Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Four more years

I have to admit, at first I didn’t pay as much attention as I usually do to the US elections this year because frankly, at the beginning, it seemed like a no-brainer for me.  Of course they would choose Obama over Romney, no contest.

Then, as things went on I honestly started to get more and more worried.  While one side of me was realizing that Romney may actually have a chance at winning, the other side kept saying, no way, they can’t possibly be considering this.

I admit, Romney has his good points, much like our own Stephen Harper, he’s good with money.  As much as I dislike the Conservatives here in Canada, I have no shame in admitting that Harper was the best choice to get us through the financial crisis.  The main difference is that in Canada, we are very attached to our individual rights, and no matter how much someone in power may want to, public opinion isn’t going to let them take any rights away once we have them.  It’s just the way we are, once we have fought for and won a particular right/freedom, it’s unthinkable for us that someone would take it back.

I guess you could say that I am very Canadian, though on my mother’s side, I am first generation Canadian.  You see, my mom is American, even though she has been living in Canada for over 30 years, she is proudly American and has never gone for a change in citizenship.  Her family is from the Bible belt, and even has a few soldiers in the US army.  I grew up knowing that I always had the option of moving to the states, and of becoming American, and my uncle still tries to convince me.  Alas, I am Canadian.

I completely agree that the economy is a priority in any country, and I sure love being in a thriving economy where my work opportunities are plentiful. In politics, as in life, I am a very liberal person.  I believe that as long as you’re not intentionally harming anyone, do what you want.  I don’t presume to know what other people should or should not do with their lives, and I greatly appreciate when people accord me the same respect.    

That being said, personally, if I have the choice of having a government that is so-so with money, but will uphold my individual rights and freedoms, and a government that is great with money, but will try and intrude into my personal family life, I choose the first, no hesitation.

Maybe it’s because I believe that it’s those basic freedoms that allow for me, as a woman, to have any sort of financial say in my life.  It’s the very basic rights that previous generations had to fight for, like voting, working, access to education, and reproductive choice that have allowed me to be an independent working woman at all.  Take all of those away and we go back to being stay at home baby machines, and frankly, what does a stay at home baby machine care if the government is in a deficit or not.

They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely; I say it goes a step further, with increasing degrees of power; you get increasing degrees of corruption.  All governments are made up of many human beings, and not all human beings are immune to corruption.  This does not make them evil people necessarily, because we don’t know what led them to their corruption.   They could be power hungry greedy people by nature as easily as they could have an extreme situation in their lives that caused them to accept a bribe « just this once ».  My point is that no government is 100% free of corruption, whether that be financial, moral or another kind, and if I have to choose between a government that is going to cost me financially, or one that is going to cost me the right to choose how I live my life, the choice is an easy one for me.  That was the choice I made during our elections.

So I had a lot of trouble wrapping my head around the idea that some Americans would put money so far ahead of basic rights on the priority scale.  How could anyone, especially a woman, want to put people who believe that there are different levels of severity in something like rape.  I know that I could never consider voting for someone who straight out tells me that they know better than me what is best for my body, life and family.  How can someone who doesn’t even know me or what I’ve lived through possible be allowed to define whether or not my family is a valid one.

One of our pas Prime minister’s, Pierre Trudeau, once said « there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation", adding that "what's done in private between adults doesn't concern the Criminal Code"  He was referring to homosexuality, but I think that it pretty much sums it up.  Government is there to decide on the big issues, economy, industry, foreign policy, war, etc.  There is no place for government to decide what goes on in my home, or how my family is composed, or what I, as a responsible adult, decide to do with my body.

And I am beyond relieved that enough Americans agree, and that none of our American sisters will have to watch the rights our grandmother’s fought for get taken away.

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