Jim Furlong: My Vote…

Jim Furlong: My Vote…

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Canadians are off to the polls again in a federal election  and it’s great because I love elections. It was part of my work but now it’s a great spectator sport. My voting pattern is odd and uncertain. Little events will sometimes just move me in a certain direction. 

Political families

My family was politically Liberal provincially and federally. In those far off days families were like that. There were Liberal families and PC families. I was a Smallwood Liberal in the beginning. I had to be. Free tuition for a year at Memorial University changed my life completely. Without it, who knows what might have happened to me. 

Eventually watching Smallwood destroy his own party and watching MUN students have an active hand in bringing down Smallwood changed me.

This time around I’m not voting for Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives. The reason is simple. He won’t go to a Gay Pride parade. He is boycotting them. Simple isn’t it? It’s his absolute right but that’s me. So fickle. I won’t vote for his party because of that. It’s the way I am. Some little thing will resonate in my skull and move my vote. 

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I wouldn’t vote  Liberal after the death of Fidel Castro because Justin Trudeau didn’t go to the Cuban leader’s funeral. That, despite the fact, that when Justin’s father Pierre died Fidel Castro flew to Canada for the former Prime Minister’s funeral. In my family that requires that Justin has to go to Fidel’s funeral instead of offering an excuse about “scheduling”. My vote moved.

‘Capriciousness’

Once I voted for the federal Progressive Conservatives and Brian Mulroney because he declined to cross an “information” picket line at a Canadian airport. When he was told it was only an “information” picket line he said he was sorry but there was a principle involved. He said he didn’t cross picket lines. I was a good labour man and that stance by Mulroney won him my vote. The word “capriciousness” comes to my mind and perhaps, you find it wrong for me to fling my vote around, but I hope nobody promised you fairness in political matters.

Consider two people who I call friends and their political backgrounds prior to going into the voting booth. One is a political science major, has spent a life around politics, and considers all the issues in campaigns very carefully. 

The other thinks that aluminum pots and vaccinations cause autism and that doctors, controlled by “big pharma” have a cure for cancer but won’t reveal it. Both of those guys have a vote. Now one of my grandfathers back in the fifties would express it like this; “Sir Leonard Outerbridge (Lieutenant Governor) has one vote and Tommy Toe (local vagrant) has one vote. It don’t seem right.”

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Anyway, fair or not, off to the polls we go. The media will have a field day with the old clichés like dropping the writ or exercising your democratic franchise. Somehow it all works or at least we have convinced ourselves it does.

NTV’s Jim Furlong can be reached by emailing: jfurlong@ntv.ca

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