After The Great Debates, It Is Now Up To Us To Choose

Edmonton - Saturday, June 19, 2004 - by: Ron Thornton Marriage, Be It Same Sex, Same Family, Same Harem
  The debates are over, the vote awaits. Many issues were raised in the leadership debates televised from Ottawa, with varied convictions offered for our consideration.


Bloc Québécois leader Gilles Duceppe
provided a combination of fire and poise, but he is a leader who has the luxury of knowing he will not be called upon to form a government. After all, he is representing only one constituency, the people of Quebec. If a federal government decided to allocate all its dollars to his province, he would be a content man, bedamned whatever the rest of the nation might think.

The NDP's Jack Layton was wild eyed, enthusiastic, and gave the impression that he never had to balance a cheque book, at least not one that he couldn't dip into the public till to even things out. If he should ever form the government, I am sure we would have more pasture land, more trees, and more handouts, but probably less industry, less income, a reduced tax base, and a lower standard of living.


Paul Martin
seemed to avoid much discussion of the scandals hanging over the head of the Liberals, and more determined to sling as much mud and disinformation as he possibly could to leave the impression a corrupt government was better than the likely alternative. Yet, I wonder if a party that only offers to satisfy the desires of those who seek alternatives to our cultural mores offers enough to make one forsake the hope of an honest and transparent government.
Stephen Harper
, on the other hand, came across as a cool customer, maybe with less fire than was needed to heighten the entertainment value of the evening, but he presented reasoned answers. Whatever agenda the Conservatives may have, it sure is not hidden.

When it was all over, I was left mulling over what I heard.  Often, after listening to such exchanges, I find myself debating my own views, testing them and their validity. As long as I don't do it out loud, I manage to avoid the wary glances of those around me.
  We talk about a women's right to chose over issues regarding her own body. This sounds so lofty, so sensible, so right. Yet, in all areas, women do have the right to chose, as do men, but we are not talking about the removal of warts or having a tummy tuck. What we are really talking about is the right to abort a fetus, to tear is from a women's body, to end a life. Abortion should be an emotionally tough decision, with an awareness as to the consequences of our actions. If faced between saving the life of the woman I love and the child I do not yet know, I would chose my wife, but I should not be spared the knowledge and emotions that should accompany such a painful decision. It is not a right to choose, but a right to kill. Regardless as to whether we can justify it or not under certain or all circumstances is irrelevant. We should not conveniently forget that this is more than a simple medical procedure, to not cloak behind euphemisms this euthanasia of the unborn. I would like to think this is not lost on those who undergo the procedure, but I wonder about some of the those who advocate it.


Marriage is the union of one man and one woman, or at least that is how it has always been defined in my lifetime, in my culture, in my faith. Its most basic purpose was to produce the next generation, where the father and mother of the children would together provide the essentials required to raise the young so that they might take their place in society upon reaching adulthood. It has become more complex than that, as companionship and romance entered the picture, along with the religious aspects of the union. While we tout our freedoms and rights, we seem to ignore the rights children of such unions should expect from those parents and from the community. In trying to be fair to all as individuals, we often forget to ponder the potential benefits and perils that may result to our society as a whole as a result of our actions or amendments of our cultural mores. Sometimes we move too fast, missing intermediate steps, in our desire for change. While defending the rights of the minority, sometimes we seem intent on trampling the rights of the majority. In a society that seems more and more devoted to pleasure seekers, loose morals, quick fixes, a lack of commitment and respect toward others, and  fewer people taking personal responsibility for their actions, even in government, no wonder some have come to view such changes as more putrid than progressive. Still, to be truthful, I would be more comfortable to find myself living beside a respectable, modest, devoted gay couple than a straight family of immoral, hedonistic wild things.
  Taxes are our contribution to assist in supporting the well being of our society as a whole, however we should expect our investment in our fellow citizens to be spent wisely. The income we earn through the sweat of our brow should also benefit us and our own families. To force us to become more reliant on the largess of the government rather than our own initiative is destructive, whether it involves an individual, members of an ethic community, or the population of a geographic region. It should be repugnant to any but the most truly dependent among us to be so stripped of dignity, promise, and the opportunity for personal growth; to be perpetually beholding to government handouts. It is interesting to see just how many of the leaders talked about tax cuts as if it were some form of blasphemy.  I personally like the idea of having more of our family income left in our hands, allowing us to better provide for our family as we see fit, to look after our best interests. I am 48-years old, so I would hope I am finally mature enough not to require a government to babysit me. I would welcome the opportunity to devote my more of my own resources to looking after myself and those I love. There are some things I would look to my government to provide, such as a reasonable measure of health care, security, and those services that might assist us in our personal and professional growth. However, I would prefer to look to myself to provide the rest. That should be my responsibility, and my right.
  As one whose meager political legacy has found him more at odds with his own party than not, my vote is not automatically dedicated to anyone. It is something to be earned, or lost. Only one party gives me hope that its election might go a long way to help cure the ills of this nation, to allow for political renewal to help erase the stench that many of us feel exists today in our government. Only one leader has refused to pit us one against another in this campaign, as other leaders seem determined to do in their desperate search for votes. I need to breathe some fresh air, if only for a little while.
  I'll be voting Conservative.


Ron Thornton

  CBC, No clear winner in passionate debate, June 16, 2004
  CBC Exerpts from the dabate, audio and video, June 16, 2004
  CTV English language debate interactive summary, June 16, 2004
Image credits:
  Leader's pictures from CTV
  debate image borrowed from CBC
  Sunset by FTLComm



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