Election Day Blues

It's election day here in Canada. 

It's Joni today. Here's the thing. I love voting. I love researching what the different parties are thinking in regards to the election issues that matter to me. I love political debate. At least I used to. Something has changed lately here in the great white north. What used to be fun and spirited conversations now have a tendency to get personal and cruel.

We live in a part of Canada that I don't align with politically. The fact that my "team" rarely seems to come out on top has actually never bothered me too much. I believe in the gift of democracy. I believe that we can all have differing opinions and still be friends and close family. I don't think that we all have to agree. In fact, it's better that we don't. I will admit that I can get kind of blind to other issues when I feel that something I believe in deeply is at risk. Political discourse reminds me that there are other issues out there that are the reason that others vote the way that they do. And I am grateful for that reminder. This type of discussion is rare now. It seems the ability to agree to disagree has disappeared. 

Now if I dare to have an opinion other than what is popular I am told that I am wrong. I am condescended to. I have no problems listening to others tell me why they support one party or why they chose the leader they chose. In fact, I welcome it. Having someone share their beliefs with me is another way for me to get to know them. 

However, being disrespected because I dare to have a different viewpoint, or because a different issue means more to me is not the spirit of democracy and not the spirit of this Country. 

Let's bring back respectful discourse. Not just politically but for life in general. When I was in college I learned the word Namaste. The spirit of the word is that the divine in me recognizes the divine in you. I took it to mean that regardless of whatever else is going on we can see the good in the person we are talking to and respect them as we would have them respect us. The current environment is definitely not a healthy one. And perhaps the last thing we needed right now was a polarizing election. But, that is what is happening, and continuing to treat each other without humanity or kindness is not going to get us where we need to be. 

Try to remember that we are all in this together. Having a different opinion doesn't make anyone necessarily wrong. Except for the people protesting at hospitals they are wrong. More on that later though. 

Get out and vote! If you have enough passion to post a meme on Facebook about how much you hate a leader, a party, or a platform have the guts to back that up by voting. Remember if you don't vote, you don't get to whine about who gets voted in. 

Here is a helpful website if you aren't sure who to vote for: https://votecompass.cbc.ca/canada

Follow this link to learn how and where to vote: Elections Canada

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