Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
I’ve been thinking for a long time about why I simply cannot support you. It’s not that I am a “Liberal.” In fact for years I was a conservative, I even had (and still have) a membership card. Although my reasons for having those cards has changed.
I think that the reason why I cannot get behind you is that we are so very different in philosophy. I will submit that we have many things in common. We are both parents, both married to exceptional spouses, and both love music. In fact I think that our musical tastes are quite similar. We both have a deep belief in this country, although our beliefs about it are not the same. You believe that Canada is country that was broken and needed to be fixed, while I view Canada as being extraordinary until you started to fix it.
However I do think that our differences might not be insurmountable.
I believe in being a force for good in the world. I know it’s a bit of a cliched phrase that likely gained popularity with Oprah, but I think that it is a true one (and that is probably the reason it is a cliche). I am not an influential person. I have very little in the way of personal power. But I do believe that the small amount of power that I have is created by doing good. I believe in being heroic in my efforts to love, to give hope, to be generous, to lift up, to protect and to encourage. I practice every day small acts that I hope leave a ripple of goodness in my small pond of influence. I honestly thank the people who serve me. I genuinely interact with people I meet, even if they are strangers to me. I try to do something unexpectedly nice for someone every day.
I do believe that the Canada that existed when I was a young woman was a force for good in the world. We were peace keepers, not war mongers. We were welcoming to those in need, not suspicious and aloof. We gave generously to those abroad and at home, without spurious moral conditions.
The Harper Government has become synonymous with pettiness, meanness, narrow vision, and a callous disregard for anyone who doesn’t “believe” what they do. We have lost our reputation in the world for being good. Simply good.
Mr. Prime Minister, how hard is it to be good? How difficult is it to be a force for good in the world? Is there some way that we can elevate ourselves to the stature that we used to have for being decent, caring, and generous? Will there be a time in our future when our young people can once again sew the Maple Leaf on their backpacks and be assured of a warm welcome where ever they go?
I encourage you, Mr. Prime Minister, to embrace the idea of being a force for good. I encourage you to look beyond the next election cycle, and instead look deep into the future and decide if the the decisions that you make today will make the world a better place for your grandchildren. I implore you to look beyond the idea of making a quick buck, beyond the idea of a strong currency, or being a “player” at the international table, and instead look to your legacy as the Prime Minister who turned Canada into the envy of all nations. A nation known for having the best science, the best education, the best healthcare, the greenest environment, and equality for all citizens, rich poor, old or new, and in giving those citizens the ability to attain all of these things.
I know that you are a very smart man. I know that you can make Canada the envy of the planet. The question is, Mr. Prime Minister, will you be a force for good?
Signed with hopefullness,