Friday, January 23, 2009

Addendum to previous

My husband informed me last night that my post regarding the president wasn't very good.
This caused an emotional kerfuffle, which has now been resolved. However, it made me want to defend myself here. So, I wanted to say first of all that I wasn't trying to be particularly intelligent, or articulate, or pose any sort of argument to sway anyone else's opinion. I was just answering Tonya's question with what came to mind. I rarely have time for long posts at this juncture in my life, so the longish ones come out unedited just as it comes out of my mind.
The reason I brought up the abortion debate was for two reasons. (1) It is an example of a domestic issue that I think is less important than international issues and human rights issues, and (2) It is an issue that those of a more republican frame of mind tend to get wrapped up in. Personally I have no idea what the personal opinion of my country's leader regarding abortion is. I have no idea what any of the contenders' opinions are. I don't much care, unless there is pending legislation regarding abortion. Which there isn't. And if there were, I would expect said leader to make a decision based on Canadian values, rather than his or her own personal ones. Anyways. That was why I brought up that issue, because I tend to think some Americans get tangled up in that one issue and not devote enough energy to other issues.
And my answer to Tonya's question wasn't deep or intelligent. It was simply that I am a global citizen and I care about what happens in the world as a result of the actions of our world leaders.
Thus far, Obama has earned my respect by pledging to unite Americans regardless of party politics and tackle the problems at hand. He has strengthened that respect by starting the process of closing Guatanamo Bay and issuing a ban on torture tactics and a clampdown on CIA tactics. I like that in his inauguration speech he included 'non believers' in his list of diverse American religeons. I love that he is charismatic to the point that I stop remembering that his speeches are written prior to being presented, and I just settle in to listen and engage as if he were speaking off the top of his head about something he is passionate about. And he has a more temperate approach to international relations than his predecessor.

Nuff said.

And thank you to those who responded. Very thoughtful! I found it interesting that two American friends responded that they preferred less government involvement in their lives and that Obama represents a MORE involved government paradigm. This is incredibly interesting to me. I am Canadian. Everywhere I turn, the government is involved in something to do with my life. Taxes are high to pay for our many programs. But I never feel constrained by this. I am free to homeschool my children, or send them to private school if I choose. If I choose these methods of education I recieve tax credits to offset those provincial taxes I pay towards public education. I enjoy a mandatory 52 week maternity leave paid for by the same government agency that pays out employment insurance and welfare. So although I pay into it I benefit from it. Not to mention those who are unemployed and/or need financial assistance whose income I don't mind contributing to! Health care is free. Free. To everyone. We all have access to it. No user fees, no deductable, no nothing. Actually, depending on your income you do have to pay a monthly fee for 'health care' but it is a maximum of $54 per month, but if your income is low or you can't pay for some reason you still get access to health care. Maybe I don't understand exactly why government involvement is a bad idea? As long as we continue to have freedom of speech and the freedom to opt out of state education (as long as we replace it with something), isn't government involvement okay?
Help me out here!


Tonya said...

Hee hee, I don't believe I've even watched an Obama speech. Made me laugh that you have! :-) Wow, maybe I should care a little more!

Gov't healthcare - typically, you get what you pay for, right? So, having had military health care (for free) my entire life, we actually choose a different option and pay a deductible, etc to get better health care. That is our choice, because the military health care system has typically been a crappy choice. I'm thankful we can choose something else!

Higher taxes - YUCK! I'd rather keep my money, donate it to organizations I want, spend it on the education we choose. Oh, and here, we pay property tax, which goes for your public education. I get nothin' from the gov't for not using it. Now, neither do my neighbors without kids in school. I'm not asking for them to pay me to homeschool my kids. Just don't raise my taxes any more!

Interruption by screaming, hungry, tired baby. :-)

Basically, I think Canadians are more comfortable with socialism. Right? (Crap, am I opening up another can of worms?) Americans typically are not. I am more than happy to give money to food banks, homeless shelters, etc - more than happy to give to those in need. But, if the gov't continues to raise taxes and ask us to pay more that way, then I have no say over how that money is given or used. Guess I'm just a control freak. :-) One example is that Obama has already lifted the ban on US money going overseas to pay for abortion (including partial birth abortion). Since I'm morally opposed to abortion, I would rather not have my money go there.

Am I making any sense? I feel like I'm very disjointed in my logic today.

Asheya said...

Also freedom to choose where and with who we give birth. It is my understanding that midwifery is still illegal in some states, making it very difficult for women to obtain a midwife attended home birth. Whereas in Canada midwifery services are being incorporated into 10 of 13 of the provinces and territories health plans (which are funded by taxes) that I know of (the Yukon, Newfoundland, and PEI being the exceptions; I'm working on the Yukon!). And in the places where it is not in the health plan it is not illegal; you just have to pay for it yourself.

And I have to say, I agree with Melissa (being Canadian and all myself!) that I would much rather pay into Employment Insurance and get that paid parental leave after each baby, and some security in case of loss of income (and fund other people to do the same) than not pay into it.

I think pretty much everyone would agree that if you are poor it is better to live in Canada than in the states. If you are rich, well, it really doesn't matter where you live!

Asheya said...

Oh, and Melissa, I laughed when I read that Brent had said your post was no good. That's some dangerous territory there! I know I get my hackles up when Eric comments/criticizes/tries to censor my posts.

I liked your post. It's exactly what we busy moms have time for - not an in depth analysis of world politics blah blah blah but a real life picture of what we know and why we care to find out the little information we do know! Because our hands are full and our time is short.