|Kevin M Klerks||
It is anti-democratic perhaps, but I believe every Citizen, not resident, Citizen, should be issues a Canadian Citizenship Voter Photo Identification Card, AND, I believe that voting should be mandatory even if you vote ‘Abstained’.
Everyone goes on and on about democracy and freedom yet do little to uphold those rights they enjoy daily. I was one of those people, for reasons I will outline below, who did not vote in every election, but not anymore. Now, I will vote and vote and vote again!
Let’s look at a few of these terms I am tossing around, in particular democracy and my participation in my right to vote.
A “democracy”, which means to “rule by the people” was first used by the Greeks of ancient Athens to describe their city-state’s system of self-rule. Their society peaked around 430 BC under the politician and skilled orator Pericles. Pericles was born of the noble family Alcmaeonidae. It was through connections made by his mother, Agariste, that Pericles entered the political realm. Pericles promoted his populist socialist policy following the ostracizing of his political opponent Cimon. Peracles sought for the expansion and stabilization of democratic institutions and did so through war and conquest.
A democracy, defined by Wikipedia, is a “system of government by the whole populations or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives”. In other words, to have a democracy our government representatives must be elected, this is achieved through voting in elections.
The “right to vote” in Canada has been a long process spanning most of its early development as a nation. In pre-Confederation times the right to vote was first extended to property owners only, this condition was later removed. It is interesting to note that women had the ability to regularly vote in Canada from 1791 to 1849 and there are reports of women voting in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
The Canadian Encyclopedia states that “a few women have also been identified as voters” including “at least 27 Mohawk women” who cast ballots in an 1825 election. Some “Catholic, Protestant and Jewish women with property voted in early Quebec elections”.
It was in 1843 with the insertion of the word “male” into law that New Brunswick differentiated between “male” and “female” and denied women the right to vote, idealizing that women were the guarantors of cultural survival and therefore had no place in a political life. It was the clear legal distinction between “men” and “women” (much like what we have today) that led to the removal of women’s rights to vote or participate in politics in a couple provinces.
In the other parts of Canada women were not allowed to vote until the women’s suffrage movement which granted women the right to vote and participate in politics in 1900 with the first victory to vote in a provincial election, in Manitoba, in 1916. Quebec was the last province to grant women the right to vote, in 1940 followed by the North-West Territories in 1951.
It took me about a week to do all the chronology on my life. No one says when you are 16 “hey you might want to start writing down everything you do because at 47 you will want to look back on it to write a blog article”.
When I was sixteen, we didn’t even have “blogs”. I remember in grade seven and eight we would have assigned “diary writing” as part of our creative writing class. This involved writing about the days’ activities, or, the all important first entry “what I did during my summer”. The diary would be placed in a stack on the teacher’s desk, and, after the teacher had left the room the troublemakers would go up and start reading through aloud everyone’s private thoughts. I knew this happened so my entries would be short and lacking much personal detail, I guess you could call that one of my first experiences with ‘self-imposed censorship’.
I can still, to this day, remember some of the things I wrote about. A visit to a friend’s grandparents’ cabin (which, I initially did not write about but my mother corrected me on it when she asked what I did in school that day, so I had to write something about it the next day) and the downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007 that was shot down by the Russians in 1983 (I was 12).
Okay, back to voting. I was able to track down through memory all of the times I believe I voted in an election. I was legally allowed to vote in 1989, as a Canadian male citizen having achieved the age of maturity, age 18. The first election I voted in was in 1993. I voted for the Progressive Conservatives. It was not because I really knew what they stood for but instead I remembered watching a politician by the name of Larry Grossman on television back in the 80s and I liked the guy. I knew “Liberals were evil”, probably because of the whole Chretien-speech mocking I had heard. So, I guess, voting Progressive Conservative, I voted for a female Prime Minister. Too bad it was another decade before I learned just what a terrible joke Kim Campbell turned out to be. Murray Cardiff was our local MP back then, he lost to Paul Steckle, a Liberal, in 1993, by 8,000 votes.
The next election, also while I was living in Ontario, was not until 2006. From 1994 to 2003 I had moved to Ohio, where as a Canadian citizen, I married an American woman. I am not going to go into that right now, you can read about my previous entry called something like ‘Victim of Divorce’. I remember that while living in Brampton in the early 90s I had the idea in my head I wanted to start my own political party. I would call it “Party 16”, since Canada had 15 political parties jockeying for a position in the 1993 election many of which had candidates in Peel region.
In 2006 I had quite the expanded view of politics, living through the Clinton and Bush Jr years firsthand, and, of course, 9/11 (also a previous blog entry). What I saw had pretty thoroughly disgusted me and when I returned to Canada in 2003 I had very little interest in either the PC’s or the Liberals. The NDP were losers back then, not quite as much as they are today, but no one voted NDP unless you supported Layton and his war on the unions (back then Unions were good). In 2006 I voted for our Independent candidate, whoever that was, and again in 2008. I had no desire to vote for Larry Miller, Conservative, he was controversial, from Grey County (not Bruce where I lived) and worst of all, the same party that brought us Mulroney and Campbell.
I did, however, have a passion for politics and, in 2006, I was the first person to submit my nomination application to run in the Municipality of Kincardine municipal election as a “candidate at large” in their new hybrid system. The system voted on by referendum was a combination of candidates representing specific “wards” and others “at large”. It was their way of trying to bring better representation to those constituents living outside of the developed areas of Kincardine and Tiverton.
At the time I was working for a local retailer and, while I could have approached customers to garner their support in the upcoming election, I did not think it was right. My boss, however, had no problem with letting one of my competitors stand for hours at a time in the store talking it up with local residents in a feeble attempt to win their support. I did not win, I did not come close, but I did beat this person (who finished dead last) by sticking to my morals and not sinking to the level of using my workplace (or his if he even had a job) as a soap box for politics. Maybe that’s why I lost, too moral to be a politician?
In 2009 I think, or 2010, I was operating a bookstore in Hanover, and I did not pay much attention to politics. After that closed, I was in Nunavut for almost a year, during the 2011 federal election. I think I returned to Ontario around the same time as the election, so I did not vote because I did not know the candidates or the platforms they represented.
In 2013 I moved out west for a few years, settling in Alberta. Out west I got a real taste of two philosophies, the “old boys club” (which I had also experienced while running for office in Kincardine) and “frontier justice” (the understanding that the police were not always there at your beck and call, like Ontario, and sometimes you had to take the law into your own hands). As it turns out, the RCMP, whom I had never experienced in Ontario (the local RCMP office closing over a decade before that) were not always the “good guys”, a discussion for another day but in the meantime, you can look up “High River”.
By 2013 I had completely lost any faith in, what would later in 2018 be called, the Libcon bird. Both the Conservatives under Harper and the Liberals under pretty boy Trudeau (oh, and I told people even before the Conservatives did that he was “just not ready” to be a leader but I based that on his experience and age more than what would later be his personal ethics and beliefs). In 2015 though I was voting in the Provincial election.
And this is where the Albertans and I disagree, perhaps because I was an “outsider” voting in the election, but I feel I got a more objective view of what was happening. In 2015 the Conservatives had been led by the atrocious leader we unlovingly referred to as “Princess Redford”. It was clear, in the minds of everyone including Albertans, that the Conservatives, after 42 years, had fallen to the same level of corruption as other parties. Though even then Albertans could not admit that the Federal Conservatives were corrupted, to them Harper was a God.
In the 2015 Provincial election in Alberta the New Democratic Party won a landslide victory over the Conservatives. I rarely participated in Provincial elections and did not vote in one until 2015.
You will still have Albertans today trying to claim that the Wildrose Party (the official opposition before and after 2015) somehow “split the vote”. This is bonafide Albertan ranch horsepucky. One has only to look at the election results to see the Wildrose followers, myself included, had absolutely nothing to do with the horrible choice that ALBERTANS made of placing the New Democratic Party (NDP) and Rachel Notley in power. I mean seriously, get a grip.
Let’s look at the numbers, NDP 54 seats, Wildrose 21 seats, PC 10 seats, Alberta Party 1 seat, Liberals 1 seat. Now I don’t know, maybe Albertans are using some of that “liberal math” when they say the Wildrose Party “split the vote” (just like the PPC’s will do they say) but when you add 21, 10 and 2 together you get 33, which is FAR BELOW the 54 seats the NDP won.
No folks, sorry, it was NOT a vote split that caused the NDP to win Alberta. It was arrogance and pig-headedness that voters chose to send a message rather than choosing the party that was right for Alberta’s future. The same mentality that brought us Trudeau and the Liberals into the Federal majority governance.
Wildrose Party was the first political party I became a member of, around 2016 until 2017 when they lied to me about Jason Kenney and sold their souls to the Conservative party. I recall Brian Jean was the leader of the Wildrose Party then, having taken over from Danielle Smith, who had also sold her soul to Prentice and the Conservatives along with seven others. The corruption of the Wildrose Party ran deep and so did the lying. When Kenney started trying to recruit members of the Wildrose, myself included, to become Conservative.
I emailed Wildrose HQ on September 15, 2016 “Who is Jason Kenney and why am I being asked to join the PC party?”
On the same day I got this reply
Thank you for your email.
Jason Kenney is vying for the leadership of the PC party and is pushing a united conservative agenda that is spearheaded by idea of the Wildrose and PC party merging. At this time, we are open to have these discussions but have not decided anything as we continue to work hard for all Albertans as the Official Opposition.
Do you know who contacted you?
I replied with: “I got an email that said it was from him info at jasonkenney and at the bottom of the email Unite Alberta Ltd. I didn’t join Wildrose to support the PC’s, I first chose them specifically because they were Not one of the Big 3, so I hope they don’t go that route.
And three days later Jennifer replied to me once again,
The Unite Alberta Ltd is not affiliated in any way with the Wildrose Party. The Unite Alberta Ltd is a private venture that is lobbying in support of Jason Kenny’s proposal.
The Wildrose party is independent of the PC party, it’s lobbyists and any fundraising/donation campaigns that may be going on. We conduct our own fundraising and membership drives and only contact those people from our database.
Thank you for your support!
Apparently, no one had shared the memo with Jennifer that Brian Jean, beacon of all things moral and god-like in the Fort Mac fire, was in the process of selling out the Wildrose Party to, what would later be coined, the United Conservatives. I wonder where Jennifer is today? I wonder if she was one of the 5% who opposed the merger. I was not because when I found out about the merger, I cut up my Wildrose Party membership card in disgust.
In 2016 the “2008 Recession” had finally settled into Alberta and by 2017 I was out of a job. After a couple months I moved back to Ontario in May 2017 and was working by June. The interesting thing to note, today Albertans place so much blame on the current government for losing their jobs.
In 2013 or 2014, when I first moved to Alberta, though, a few of the “old boys” were talking about how the big oil companies were getting ready to ‘move their head offices to Vancouver and their operations to Saskatchewan’. Now I don’t know all the details, but it seems like the collapse of the Albertan economy was already begun long before Trudeau took office in 2015 (Trudeau, the Liberals and the NDP just made it far worse).
In 2018 I voted in two elections. The first was the leadership of the Progressive Conservatives in Ontario. I had paid attention to the nightmare that Wynne-bag and the Liberals had placed Ontario into, particularly with this ridiculous “Green Energy Initiative” and I wanted to do what I could to defeat them.
I liked Doug Ford’s almost Trump-like attitude toward things and while I do not agree with him on about half of what he has to say I still figured he was what was needed for Ontario. I still believe this to be true even though he has repealed some of the things I support. He is, though, far more of a true Conservative than Andrew Scheer will ever be. I voted for him as Leader of the Conservatives and then again for Premier of the province. If you don’t like that, too bad. I will make it worse by saying I applaud his efforts to repeal all of this ridiculous gender sex ed nonsense from our schools and government.
And, in 2018, the Municipality of Kincardine had a municipal election that I voted in, and, in keeping with my spiteful tradition of not voting for the popular candidates, I did everything I could to vote for the people I had not heard of before or had had no previous dealings with. I have always supported the “underdog” (like the Wildrose Party) and I am always wanting to see “new blood” in office. That being said, the “new blood” must be sensible and logical (so basically anyone who is not Liberal or leftist minded).
So, a few statistics here. I voted in a total of seven elections in my lifetime. That is not really that many given the fact that, only based on my time while not in the US, there were eighteen elections in the municipalities, provinces and country of Canada that I lived in at the time. My participation, or lack thereof, I associate mostly with the fact that I frequently moved from place to place. If I do even the very rough calculations, I have moved approximately a dozen times, and that is only in Canada (living for a time in Ontario, Alberta and Nunavut), many of my moves within three to six months of an election.
Interestingly enough, even though I’ve blocked their number and, last time, told them not to call me ever again. I got two letters from the PC Party of Ontario. The first, my membership card, better late than never I guess since I joined them back in February 2018 or so, and, a receipt for my donation of $25. Gee thanks, I filed my taxes about a week ago, so I guess I’ll save the whole $5 tax credit til my 2019 return.
I joined the People’s Party of Canada in October 2018. I am the President/CEO of the Huron-Bruce PPC Association (Electoral District). I have no intentions of ever voting Conservative again (and I have never voted Liberal in my entire life, sorry whoever that troll was who once tried, no twice, to say that I had). If the PPC does not have a Candidate in my riding I will vote Independent once again to take another shot at downing the Lib-Con bird once and for all.
UPDATE: I decided that the only way to make a difference in this country, and my riding, was to stand up and run for office myself. I am the People's Party of Canada candidate for Huron-Bruce riding 2019.