Saturday, September 20, 2008

Enough Said

Really, what else do I need to say?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Liberal Freedom (Part 2)

This isn't really a blog post.

In the past year or so I have been lucky enough to come across some really excellent thinkers. Not only have I learned a lot from them, but I've also just been so gratified to see so many people in the world that think like I aspire to. A lot of them you will find in my blog list, and I hope you do so.

I'm just so impressed by another blogger I know, that I'm just going to link to her most recent post. It is the source of my desire to give high-fives all around right at this moment. Read
this. It speaks to me, and hopefully to you too.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Liberal Freedom (Part 1)

In my mind, it seems a pretty simple choice. I enjoy freedom more than I enjoy money.

I realise that it hasn't been that apparent judging from my first few attempts at blog writing, but I think that it very much ties into my reasoning about who I cast my vote for every election.

I was lucky enough to have been born in a pretty well-off area of a very rich country to a decidely middle class family. I got a very fortunate start right there and don't I know it. I was lucky to have been genetically gifted with enough intelligence to get myself through post-secondary education along with the help of student loans and scholarships from my very generous government. And charmed enough to land a decent job at a very solid company.

I have never truly experienced financial hardship. I'm young enough to not be at all worried about money and perhaps that is why I think I value other things more.

Of course money can provide a certain amount of freedom, you might say, and I might agree. I have the liberty to pursue my happiness because I don't need to worry about food, clothing, housing, or medical care. What if most people on earth had that freedom? So far, at least, in my country, they do. I pay a goodly portion of taxes to help provide that freedom for myself and others and that actually gives me pleasure. I think this provides an excellent basis for the pleasure of all. (Because really, anyone who knows me, knows that when I'm happy, everybody's happy ;)

These freedoms are always there for the rich, no matter what country they may live in. They are not always there for the poor. I feel supremely lucky to live in a country where so far freedom is not just for the rich.

There are also freedoms that have less directly to do with money, and these are the liberties I worry more about. Right now in my country, I have autonomy over my person. This has only very recently been the case for women, and so I do not treat it lightly. I revel in my good fortune. Only a few years ago gay people were granted the freedom to marry all across this country. This is another example of the type of freedom that I cherish every single day.

I say that these liberties have less to do with money because governments can grant these freedoms without causing taxes to go up or economies to crash, though you'd never convince the naysayers of that. But make no mistake, rich people across the world can ignore that poor people in their countries may not have these freedoms because with enough money, they may live as though they themselves do. If a wealthy person lives in a country where abortion is illegal, they can afford to take a trip to one where it is not.

This is why I will always side with the "left", which in Canada is the Liberal Party, and in the US is the Democratic Party. These parties are far from perfect. They are made up of politicians, after all. But they are the lesser of 2 evils because of one thing - the acceptance that freedom is for every citizen, not just the for the rich.