With the Province of Alberta going to the polls on April 23, the rhetoric is resounding as usual and even though this blog goes around the world, I decided to address a local issue that involves everyone on the planet…prejudice in politics!
What prompted this observation were two candidates for a relatively new and definitely unknown political party in Alberta called Wildrose. For a bit of background, Alberta has always been viewed in Canada as Conservative with big C. That idea is rooted in the significant religious history of Alberta with the belief being (and this is universal) that right-wing politics believes in limited government allowing people to have their own ideas but I see that as pretty hypocritical in that organized religion loves to tell you how to live and is seriously judgmental. Politics being what it is means the right-wing moves left to include more people in the voting pool and subtle shifts over time have made todays Conservatives a tad too left wing for some; thus the Wildrose. The idea of change is appealing to many Albertans as the Conservatives have been in power for over forty years and frankly, the ruling party has become quite arrogant. I will disclose for you here that I tend to be Conservative politically even having run for the party in the Saskatchewan provincial election in 1986. In 2012, I have expanded my belief system to include more Liberal beliefs as well. In fact, I have no idea who I will vote for but I will exercise my right and cast a ballot. What I will tell you is as much as I think a change would be good, the unkown element of this new party makes me nervous. Their leader, Danielle Smith is not an issue as she appears to be a good leader, well spoken with lots of positive energy. Some of her candidates are focusing a spotlight on a bigger issue.
Over the weekend, two Wildrose wannabees put their feet in their perspective mouths with what they argue were misinterpreted statements. First, Allan Hunsperger, running in Edmonton, was questioned about a blog where he accused the Public School Board of being godless and wicked blaming its policy of welcoming and accepting gay students and added his categorical refusal to acknowledge gay marriage as well.
The next was a Calgary candidate, Ron Leech, who in a radio interview was quoted saying he believes that being Caucasian means he can speak for all his constituents where ethnic candidates like Sikhs and Muslims only speak for thier communities…yikes! Here is the scary part; both these men are pastors! I realize that everyone is entitled to their opinion and being pastors seems to give them more of a license to state their beliefs based on some antiquated moral code. However, that is the point exactly. Whether or not they are pastors, they should check out the new millenium. I believe that sexual orientation is a non-issue anymore. I would hope that all the new information might enlighten more folks than it has but what is particularly offensive is religion is supposed to be about tolerance and acceeptance. Mr. Leech is doing his best to assume the role of old fart white guy with his head in the fifites! Wake up kids…it is 2012!
My wife and I watched the movie, The Help last night and if you have not seen it, do. It is an uncomfortable movie as it addresses the radical prejudice of, in this case, Mississippi in the fifities and sixties as related to maids for snobby white debutantes who clearly believe their crap does not smell. Sure, it is a movie based on a fictional book but we all know that discussions of race at that time resulted in countless deaths including Medger Evers and the obvious Martin Luther King. Is it just me or is it not INSANE to judge people by race alone. I realize not all of us are enlightened and of course, many would disagree with me but how about getting with the program that change is essential to our adcancement as a society and I seriously doubt that gay marriage is going to destroy the precious religious tradition supposedly reserved for a man and a woman, an institution that now boasts a divorce rate of 57%!
I do, of course, realize that we must not allow anarchy and our governments are an integral element of social order. I also applaud anyone involved in public service, especially those who run for elections. I am also not an atheist but in my church, which I call The Religion of Humanity, everyone is deserving of respect and honour, as long as they apply the most basic rule…The Golden One. It is funny that with all the debate and intellectual chess, at the end of the day, just treat people like you want to be treated and the rest will take care of itself. Oh, and one more we are taught early…Make sure the brain is engaged before opening your mouth!
If you live in Aberta, remember to vote on Monday and remember the old saying…no vote, no say!