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Why to NOT vote for Harper Part 6 – LIVE! From the Regina airport.

Well. I’m stuck in Regina for a few hours and won’t get back into Ottawa till the wee hours tomorrow morning. The plane hit a bird and has to be repaired. I hate birds. The good news is that a colleague gave me an extra Air Canada lounge pass so I can pass the time away in relative comfort….

Now I have to figure out a way to blame Harper for the bird. Was it a BLUEbird?


But t’was a good trip. Nice countryside and mostly flat but really unique in some places where the glaciers retreated and huge spillways created valleys. Fort Qu’Appelle is a spot like this.

The dramatic changes in the countryside in this part of the country reminds me of a couple of things relating to the nation as a whole.

Canadians, like the Prairie geography, are not homogenous. And we never have been. Immigration since the 19th century pretty much guaranteed this but even with that put aside, our geographies have dictated that the folks sitting on these landx have to change to adapt to the local conditions. Those in the Prairies have adapted to a necessity of long distances, weather travesties and the other vagaries of an agricultural existence.

This can be said for many spots in this land. We and our ancestors had to adapt to the geograhies of the land – and the seas – and the hardships or bounties provided. This has made us a hardy folk.

And this is a good thing. The heterogeneous nature of our country – even in the Prairies where much of Canada envisions nothing but field and farm  – lends to a more balanced and fair view of the world. The extremes cancel out one another, so to speak. Put into the geographic context that I just experienced, you come over a rise after miles and miles of flatness and straight-on highway and almost drop into the Qu’Appelle Valley. Quite amazing… just when you think you have the pattern figured out, everything changes.

The neo-cons don’t see this. They see the diversity and heterogeneous nature of the Canadian fabric as an obstacle to be overcome or a challenge that they must “contextualize” and “strategize” in order to get a focused message in place to maximize their electoral brand. Think about it. The Conservatives are basically running against the Canadian tide and trying to build dams and breakwaters along the way. Sadly, they may just be able to do this just enough to gain a majority and entrench this way of thinking into legislation.

I actualy feel a bit sorry for them. By cynically framing our country within a strict electoral victory framework instead of enjoying and embracing our differences, they miss the beauty of places like the Qu’Appelle Valley. And the beauty of the people who live in places like this and elsewhere in my country. 

I cannot vote for a party that simply doesn’t “get” this. And I hope you agree.


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