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Sunday, February 3, 2008

How Fun Is THIS??

I have to admit that I haven't been this excited about politics in a long time. Many of you may not know that my degree is in Political Science, and I have been a little bit of a government geek ever since touring the legislature in grade five. I've always thought that my dream job would be as a campaign manager (for the candidate who wins, of course). Perhaps one day I'll run the most kick-butt campaign for the Reeve of Hanover and feel redeemed. (The whole concept of "dream job" is another blog post in and of itself.)

Of course, I wear my political colors (and animals) on my sleeve (I love me some donkeys!). I am a democrat through-and-through. I believe in social services, and that the obligation of government is to ensure that its citizens, even the least of these, are taken care of. I believe that everyone deserves a chance at opportunity and healthcare. I believe that the government needs to regulate business in order to ensure the opportunities are available to everyone. I believe in diplomacy. I believe that ensuring opportunity involves taxation of those who are blessed by having much. I believe that the government needs to protect citizens, and one of the easiest ways to do that in 2008 is to enact some sort of gun control laws (I'm actually quite passionate about gun control, oddly enough. When Richie and I got married, I said that I would not live in a house with a gun. The good boy thankfully chose me over the antique rifle!). I believe in the stark separation of church and state.

I think that the majority of Americans will choose their candidate of choice based upon their top two or three issues. These top issues will, of course, be different for everyone. For me, the number one issue, without question, is healthcare. It's affected me personally (Ellie cost us about $15,000 out-of-pocket, even WITH decent insurance through Richard's employer). I believe in universal healthcare. Oh, there are certainly problems with the universal healthcare system here in Canada. We waited months to see some of Ellie's specialists when we first moved up here. BUT, I still believe that it is a fundamental right of every American and Canadian, especially because we live in such insanely wealthy countries, to receive accessible and decent healthcare. Thus, any candidate who is not supportive of some sort of universal healthcare falls off the Chrystie list.

I waiver on my number two and three, between the war in Iraq/international relations and the economy (with gun control a very close fourth). The problem with all of these issues is that I can be easily swayed as to the "perfect" solutions. I believe we need to say adios to Iraq, but I'm unsure as to the best withdrawal plan or timeline. Dubya has completely shattered American credibility in international relations, and I'm (naively?) hopeful that no matter who the new President is, he or she will represent the US much more intelligently and favorably. I am a fiscal liberal without doubt, so of course, I'm not a fan of tax cuts. I avoided any sort of business, economic or statistic class like the plague, so I'm happy to admit that I'm a loser when it comes to the economy, and how to "fix" it (or if it's even fixable). I *do* believe that $500 of tax breaks to middle income families (ie: us) is much less effective (and moral) than spending that $5 million on social services. Five hundred bucks buys us a weekend in Grand Forks; it buys food for a year for a homeless person.

Now, the choice between Hills and Obamie is a tough one! I've been an Obama fan for a LONG time, but I'm starting to love me some Hillary. I truly like them both. This is my dream: eight years of Hillary as Prez, Obama as Vice, and then eight years with Obama at the helm, and Anderson Cooper as VP (you KNOW he wants to leave journalism for politics...)! It makes me Ellie-squeal with glee when I think about either of those candidates running for President. I've become so used to picking the "least sucky" candidate, and this race is SUCH a breath of fresh air!

I'm even excited about the Republican race (now that Huckabee is a far third). I don't mind McCain. I wouldn't hurl if he held the name of Commander in Chief. I'd be sad, and a teeny bit afraid (especially in regards to Iraq), but he'd be so much better than GWB, that his White House presence would still be a sweet relief.

One of the most warm-tingly parts of both nomination races is how it's getting people off their political couches. People are excited! People care! People are watching Chris Matthews, Bob Schifer and George Snuffleupogus! People are thinking about the issues that mean most to them! I could give a rat's petudie who you vote for (bar one or two candidates), as long as you VOTE and CARE!

I want to end this post by telling y'all that I absolutely recognize that many of you, sweet friends and family, will disagree with me on issues and best candidates. Disagree away! That's what's so great about democracy and this race. Admittedly, I am fabulously passionate about politics and have definite opinions on the role of government and who would best represent the people, but I'm always into a friendly debate. I'll try to sway you, and you try to sway me! That's what makes this so fun!

PS: I realize this is US-centric, but that's where the spotlight is right now. At some time in the near future, I will write a blog-e-torial on Canadian politics! Right now, though, Canadian politics is far less fun for me, because it IS a case of choosing the "least worst". Ugh.


Peitricia Mae said...

Guess where the national Republican convention is in 2008? Feel free to come on down and do some swaying - heck, you can stay here for free, as I suspect we'll have to flee North that week.

Tish said...

Your pick of the top issues leaves off one that is being hotly debated here... immigration! It's a real hot potato!

Bill S. said...

Christie - you DON'T want to know who Mel and I voted for yesterday! HA!

Chrystie said...

Bill, you mean to say that you voted for John McCain's running mate? :-) It hadn't even dawned on me until yesterday that Huckleberry Finn might run as VP under Mac-Shack. It would sicken me, of course, but McCain would be SO SMART to make it work!