By: Bonnie Wurst – mtltimes.ca
Change has come to our country loud and clear, after a very long and winding election-campaign road. For 78 days emotions, passion and rhetoric flew high throughout the nation. It came from everywhere. It came from the Left, Right and Center Wings – and every leaning, fluttering wing in between. It came in Party colors of Blue, Orange, Red and Green. It divided some of us by language, culture, religion, age and the upper and lower classes. Well, there is a new Prime Minister on Parliament Hill – and his first real mandate will be to bridge the divisions. He certainly has his work cut out for him.
At first I was dismayed by what I was hearing, reading and seeing from my fellow Canadians. The anger behind the convictions of some people was almost palpable. Was this my country?
On social media there were those who were posting videos, news articles and information to substantiate their sentiments at every chance they could – but the sad part is the majority of these posts were not based on the truth – or the full truth. It was clear many did not even read through the very articles they posted, nor did they bother to do any real research. In many cases a simple headline was enough to inspire people to re-post an article that often contradicted the very beliefs they were shouting out about.
Several candidates posted links to articles about hot issues that actually came from sham online news sites, well known for their satirical content and hoaxes. Propaganda also ran high – so high, I began to wonder if the potential leaders of our country were secretly smoking the big doobies behind closed doors. BC delivers if you have a prescription.
Debates were held on TV and the internet – but also on the streets, in the workplace and in our communities. Between constituents, whether they were co-workers, neighbors, family or friends – the conversations and debates I witnessed or participated in, at least took on an air of civility and intelligent discussion. Most of the time. Other times, ignorance led the way and there were some very heated arguments – some becoming quite irrational and aggressive. I found it very disheartening. But it was the Party Leader debates, shrouded in controversy from the start, which discouraged me the most.
High school debating teams would have performed better. They would have replied directly to the questions asked and not refer to a carefully crafted script. They would have let the other finish speaking and not cut each other off in mid-sentence. It was like an elementary schoolyard fight through the whole thing. Interestingly enough, the youngest of them all proved to be the most mature. And he won the country.
Important questions that were asked often came with answers so ineffectual it was like they were undermining our intelligence, as if we were ignorant and couldn’t understand the basic concepts. Are we? No, we are certainly not.
What we are is passionate, as passionate as Canadians have always been – and we are not stupid. We stand by our values and beliefs, individually and collectively. The beautiful thing is, when we are not motivated by fear, we show respect, we listen and we often learn. But when fear is the underlying motivation, especially when a core belief is challenged, and challenged in an intelligent, well informed way – some of us lose touch with ourselves and protective demons come out that cloud and close minds.
But in the end, when the dust settles, the rifts and divisions created during this election will heal and we will come together again. Like a Habs game – whether Left, Right, Center or skating in between, fans unite as one. Olé Olé! It is simply the Canadian way.
I hope for a strong Canada once again – and leaders who will not only address present issues, but make decisions and policies which also think to the future, so the generations to come don’t find themselves in the economic, environmental, health, education, religion, cultural and arts quagmire we find ourselves in today.
Oh! And Canada, did I tell you lately… that I love you. XO
Bonnie Wurst is a reporter, a weekly columnist and feature writer for the Montreal Times newspaper. She is a novelist, ghost writer (not the scary kind) and humorist. Her book “Damaged Goods Re-Stitched” can be found on Amazon.com. For ‘HUMOR SOUP FOR THE SOUL’ speaking engagements & workshops, please contact her at email@example.com