Saturday, November 10, 2012

To my American friends: Canadian perspectives on "left" and "right"

A decent article by Chantal Hebert for my American friends to understand  Canadian perspectives on the concepts of "left wing" and "right wing" in politics. The current "right wing" federal government under Stephen Harper espouses gay rights (and is a vocal critic of countries that suppress gay rights),enacts super progressive immigration policies and minority rights, makes it clear  that religion has no place in the business of government, allows for the rights of women over their own bodies, and is committed to economic policies that is favourable to the different classes in society.
The so-called "religious right" in the federal, provincial and local governments are on the fringes of any political debate.
And to think that Harper's government is the most right wing government in years. Canadian governments have always reflected  the soul of the country: pragmatic, secular, and compassionate.
There's a reason why, according to a recent poll, 75% of Canadians would go for Barack Obama. Obama is the most Canadian of all US presidents.
Canadians have this belief that everyone want s to improve their lot in life. Social safety nets such as universal health care, unemployment insurance, welfare benefits, refugee allowances are there to help people when they need it on a temporary basis. It is a belief in the human potential and their aspirations. While the system is not perfect, and a small minority will always take advantage of the system, in general, the system works for everyone. And the benefits of such a system pays huge dividends a few years, a generation or two, down the road.
Canadians realize that we are all in this together. It's not religion, it's not any god that will help us. Governments are just enablers, catalysts if you will, for social changes for the better.
It really bothers me when some people go on an  overtly racist frenzy over this vague,segment of the population that are "lazy" and don't want to work. Sure, ther will be some people like that, but to skew government policies to correct a non-existent issue is at the very least misguided and at most, fatally wrong.

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