I was polled this evening. It was ... entertaining, in an interesting sense, and stressful, and made me break out in a cold sweat.
In addition to the general "Which party do you support?", "What party would be your second choice?" and "How has your opinion changed during the election campaign" type questions, I kept being asked things such as "What party do you feel most represents people like you?"
People like me? What do they mean by people like me? Young people? Women? People living in an urban centre? Children of immigrants? People of European descent? University-educated people? SF-writer girls? New arrivals in the IT sector? What? It took me a long time to answer the question for just that reason; because asking about who best represents "people like me" isn't the same as saying "the majority of Canadians" or "the best interest of the Canadian people" or any such thing, even if the answer would be the same.
Another one that I found interesting were all the questions worded to the effect of "What party do you feel is best looking out for your financial situation?" I actually replied, "I don't care about my financial situation" -- which, of course, isn't true in the most literal sense. I do need to pay my bills. But it is true that I do not, will not, could not base my vote on my impression of which party will make or save me more money in a year. Because, frankly, there are things that are much, much, much more important to me than taxes or tax cuts. Human rights, for example, and a strong commitment to social support and programs, the Kyoto accord, a strong stance against the war in Iraq, and an absolute refusal to participate in the Missile Defense plan, to name just a few. You want my money to do those things? Please, take it.
It's quite simple, really: I'm willing to do a lot, including pay more money, to make sure that Canada is and will remain the country that I know, love, and proudly call myself a citizen of.
I'm not a big fan of the Liberals right now, I'll say that freely. Generally speaking, I support the NDP but Jack Layton comes off in public as a reactionary twit (not that there's any hope in hell that he'd ever be the next Prime Minister anyway). And Stephen Harper ... I cannot tell you how frightened I am of the prospect that he might be the next leader of this country. Please, no. Please, please, no.
Sarah has more to say on why she's not voting Conservative here
. I quite agree.