A democracy can only function when disputes are settled at the ballot box, rather than through violence.
A disturbing report revealed that Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has received “at least 11 death threats,” during her time in office, according to security documents.
In one especially disturbing incident, someone made a funeral application at a funeral home in Notley’s name.
The report has rightfully caused politicians across the political spectrum to speak out against political violence and threats of political violence.
I’m no fan of Rachel Notley, but I want to see her lose an election, not get hurt. Even politicians that suck at their jobs and have horrible ideas are still Canadians, and deserve to live in safety.
After all, a democracy can only function and survive when disputes are settled through elections, not violence.
With that mind, there are a few things to consider:
First of all, we know that true Canadians reject the idea of political violence and reject violent threats. Criticizing a politician is one thing (and politicians should be heavily criticized – even harshly when warranted), while threatening harm is a totally different thing.
Threatening to harm someone because of a political dispute is something that represents an unhinged perspective, and is often seen in radical groups like Antifa, the actual alt-right, and radical Islamists who seek to bypass democracy and go directly to violence in their attempt to gain power.
The hypocrisy of divisive leaders
In the wake of the report on Notley, ‘leaders’ like Justin Trudeau have said all the right things about condemning violence and condemning threats. Everyone agrees with that.
However, Trudeau has not acknowledged the role he is playing in increasing political anger and division in our nation.
We’ve seen how the Trudeau government regularly demonizes political opponents. Instead of seeing those who oppose the Liberals as Patriotic Canadians who simply have a different perspective, the Trudeau government refers to people as ‘bigots,’ ‘racists,’ ‘deniers,’ and more. The Notley government called Albertans “Sewer Rats.”
So, the same politicians who are contributing to a political environment of rising anger are trying to position themselves as the solution to that same anger, while avoiding any responsibility for their own role.
Politics often brings out negativity in all of us, and I’m sure I’ve contributed to that negativity as well. And negativity is not inherently a bad thing, as it’s often necessary to report on a negative action.
And yet, we realize that if our country is to truly move forward and truly become united, all of us must embrace the power of Patriotism and see each other as fellow citizens, rather than as enemies.
For that to happen however, the elites who benefit from keeping us divided need to either wake up to the damage they are doing, or – more likely – be replaced by leaders who can actually act in the interests of all Canadians, rather than dividing us with identity politics and exclusionary rhetoric.
Canada has a tremendous potential future ahead of us, but under our current leadership we are instead heading down a perilous path. Much of the anger in the country is a result of seeing our potential squandered and wasted, and we need to come together as a united nation before that potential is irrevocably lost.