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I think we are going to be okay. Read right until the last line. “You have no further authority here.”

Sweeter words have never been heard…..

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful commited individuals can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.”  ~Margaret Mead

Mara ~ so true, so true

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I did a little happy dance, and shed a little tear.

So congratulations to my neighbours to the South.

Mara ~ the 106 yr old voter anecdote…. ohhh so sweet

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This is beautiful.

 

boyandobama

“Rosa sat so Martin could walk; Martin walked so Barack could run; Barack ran so our children could fly.”

I don’t know who wrote it, but it’s making the rounds. And I think it’s meaningful.  Even though Obama’s grandmother passed away, she got to vote, and it will be counted. Losing the people who raise you is incredibly difficult. I still often feel at a loss when I think about my dad who I lost to cancer last year. Talking about him still makes me cry, and makes me feel alone. So, I hope the US can cast their ballots today in peace, that the election is by and large uneventful and that your country can heal. And shame shame on the California GOP for filing a lawsuit against Obama (on the day of Toot’s death) for flying his campaign plane to Hawaii to visit his dying grandmother. Mrs. Dunham, thanks so much for raising such an amazing man, and through him your legacy lives on and will (hopefully, God willing) effect great change. As a mother to a child of colour (though we are not American) your legacy is felt in my house too. You rest in peace now.

Mara ~ as your neighbour to the north , I encourage all Americans to do their civic duty, it’s a great privilege

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This is a link that will become much more common in the days to come. With Obama pretty much the next president of the US, more and more whackos are going to be trying to make themselves famous.

So? Is this just the fanatic in the backwoods? Well, maybe these specific two young men are full of hate, gravely mentally ill, and at the fringe. The thing is that the campaign I have watched from my perch in the Great White North that is Canada, I see a party appealing to fear, hate mongering, using coded language, and very poorly hidding body language. What happens when we appeal to the worst in people? I’m not sure that they aren’t inciting hatred. I know that sounds extreme when you juxtapose a political rally to a foiled skin head plot, but it seems like two points on the same slope from here.

There is also this story which I think is a great reflection of the hatred of ignorance and racism. Yes she may be unstable (though apparently that can be debated). She fabricated this story, but notice how it’s supposed to play into all our fears? Accosted by a black man, fondled and beaten by same black man, a backwards B carved into her face apparently to stand for Barack. As if it’s not already difficult to be a black man in the US. And a backwards ”B’? Dude, she carved her face while looking in the mirror. Cray-zee beeyotch? Why yes. Stupid? Most definitly. But still a tragic reflection of the worst of people being brought out by those who want to win at any cost. And that’s sad and more importantly? It may end tragically. It is no secret that Barack Obama received a security detail long before any other presidential candidate. Why do you think that is?

It’s not because of the love.

Mara~ where is the love?

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Okay, this guy is a blowhard that does not deserve any kind of comment, but dude WTF???

At McCain/Palin rallies where effigies of Obama are hung, where the crowd shouts things like “terrorist” “Muslim” (so what if he was…) “kill him” “commie” “traitor” etc etc, why are people who incite hate not being called to the mat by their own party. Is this what conservatives have become in the US? Close minded, racist, isolationist bigots? Please tell me there are more decent conservatives than Colin Powell or David From out there. What is wrong with these people. It’s some kind of bizarro alternative universe where it’s not really about conservative issues like self determinism, small governments and a free market. It’s about who can be the most successful at ‘otherizing’ an historic candidate.

Please go see racist remarks that go unchecked by Rush Limbaugh while Obama has to constantly repudiate John Lewis, why does McCain not have to constantly repudiate Limbaugh.

Wanna know what else I hate? Dick Pound, part of the international Olympic committee (a Canadian) recently said in an interview that we were a land of savages only 400 yrs ago.   First Nations groups in Canada, not so happy with being referred to as savages. Understandable. The best part though is what comes next, you know the apology…  I’m so sorry if what I said offended anyone, that was not my intent and savage is not a derogatory term.

DUDE! This is what I like to call the NON-apology. It’s not “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings”, it’s “I didn’t mean it THAT way, and also? you’re wrong, because I said it was not offensive”  That’s a neat trick right? Appear to be saying sorry but still maintain your racist bastardness. Listen old, white guy, you do not get to determine what is and is not offensive to a group of people that have been systematically abused by a racist government and where inequality is STILL the order of the day. I am so sick of the non-apology! Next time you mess (and we know you well Dick), just say “I am sorry” and shut the eff up.

Mara ~ thank you and good night

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All my readers (all three of them, lol) know I am a liberal, and to my one Canadian reader, liberal isn’t even a bad word EVEN if you are a conservative. That may seem hard to believe but, conservative, liberal, socialized medicine, ‘spread the wealth’, are not inherently derisive terms in Canada.

Anyway, I may not be able to vote in the US election, but it’s probably pretty obvious that if I could Obama would be my guy. Now, because I am white, no one will ever even make the insinuation that I am voting for him just because he happens to be black. And I am a nobody. Seriously. Few people know my name. I have never accomplished anything that would be covered by the Associated Press. I’ve never been on TV, I’ve never saved a life. I am a boring, unaccomplished individual. I get up, work, love my family, read to my daughter, walk my dogs, blog about stuff, go to church, volunteer in my kids’ classroom, do the laundry and deal with the cray-zee. Simply because I benefit from privilege no one would dare question my vote for Barack Obama.

Then there’s Colin Powell. Definitly not a nobody. Someone with an exemplary professional career. Someone important on the world stage. Someone that made decisions that very directly impacted life and death. Someone who travelled the world, met with world leaders and dignitaries, who held very high positions and was well respected from both sides of the aisle. The thing is, see, he’s black. Apparently his accomplishments don’t account for much. He is unable (of course!) to endorse Obama through any type of thoughtful examining of the issues. His education, accomplishments, professional standing and value system are not only disregarded, but are even called into question as to whether or not they actually existed at all.  And if they did exist, it was not due to his ability, but by benevolence of the (white) people around him. Pat Buchanan is calling him an affirmative action general, Rush Limbaugh is implying that it’s all about race.  And to define his decision as having to only do with skin colour and not an alignment of ideology is a GINORMOUS illustration that white privilege lives on. See, the white, conservative, republicans that vote for McCain will never ever ever ever ever be asked if they are voting for John just because he is white.  And white, conservative republicans that are going to vote for Obama (and there are some if the polls are to be believed) are also not going to be asked if they are voting for ObamaPowell’s public endorsement for Obama, and his thoughtful discourse on race, and his decision for this election are a reflection of the thoughtful person I have always seen him to be. Not the black person I thought him to be….

Mara ~ when a campaign begins to appeal to the worst in us, and not aspire to the best in us, well that’s just wrong.

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Boo Hiss. Another conservative minority government. The good news for me is that they were kept from a majority so they don’t have carte blanche. I am noticing trends I find disturbing.  This government looks almost exactly like the last one, so one asks why would Harper call an election. It’s a call he made to garner a majority, that did not materialize, and has now cost tax payers between 270-330 million dollars. So that bugs me a bit.

Also? He’s talking about getting a mandate from the Canadian people. Dude. Seriously? You picked up a few seats, you gained about 1million more in the popular vote, you made inroads into Ontario, you lost Quebec, but you do not have a majority. No mandate doth follow.  And the kicker? We had the LOWEST voter turnout in our country EVER. So yeah. And your loss of Quebec? Turns out you really don’t understand the depth of a culture not your own, and underestimated how poorly sentencing 14 yr olds as adults would go over.  Turns out les Quebecois love their kids 🙂 Well Stephen you learn something new everyday huh?  

Also? Oh poor, brilliant, bumbling Stephane Dion. I love that he has a dog named Kyoto. I love that he is “professorial”. But inspiring he isn’t. And somehow he just couldn’t get out from under the negative attack ads (well, as bad as Canadian attack ads can get, cause we’re pretty polite, pooping puffins notwithstanding) and could never convince Canadians that he could lead. I wonder about countries that view intellect with derision. I see a bit more openly in the US campaign, but it’s here too, just a little more coded. Don’t you want your leader to be smart. Hopefully a bit smarter than you? Don’t you want an elite leadership? But I think for the good of the party he needs to step away gracefully and do something that works to his strengths. 

Also? “Look at me” Jack Layton. Hoping up and down in the corner screaming look at me! look at me! “I’m Jack Layton and I’m running to be Prime Minister”. If I heard that one more time I was going to find the nearest wall on which to beat my forehead. Good news for him though. His ‘new kind of strong’ campaign seemed to resonate and he picked up almost all Northern Ontario. He was gaining momentum, and had a fantastic turnout of his supporters.  Though I wonder if the left splitting some votes gave the Conservatives their extra seats.

And the greens? Shut out, no seats. Sigh. More vote splitting on the left. Elizabeth May is extraordinary. She does go on and on though.  Let me tell ya! Verbose, yes verbose.  Yet a million people voted for them. So that’s a million people without a voice. If we had any type of proportional representation that would be the equivalent of about 22 seats in the House. That my friends is official party status. And about 50 less seats for the conservatives.

So I’m annoyed we had an election too early after the last one especially because we ended up with virtually the same government.  I’m annoyed Stephen Harper is playing the small c conservative, when he is truly still a reformer. I’m annoyed the Liberals couldn’t get their shit together and come up with someone who resonates with Canadians more than Dion. I’m annoyed there was not even one green seat. I am incredulous at the low voter turnout.

I am thankful we live in a democracy where we have a peaceful change over (or not) of governments. I am priviledged to take my daughter to the polls with me. I am thankful that our conservatives in Canada are not nearly as conservative as their American counterparts. Locally, I’m happy the guy saw an improvement in percentage in his results, and that someone I would consider a friend won and gets to represent our riding in Ottawa.

Is it Churchill that said that democracy was horrible, but better than all the alternatives? Yeah, I buy that.

Mara ~ and so ends post election wrap up, send cake

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