as clearly as possible. Elections are educational happenings, as we sort through the facts and make some choices.
I’ve also signed up for the Broadbent Institute as a long admirer of Ed Broadbent, the Canadian politician of the past. I know the Globe and Mail newspaper and CTV are Conservative. I know the Toronto Star is Liberal-leaning. I’ll read both. But won’t stoop to the Sun.
I’ll examine the campaign in Peterborough-Kawartha with a clear penchant for the sitting member. Think of her strength these days. She is Afghan-born and a feminist. How much pain does she personally feel today, as Kabul is surrounded by the Taliban and its well-known belief in suppressing women and girls? She convened a recent meeting of cabinet and Afghan-Canadian leaders to discuss aid, all in the middle of a pandemic.
A tremendous worker, she has been given two ministries to lead. Both are thriving and have delivered many goods.
I don’t think any of us is wildly enthusiastic about going the polls on Sept. 20 but it is a relatively short campaign (compared to those in the U.S.). The differences among the different candidates and platforms are becoming clear. Many voters want to express themselves this year, and will use the mail in option.
We should consider, too, donating to the party and person of our choice. It is not to garner any influence anywhere, but to participate in the costs of living in a cherished democracy, and hoping it endures.
I plan to donate small amount to three parties, showing I value their existence. (We see the awful polarization in the society to our south where there are only two parties). I value their candidates jumping in. I am happy the NDP exists, and advances social welfare policies, many of which the Liberals then institute. National daycare is one such example. The NDP plays the role of “feet to the fire” to the governing party.
I see already the NDP is campaigning mainly on “tax the rich.” I personally am middle-class, as are the majority of Canadians, and I’d sure like to see the superwealthy, among whom I have no desire to live, pay more. Say, 1 percent on their every $10 million. But if we get into the rhetoric of class, and attack the rich we don’t get very far in unifying this diverse country.
My initial advice is take a deep breath, resolve to get involved, discuss reasonably, and keep the sense of humour that all truly serious matters demand.
"Gleanings" is Rosemary Ganley's new book. You can purchase directly from the author at firstname.lastname@example.org or from >Amazon<