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Nothing Etched In Stone

There was a time when certain things were absolute. No haggling, no bargaining, no grey areas. Black and white. While of course other things were more fluid, shifting, not absolute.

If you were born with a whatzit, you were a whozit

For example let’s consider the notion of senior citizens. At one time the age at which you could claim this lofty title was 65. Period. My grandfather worked for the Canadian government at the time he turned 65, and that was it. Thanks for your service, here’s your watch and pension. From one day to the next you became a senior citizen. When you were a mere 64, a favourite of The Beatles, you were still a working man, but one day later you were put out to pasture. 

But now the concept of being a senior citizen kicks in at age 55, with a number of fiscal advantages and discounts; becomes serious at age 60 and one becomes a full fledged senior at 65. No longer is it black and white, we now experience an array of senior citizenship.

Similarly gender used to be an up or down kind of thing. If you were born with a whatzit, you were a whozit. Simple as that. Had you mentioned to someone as recently as twenty years ago that some forms today, when referring to gender, provide more than merely male or female options, they would have thought you were mad. We now live in a society that has begun to adhere to the idea of a spectrum of gender. Folks born with a whatzit may choose to identify as some point on the scale of gender.

Paradoxically one realm where you could usually find a bit of give and take has become as black and white as gender used to be. I refer to the world of politics. The notion of working across the aisle, whether literally doing so in the Senate or House, or figuratively in day to day life, has been pushed aside in favour of total partisanship. 

… having just turned sixty, I am hereby choosing to identify as 40!

Democrats and Republicans, Conservatives and Liberals no longer seem to fit in somewhere on the political gamut. It has become an all or nothing approach, far left or far right, that will surely lead to problems.

As for me, I’ve decided to use the “no longer etched in stone” angle and, having just turned sixty, I am hereby choosing to identify as 40! 

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Canada, Canadian Election 2019, DCMontreal Commentary, DCMontreal Light, Liberal Leadership, News, Opinion, Politics, Polls, United States

Canadian Election Turns Uglier

It’s the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. A time to gather with family, eat and drink too much, and give thanks for all the good things we have. And I think most of us can scrape up at least a few positives in our lives to muse on. 

Dirty politics are nothing new, even in Canada, but this current campaign has at times reflected some of the more underhanded tactics associated with the absolute cut-throat campaigning often seen in the United States

We are also in the midst of a federal election campaign. Voting day is October 21st and the pollsters predict a very close race. Sadly, but perhaps not surprisingly, this has resulted in a rather dirty campaign. Dirty politics are nothing new, even in Canada, but this current campaign has at times reflected some of the more underhanded tactics associated with the absolute cut-throat campaigning often seen in the United States.

Old pictures dragged out by the Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) in an effort to disgrace the incumbent Liberal Party of Canada (LPC) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seem to have missed the mark, at least as far as party support goes. Rumours of CPC Leader Andrew Scheer’s involvement with a radical right-wing religious cult (Opus Dei) have also made the rounds.

Then there is Andrew Scheer’s father. He was born in the United States and passed along that citizenship to his sons. Scheer himself was born in Canada and is in the process of renouncing his US citizenship. Frankly I don’t see the need for him to do so, but that is the state of affairs today. What does interest me is the common phrasing – dog whistle – one hears. New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh‘s parents moved to Canada from India. They are referred to, accurately, as immigrants. Yet the conservatives seem to be more comfortable saying Andrew Scheer’s father was “born in the States” and moved to Canada, thus avoiding the “i” word that so many of them seem to find off-putting.

When Trudeau did appear he was clearly wearing a bulletproof vest and was closely surrounded by armed guards. This is Canada, not the Middle East

But last night things hit rock bottom. Trudeau was to address a rally of some two thousand supporters in Mississauga, Ontario. The start of the proceedings were delayed by ninety minutes as security forces with sniffer dogs scoured the venue. When Trudeau did appear he was clearly wearing a bulletproof vest and was closely surrounded by armed guards. This is Canada, not the Middle East.

One has to assume some sort of threat had been made on the Prime Minister’s life to evoke such a drastic response. Who was it? A CPC supporter trying to stop the rally? A LPC supporter looking to cast a pall on the CPC while Making Trudeau look like a hero? However if you suggest he had courage to go ahead with his speech, many conservatives will criticise you, saying he endangered all present by not scrubbing the event. However had he cancelled, I imagine those same folks would have called him a coward! Sometimes you just can’t win.

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