Monday, 5 November 2012

Three reasons you should vote (for Obama)

As most of you probably know, I am not an American.  However, up here in Canada we do happen to follow American politics, American economics, and, most importantly, American vampire and zombie television shows. 

We North Americans aren't that different from each other - many of our values, laws, and ongoing debates are quite similar.  Our cultural influences are much the same.  We like to visit each other.  We're often lumped together when traveling to other parts of the world.  We're two very developed, very democratic, and perhaps very ego-centric, countries.  (And I can see Alaska from my hoWse!)

But, having visited the US several times and with some very close friends living there, I can safely say that there are several things I adore about Canada that are seemingly lacking in large pockets of the grand ol' US of A. 

There are countless reasons that I insist that you vote tomorrow.  But there are specifically three main reasons that I politely suggest you vote for Barack Obama. Like three genie wishes.  Or three magic beans. 

*******

Number 1 - Abortion is legal in Canada. 

Abortion is legal, and will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future, if not forever.  We are not reopening the abortion debate, despite some regular and recent attempts. 

Now.  Depending on the person and how he or she presents the argument, I can in some cases tolerate an opinion different from mine on this.  

I cannot, however, over-state the importance, in my opinion, of allowing a woman to make FREE choices that are best for her and her body.  I mean, we make adoptive parents jump through a shit-ton of hoops, and even bio parents do an awful lot of planning and soul searching before making a decision to grow tiny humans.  I would like to trust women (and their partners, and their doctors) to make good decisions, even when I know many of them can't or won't.  That's what being FREE is about. 

Even if we took this abortion choice away, I cannot even begin to fathom how the fuck we would regulate it.  Would a judge decide for me? Would there be a list of criteria?  Would I have to prove I was raped?  Would there be a scale of "rape legitimacy"?  Would there be a binder full of women representing a series of case studies and indicating who is abortion-worthy and who is not?

This is a fundamental paradigm about woman that ties into all sorts of questionable policies and approaches that I simply do not support.  Birth control.  Equal wages and career ambitions coupled with flexible work hours (for men AND women).  Parental leave (which is a full 12 months up here).  Support in the workplace.  Support at home.  Politicians talk a lot about support for families, but they talk little about support for the parents that lead them. 

Number 2 - Gay marriage is legal in Canada. 

The government does not attempt to pass judgement on our relationships.  Well, sometimes I'm sure it does, but legally, if I love someone, I can marry that person and I am offered all the rights and privileges and responsibilities that go along with that. 

Hubby and I didn't think we needed marriage, but we wanted it, and we love it.  It makes me want to cry heavy, ugly tears that a country as apparently progressive and innovative as the United States (a country that allowed SLAVERY not many generations ago - from which black Americans escaped to Canada) could possibly withhold this right from all its people.  Let alone that everyone sits in judgement on the issue. 

I support you, and whomever you love, no matter who you are.  To be honest, I'm not even opposed to polygamy if everyone is a willing partner and there's no observable harm to the children.  Call me out if you wish, but it's really where I stand.   People deserve to be happy. Just let people be happy.

Isn't that what marriage is about? Isn't that the "sanctity" we should be protecting?  The sanctity of a happy marriage and caring families and a supportive society that loves thy neighbour? In fact, maybe I have a problem with those sham "I'm pregnant so I better get married" marriages that end in pain and suffering and broken homes for kids that potentially were never wanted in the first place.  Where's the sanctity in that?   

Number 3 - Health care is free in Canada.

Ok, so free is a tricky word.  We have high taxes here, and in some provinces people pay a "premium" to support their health care system.  We all pay for it, and it ain't perfect, but at least anyone who needs to can go to the friggin emergency room or receive radiation for their cancer without some ridiculous fee.  And hell, people can even get cancer and not be kicked out of the system or denied.  SHOCKER.  We may wait, but patience is a virtue and good medical care is worth it.  Trust me

Some of you might call that - gulp - socialism.  Well, guess what?  I'm  not only a dirty liberal but I'm a crazy socialist too. 

Tax me all you want if it means that when I go to the doctor I don't get an invoice afterward (nor a statement from my asshole insurance company telling me the exact price of every goddam nurse and every fucking tube they stuck into my orifices). 

Tax me all you want if it means that groups of inter-generationally and socially disadvantaged people with whom I share this country need some fucking support. 

Tax me all you want if it means I get TWELVE FULL MONTHS OF PARENTAL LEAVE. 

Tax me all you want if it means I can have full-day kindergarten/preschool in Ontario, or $6 a day daycare in Quebec for my kids. 

Tax me.  I will live within my means and I will contribute.  And I will sleep better at night because of it. 

*******

Now.   Please don't mistake me here - if you're an American I value and appreciate you, and your opinion.   And I don't know everything there is to know. 

But if you refuse to vote tomorrow - no matter who for - I will hunt you down and kick you in the shin with my "poke-the-eye-out-of-a-snake" boots.

And if you're undecided, consider voting for your current president, who, despite his faults, has the drive and determination to accomplish something great for your country - and who has a vision for your future that is actually quite revolutionary and entirely well-intentioned. 

Or consider moving to Canada.  We'd love to have you. 

26 comments:

  1. I voted! Don't come kick me in the shin! :)

    I did not know that gay marriage is legal in Canada. That is awesome!

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    1. I'm so glad you voted! Shin kicking exemption officially awarded. Yes I'm glad about the gay marriage too. :)

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  2. I don't know that I can say we'd "love to have you" ..there are some Americans that I would be content to stay in America... ;)

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    1. Ha. Well that's perhaps true of any nationality.

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  3. I early voted last week. For the life of me, I can't get over women that are going to vote for the Rombot. And people always like to bring up that you guys in Canada have to wait forever to see a specialist. What they fail to mention is that sometimes, even seeing your gyno takes forever to see. like make your appointment for next year, because if you don't, you won't get in. People are blinded by things. Thank you so much for your input.

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    1. Yay for early voting! Yeah there can be a long wait but I think so much of it comes down to what people are used to. The idea of knowing how much an MRI costs because ones insurance company sends the receipt is SO BIZZARE to me. If I need an MRI, I get one, and then I go home. That's the end. It could cost $50 or $50,000 and I would never know. But I get my health care, regardless of the price.

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  4. Well said my dear! Certainly there are issues here but on the whole, it is a pretty damn great place to live. Also I agree with Dazee . . . how could any woman even consider voting for Romney?!
    Jenn

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    1. Perfection? No. But I still like our way of life here - I like the culture of acceptance that seems more prominant than a culture of judgement and hate.

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  5. Your three reasons?
    YES
    YES
    YES

    I have total stress diarreah (well, almost) about the outcome of this thing tomorrow. I am Canadain too, but this shit is important.

    SO VOTE! (For Obama.) ;)

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    1. It IS important! I mean, who do we want leading when the zombies come?

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  6. awesome post and 100% agree! i read this tweet on my twitter feed and it's so true: "Here's the difference to me: Barack Obama's story is only possible in America. Mitt Romney's story is possible in Game of Thrones. " LOL.

    i would vote for obama in a heartbeat if i were american.

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    1. I wouldn't want Romney anywhere near my Game of Thrones! Ew! ha

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  7. Sometimes I forget you are smart, then you write things like this that I fully agree with.

    Well said.

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  8. I'm effin TERRIFIED Romney is going to get voted in because of stubborn shitheads who don't like one or more things that Obama did. It almost feels like 'Punish Obama!, let's fuck up the whole country'.

    No party is ever going to get it right (read: make everyone happy), but WHY THE FUCK WOULD YOU WANT AN ABSOLUTE IDIOT RUNNING YOUR COUNTRY?!?!?!?

    I have been floored at some of the Facebook posts I have seen supporting Romney. Insane.

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    1. I'm totally on pins and needles. I was depressed when the Conservatives won a majority last year too, though.

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  9. Absolutely well said! I'm sharing this on my Facebook and Twitter.

    I am an American and I'm voting for Obama. I actually saw him in my hometown on Saturday. It was... fucking awesome. I was about 5 feet away from the President and I almost got teary-eyed just waiting for him. It was absolutely one of the best experiences of my life to see him like that, right in a park downtown that I drive by every day.

    We were canvasing on Saturday and some people from Sweden were working with us. When I asked them why they took their vacation to come to America and canvas for Obama in Iowa they said "Because this election matters to the world."

    Before the 2008 election I read an article that said that if the US voted McCain/Palin into power the world would think that Americans had collectively lost their minds. I feel the same applies to today's election.

    I'm holding my breath pretty much all day. EEK!

    Please don't let me down my fellow countrymen!

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    1. So glad you're sharing it! Thank you. And good on ya for canvassing and getting involved. Fingers crossed for you!

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  10. My favourite part of this is is how it gets progressively angrier. Oh, que je t'adore.

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  11. I love you and how well we agree on so many issues.
    Get in my American pocket, you crazy Canadian friend of mine.

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    1. Ok I love you I'll call you in FIVE minutes.

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  12. Canada sounds cool.

    Australia is similar with abortion & healthcare but we are still working on gay marriage. And we all vote too.

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    1. Yes I like that mandatory voting thing! I have a male friend who just married an Aussie (also male). They married here in Canada and then moved to Oz. They don't get to be married in Australia but they do, I think, get some common law rights...

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  13. I wholeheartedly agree with this entire post! I didn't get my registration filled out in time to go vote, but I live in a very republican based state who gave vote to Romney by a landslide, but I had a strong gut feeling that the big states would give vote to Obama so I wasn't too worried about it. As far a gay marriage goes, people vote based on their religious preference. What ever happened to separation of church and state? Religion doesn't determine who has good ideas and morals. Too many people look at legalizing abortion and gay marriage. Making them illegal will affect a wonderful group of people who may choose differently than myself, but that doesn't mean they're not deserving of a happy life! Making these things legal potentially helps the people affected by those matter and doesn't change a damned thing for those not involved in that lifestyle. It is absolutely ridiculous. Why should making something legal make a person mad? No one is forcing them to take advantage of it. No one is forcing them to enter a gay marriage or get an abortion simply because a law has been passed. Legalities shouldn't even be an issue on those subjects. People just be allowed to be as they are. So many people are too closed minded and are so unwilling to really think about things. They simply go on thinking a certain way because they were raised to do so, a bunch of mindless drones. So sad! Thank you for this post. I am sharing it as I type :)

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    1. Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing! I know sometimes it seems like your vote doesn't matter but there's always the popular vote an other issues on the ballot. I make a point of voting every time no matter what! (And that's often lately up here!)

      Gay marriage and abortion and healthcare too are a matter of a RIGHT for me. Not a privilege.

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