Braying rhetoric turning off voters

Bill Maher, in a 2015 edition of his concluding editorial piece called “New Rules” suggested that were Blake Shelton (country and western musician/Republican) and Gwen Stefani (rocker/Democrat) eventually marry (which they did), it would require them to find “balance” within their political opinions, something neither Americans nor Canadians seem to perceive contributing to our political hate agenda, now in place for almost 20 years.

Viewers this week of CBC’s “Power and Politics” and CTV’s “Power Play” would have been witness to how this predicament still remains leaving the public – and their panel discussion participants – baffled as to what to think, following remarks made by PM Justin Trudeau and Leader of the Conservative Party, Pierre Poilievre, upon the government’s decision to relabel climate change rebates and introduce legislation that would address hate crimes and cyberbullying on our social media platforms.

Canadians in general seem to be unaware that we’ve just survived two years of economic chaos caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that the world, and the United States in particular, heavily influenced by then President Donald Trump, failed to immediately react to this viral plague until it was almost too late, thus further creating this atmosphere of hatred within our political ranks. It is only the result of a minority Parliament, restrained by the more rational voices electing members of minority ranking parties that could countermand the onslaught of American MAGA beliefs as reason why we’re still economically surviving, despite the machinations of various factions to allow inflationary pressures to increase and supply chains to be sabotaged by such influence.

Maybe I sound “optimistic”, or even politically “concerned” as to the prospects of success for progressive parties in Canada (Yup; definitely), but I want this form of Parliament to exist even after the 2025 federal election. Why in God’s name would we even want either one of these “major” party leaders to become our Prime Minister, when they’re already treating one another in an almost comical, if not WWE manner, with the election still at least a year away? More to the point, however, is why  are we attempting to emulate the disastrous political mayhem of the U.S.A., where a racist sexual predator, grifter, embezzler and loud-mouthed thug praising the name of Russian dictator Vladimar Putin is attempting to regain a presidency he embarrassingly lost in 2020?

Trump’s campaign is single-mindedly intent upon insuring that minority and youth voters alike will receive considerable resistance to having their right to vote recognized in November, 2024, simply because they were the deciding factors who assured his defeat in 2020. I’ve always been worried that there aren’t ENOUGH youth voters out there that could influence the more moderate component of society that slowly improving progressive legislation that respects the rights of ALL citizens, even those of the “American persuasion”, and vote accordingly. However, nothing could be more obvious as a tactic to minimize this influence than for the American right to bring back tactics used by Senator Joe McCarthy than pointing out how our entertainment and media personalities are “corrupting” today’s youth.

Prior to the Super Bowl, FOX Network talking heads Jesse Watters and Sean Hannity postulated that this “deep state”, in collusion with the NFL and Democrats, had initiated a “psyop” (psychological operation) wherein the Super Bowl would be “won” by the Kansas City Chiefs – at which time the Chiefs eventual NFL Hall of Famer Travis Kelce and “love interest” Grammy Award winner Taylor Swift would unleash her millions of “Swiftie” fans to endorse Joe Biden to still be President after the Nov. 12 election.

It is with good reason that the MAGA crowd could swallow this goulash whole. Swift has over a billion followers on her social media platforms, and in 2023 asked those followers to get registered and vote. This resulted in usage spiking over 1,200 per cent in the next hour and over 35,000 new voters registered that same day. While Kelce’s influential potential is not quite that stunning a force to reckon with, as for the MAGA football crowd, his having participated in commercials encouraging parents to vaccinate their children, as well as doing a commercial for Bud Light after transgender actress Dylan Mulvaney did her advertising video for the beer, both actions are considered “sins” within its tail-gating membership.

And so, you might ask, just HOW does this so-called American “influence” upon our political masters play out in Canada? Well, let’s get back to those two political discussions that took place on CBC and CTV earlier this week, and ask ourselves the question, “Just what were the political pronouncements made by both Trudeau and Poilievre that so dumbfounded both sides of the political discussion?

First, the Liberals decided to “relabel” carbon tax legislation from “Climate Action Incentive Payment” to the “Canada Carbon Rebate” because many Canadians haven’t the faintest idea as to “why” they are receiving this rebate. However, since neither party appears to be willing to tie this issue directly to youth voter increasing concerns as to how our government will address issues such as climate change or food sustainability, they do not “hear” their voices echoed in this chamber.

Equally concerning to youth is that whereas the Liberals were intending to introduce legislation dealing with hate language and youth victimization on social media platforms, Poilievre, even before seeing the proposed legislation (still unprepared by the Liberals) came forward heavily maintaining that such legislation would violate the right to free speech, and social media should not be constraining how people “express themselves” on these platforms. When it is full public knowledge that our youth, even under the age of 10, are most often the victims of social media bullying and violence, Poilievre’s statement on this matter even runs against its more explosive position that it is their “mission” to protect children by introducing questionable legislation such as the “Parental Rights Act”, as did Saskatchewan.

These topics will require further column discussion, and if not discussed in full by parents with their children or other youth membership, these two political “leaders” braying their rhetoric in increasing volumes of hate might eventually again turn voters away from entering the voting booth. It’s a serious mistake and defeat for democratic principles if they again take this position– both provincially in 2024 and in 2025, federally.