Picking Sides

I’m a little worried about us, gang.

It seems like we’re not really getting each other. And by each other, I mean all of us Canadians seem to be out of touch with each other.

If you were paying attention during the last two major elections, you might have noticed a growing trend – the polarization of Canada. And I ain’t talkin’ about it getting colder – hi-yo!

Political lines have been drawn in the sand, and all these recent elections have served is to see which side people will wander over to. Quite honestly, our territorial election just seemed like a Part 2 of the federal election. In fact, it seemed to be geared exactly that way.

“Us vs Them” scenarios were championed on both sides, with the electorate practically being brow-beaten into choosing either one or the other. The feeling of “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” was highly palpable. And still is.

Maybe I’m an old sap, but I thought we were all Canadians first, no matter what side of the political spectrum we flop over onto.

Now we have a population that’s been split down the middle. Instead of having governments that truly represent all Canadians, we have painted ourselves into a two-party system corner.

Guys, how are we supposed to maintain our sense of superiority over the States if we end up looking exactly like them?

Looking at our government, I have this constant sense of Mom and Dad fighting in the next room, on a country-wide scale.

The rise of social media hasn’t made anything easier, either.

People have assumed that having an online connection constitutes being an active citizen.

Political dialogues are no longer necessary when half-skimmed-through online articles can give any quixotic entrepreneur proof of their “point”. Go ahead and take a little wander around the Facebook-iverse as a prime example.

The internet is guaranteed to have an article somewhere that’ll support a point you need to make. Slap it up there, and start fluffing that nest of laurels – your political work is done. This is how modern activism works.

(As well as sifting through thousands of kitten pictures with Buddha quotes on them.)

The goofiest thing about Facebook-tivism is that it’s always one big preach to the choir. Spamming random articles to your friends who have the exact same point of view as yourself isn’t activism. Neither is clicking the “like” button.

You’ve just done the electronic equivalent of honking as you drive by picketers.

The proliferation of online articles only serves to create a myopic atmosphere of “pot stirring”. For example, recently, a video of Stephen Harper verbally trashing the NDP was floating around the internets.

It featured the head right-wing feller at a private backyard BBQ filled with right-wing supporters, and he makes a few cracks at the opposing side.

The number of people willing to toss out logic and their critical reasoning faculties to prove a point with this video was as frightening as it was ridiculous.

Oh my, how truly shocking… Really? Trash talk among pals is common on all sides of the spectrum, kids. You’re all guilty – get over it.

I just see a lot of people getting political out of spite, because like Baby, no one puts them in a corner. No one likes to be treated like an idiot, and this is the feeling slowly growing across the country as this shift happens.

It is definitely adding to a rise of online logical fallacies for sure.

Maybe the shift was inevitable, that in the way things are going worldwide, an absolute hard position needs to be taken. But what’s going unnoticed is the loss of unity, which sounds like a very un-Canadian thing to say.

But we’ve also never resented each other for our political leanings so much before, either.

We’re all Canadians. Living in a giant country. It shouldn’t be shocking to anyone that people have ideas divergent from theirs. The sooner we figure out that we’re all in one giant glass house together, the better. ‘Cause only two sides brought rocks.

And they’re not mine.

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