Saturday, May 30, 2009

Open Letter to Stephen Harper - Why I Tune Out the Conservative Party of Canada

Dear Prime Minister Mr. Harper.

There are many policy reasons why I do not vote for your party. Traditionally I have voted Liberal, occasionally Conservative or NDP, but now vote Green, for reasons that are beyond the scope of my brief letter to you now.

First and foremost, though, I choose not even to consider the policies of the Conservative Party Of Canada because of the way you practice politics. To me you and your party epitomize the divisive nastiness that has evolved in the past twenty years or so in politics. The Conservatives have lead the way in bringing about this unfortunate change in Canada, emulating the practices of your Republican soul mates to the south. You seek to find wedge issues that divide us, rather than forward thinking visionary points of view that bring people together. You seek power at any cost, rather than consensus. You practice a regressive, "winner take all" type of politics that does a disservice to the majority of Canadians. (Please remember that a majority of Canadians did NOT vote for you in the last election.)

Rather than spend millions of dollars telling me what is wrong with Michael Ignatieff, why don't you mount an extensive campaign that will detail how your policies are better? Why don't you explain to me why I should vote for you, rather than why I should not vote for the other guy? Obviously these questions are rhetorical; I know why you do it. It is for short term electoral gain, as you attempt to score cheap points. It does nothing, however, to advance serious political debate in this country. You seek to exploit and promote the sound bite aspect of our society. It is a sign of desperation when the only way someone feels they can build themselves up is to pull down their opponent. How sad that you must exploit our sense of petty mean spiritedness in an attempt to win.

The only political parties that will receive my vote and support are those that practice listening and consensus building. These are qualities that I find to be seriously lacking in Canadian politics in general and especially in the Conservative Party of Canada. Your party represents to me the worst aspects of old style win at all cost politics. I know, all political parties at times are guilty of this, but you guys have mastered the art. What a sad legacy. It is for this reason that I also support election reform that will take us beyond First Past the Post elections so that every vote counts.

I realize that the chances of you reading this brief letter are slim to none. I don't expect you and your party to change your tactics. But, your office staff can put me in the column of Canadians who do NOT support you, your party, or your tactics. If you change your divisive tactics, I may consider your policies. Until then, I tune you out.


Leonard Poole

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