Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Now It's Personal 

This election just gained some extra meaning for myself.

A New Westminster high school student has launched a "non-partisan" web site attacking Stephen Harper for his "stance" on abortion, which is really not a stance at all: the Conservatives will not initiate abortion legislation, nor will it prevent individual MPs from doing so.

Somehow, this idea really offends said student, but it probably wouldn't offend most people, so she hauls out the straw men and starts whacking away.

But the real kicker is that this "non-partisan" organization is getting support through connections through Young Liberals of Canada and all sorts of Liberal-affiliated individuals.

Thankfully, John Reynolds has pretty much shown how ridiculous the arguments are, and how insidious the Liberals can be.

You can read about it in the Vancouver Sun, or online (until CanWest shuts the page away) (via Neale).

Now on to why this is all personal: the high school student in question, Cassandra Parlee, got in touch with all these fine Liberal connections through her brother, Forrest, president of the Young Liberals of BC.

Forrest Parlee was my high school classmate: we graduated in the same year (2001).

From what I recall, even back then, some of us in our school were politically inclined in various directions. There were some of us on the right, and others closer to the left. Now all this is not unusual: young people can get pretty convicted about things and start getting active about it.

Forrest, too, was politically involved. But there's a difference: Forrest, for all that I can tell, seemed to be passionate about the political equivalent of vanilla ice cream. The bland, centrist middle line, the political philosophy defined by its very indefiniteness.

So here we are, three years after that summer of entering the "real world", and I have become more politically active on a small scale, doing various things in university groups and so on. Forrest, meanwhile, has evidently rocketed to the presidency of YLBC... ...some people that knew him better would probably say they're not surprised at all. I don't know him well enough to say anything more.

And oh, to address the issue at stake: I personally would like to see the gradual legal end of abortion in Canada, but I'm not stupid enough to think that the political climate is anywhere near ripe for this sort of thing. Nor do I think that Stephen Harper will be the one leading the way on this issue: on this, most social conservatives are in agreement.

But there is a difference between a reasonable, civilized minority in a democracy voicing their opinion in a free environment, and that minority being clobbered by demagogue at the slightest sign of veering away from the so-called "consensus". That's why I support the Conservatives, and not the Liberals or NDP. I'm agnostic, and I never did consider myself much of a social conservative, but the choking smog of liberal dogma often makes me sick.

Note: I'm not sure what compelled me to write this post, whether it was the personal relation I have with this event, the relentless straw men attacks that have finally blown a fuse in me, or a combination of both: me realizing that political mudslinging can be a lot closer to home than one realizes. Therefore, I'm not sure on what sort of a note I should be ending this post. Let me just say that politics can seem a lot closer than the TV screen at times, and that when low-handed methods are used to smear and distort, the "people" that are affected are not an abstraction. Frank, honest, and intelligent political discourse is virtuous, and my vote is partly dependent on this fact.
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