Ahhh, Fall... We in Victoria often don't get to enjoy a protracted Fall season. Not because like our friends in the far North summer/roadwork season turns directly into Winter, but because we regularly enjoy a fabulous "Indian Summer" taking 20 degree weather well into October. This year seems to be a little different though, with brisk September mornings already driving people off the streets into their local coffee shops. This is certainly a welcome state of affairs for your local coffee guy, but it's already proving to be an interesting development with regards to democracy!
We all know that the federal election is coming up and judging from the conversations in the shop, it's going to be an important one. Everybody has something that's weighing on their hearts or minds that is inspiring them to engage their friends, colleagues and neighbours. I hear things like, "What they're doing to scientists is crazy!" and "Why won't they talk to the Provinces about anything?" and "What's the deal with the Trans-Pacific trade deal?" and "Does Bill C-51 even do anything useful?" not to mention comments about needing electoral reform before anybody truly feels like they can vote for something they believe in...
In Victoria we are lucky in that regardless of which of the front runners win, we'll have a representative from a progressive party in Ottawa. But many of our friends and relatives won't have that luxury. That's why it's important that we reach out to them and get them talking about how to best affect change in government. I'm not typically an advocate for the Anybody But Conservative (ABC) approach, but I think it's time for a change. There's a broader conversation to be had here about partisan politics and having party lines in general, but progressives need to stop thinking along party lines and demand that anybody seeking your vote is prepared to collaborate with anybody and everybody to ensure good, fair ideas get the kind of support they deserve. Partisanship needs to give way to pragmatism.
I know I should get off the soapbox but I’d like to illustrate my point by simply saying that in Canada there is no us and them. There are only Canadians. In Victoria we don’t get to play partisan games because it’s so apparent that we’re in this together. I know that it’s bad business to pit Shatterbox against Relish simply because they have a coffee program. Everyday I hope that Jamie and his team have an excellent day because the better they do, the more likely it is that people will consider visiting us too if not then, then in the future. If we have a great day and we’re drawing people to our block, then it means Relish will also have a chance to attract people to them. As a people, locally, provincially, and nationally the more we strive to improve each other's position the more likely we will see personal benefits as well.
Thank you everybody for reading, I hope you agree that changing our ethos from one of division to one of inclusion, while making politics a little less tidy, will create a much improved Canada. Please engage your candidates for MP and please go vote, and bring a bunch of friends - and maybe a stranger! ;)
Thanks again, and we'll see you at the shop soon for a spiced Apple Cider or a Graham Cracker Latte!