Sunday, May 01, 2011

The Final Hours: Between Hope and Fear

I went for a long walk in the woods this evening, to clear my head, slow down my wildly beating heart, and try to prepare myself for the election tomorrow.

The precious signs of Spring in The Great White North were everywhere. But it was cold and wet, a fog was rolling in from the lake. And it all seemed to sum up how I'm feeling.

Tomorrow could be one of the best days of my life, or one of the worst, and nobody really knows what's going to happen.

The hope comes from this and this.

"I want you to create lineups at the polls, my friends, because we can defeat Stephen Harper," Layton told the crowd.

The numbers and the headline I thought I'd never read. The words I thought I'd never hear. Except in my dreams.

The fear comes from the very real danger of vote-splitting that could still give the tyrant his deadly majority. As the Toronto Star, that endorsed the NDP, points out here. 

In theory strategic voting could avoid that danger. And I have the Project Democracy widget in my sidebar. But will it work? Will NDP supporters vote Liberal when their party is so close to overtaking the Cons? Will Liberals supporters vote NDP when their party is so damaged?

I hope so, but I wonder. And what if it just drained support out of the orange wave and prevented it from swamping the Cons? 

Luckily for me, my choice is a simple one. I live in an NDP riding, I'm voting to keep it that way, and I couldn't be happier to find myself surfing the orange wave.

Not just because their social-democratic platform is closest to my own. Or because I prefer to live in a centre-LEFT country not a centre-right one. And I know that in an increasingly polarized Canada, the middle is just an illusion.

But also because of something else, that strangely enough so few progressives seem to mention. Jack Layton's ability to connect with Quebecers, and break the Bloc's long stranglehold on the French-speaking people of that province.

Because it's a stunning achievement, a glorious opportunity for a new beginning. And some things are even bigger than an election.

Quebecers have saved us from a Harper majority. They are the fiercest defenders of our beautiful Canadian values, that put community and caring before the jungle individualism of Amerika. No Canadians hate the Harper Regime more than they do.

Now they are challenging us to join an orange wave, overthrow the tyrant, and bring something new and different to a country that has been suffocating in its own deadly lethargy, while being slowly poisoned by the fascist fumes of Harper and his alien, un-Canadian thugs.

So I'm going with them eh? I'm accepting the challenge. I love them too much to see them disappointed. Especially the one I live with, who will be voting for the NDP for the first time in his life.

And as the kids from this French junior college in Montreal, where the orange wave started, keep reminding me. Life is meant to be exciting.  

And I gotta feeling it's gonna be a good day...

And from the English-speaking kids just a few blocks away.

Who are running to meet them...

YES/OUI. We can do it...

Have a great election everybody. May all our dreams come true. 

I'm hopeful, I'm scared, but I've never been so proud to be a progressive.

Long live Canada.

Down with the tyrant...

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers


Kev said...

Hi, Simon Sleep will definitely be at a premium with the stakes so high.

In way of comfort while I forget which poll it was there's been so many today, apparently 50% of Lib and NDP supporters say they are prepared to vote strategically to stop Harper

Emma said...

Thank you Simon. My family and I will vote Ndp tomorrow even though we unfortunately live in a riding that is a shoo-in for the cons.The local MP is a disgrace and still gets in every time. I still can't believe how far the Ndp have come these last few weeks! It gives me hope for the future-something I haven't felt for a while.Now I think I'll go and watch Mouseland one more time and raise a glass to Tommy! All the best to you and yours!

liberal supporter said...

As long as everyone shows up, Steve is toast.

Simon said...

hi Kev...I did get a good night sleep, but it didn't help when Harper won a majority. I will try to sleep tonight though...while I can. I hear those beds in jail are very very uncomfortable... :)

Simon said...

hi Emma...yes it's after the election now and the NDP did really well. It's a really dark night, but all that orange is really encouraging. And as you say it does give us hope for a better future... :)

Simon said...

hi liberal supporter...You're right, but unfortunately they didn't. Despite the critical nature of this election only two percent more than last time cast a ballot. Our democracy is in real trouble in more ways than one...