Canadian Politics, and how they’re confusing


It should be said that I still don’t really understand politics.

I’m political, and I have a strong sense of justice for people, non-human animals, and the earth — but the mechanics of how governments work baffle me.

Especially coming from living in the States for 10 years and learning all about their really weird system to having to re-learn Canada’s weirder system.

And Canada’s political system is confusing, especially when I’m trying to hold onto facts about the U.S.’s that are slipping away more and more with each passing year.

Don’t believe me? Read this Wiki article about last year’s federal election, which was historic: the Liberals stopped being the Official Opposition and the NDP (New Democratic Party) took their place, the Bloc Quebecois broke, and a Green Party candidate, Elizabeth May, won a seat. These are all firsts.

What the fuck does half of that mean? you ask me, perusing the Wiki article and feeling your brain implode.

Hey, don’t look at me. I’m still trying to figure this shit out. And I am a political person at core — this is something I really care about.

So is it any surprise that the 2011 federal election had only a 61.1 percent voter turnout? And that the Conservative party won with only 39 percent of the vote?

Our politics are confusing, and what’s worse, Canadians seem to have real trouble getting fired up over anything besides hockey. Yeah, we have Occupy, and the Casserole protests, and we protested against the G20 police brutality, and we’re fighting like hell against Enbridge — but these protests represent a minority of Canadians. Quite obviously, because if it were the majority who was so fired up about things, we’d have had better voter turnout and may have defeated Harper.

We tend to live with our heads in the sand. (Or tundra; whatever.) We believe that our country’s the greatest, so why should we change anything? Life is good. We got beer, and hockey, eh? What else matters?

Part of me gets really angry with my fellow Canadians’ apathetic attitude — these things matter, dammit, and our country is going down the tubes. (Has been since ‘first contact’, or when the genocide began. To be completely honest, here.)

But then the other part of me feels I can’t say anything — because I don’t understand what’s going on half the time. I rely on friends and family to give me Cliff’s Notes, because otherwise I just get really confused and depressed and feel stupid, which is never good for self-esteem.

And I am so, so tired. There are so many battles to fight that I lose track, and then get confused by how things supposedly work in this country (more like grind along towards destruction) and have to stop fighting for a while.

All in all, being an activist became a lot more complicated when I moved back home. The burn-out is pretty much constant, now.