I don't often write about politics, but last night, I watched my country go to shit in the hands of "our" version of George W. Bush. A severely-right-winged nutter has just been re-elected as Prime Minister, but this time, with a majority government (meaning he can actually do stuff at will).
Canadian politics are probably just as confusing as that damn electoral college vote in the US, but I'll explain in one sentence how elections work, taken from a friend of mine explaining it to an American: "Take a scare crow out of a cornfield, stick a bad wig on him, and apparently Canada will elect him."
The thing that pisses me off more than the actual win is the dreary below-50% of people who actually voted. There were major campaigns to inspire young people to vote, but they did not work. We just... lost it to the generations that want multi-billion dollar fighter jets over health and childcare. Tax cuts for the rich and social services funding taken from the poor. Although Harper promised not to open the issue, I will bet all of my hard-earned money that the abortion laws are about to change.
It scares me. It scares me because, three years ago, I watched my neighbours to the south elect a man who promised change, who had some colour (literally and figuratively), and who seemed to fit the people, and as a result, their country has made leaps and bounds since being under Bush's rule. I am certainly not an expert on Obama - I know some of his policies are not ideal, and I know presently there is a lot of criticism with bin Laden's death - but in general, he seems like a pretty cool dude. At the very least, he installed hope in a country that had none, and that's a pretty damn good "least".
I am married to a woman, want to start a family, and have a chronic illness. I need to feel safe in my same-sex marriage laws, confident in knowing there are resources for my future child, and have accessible health care. Like, really, really accessible health care. I feel completely helpless and unsupported by my country. And that sucks.
Because Canada has the possibility of being something so great. And yesterday, we fell short.
If we only cared about our politics the way we do about our hockey... then things would change.
[image source: Veterans Today]