I walked to the advance polling station during the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, to this song from the Captain America: The Winter Soldier called ‘Taking a Stand’:
The track played on repeat for the entire 16 minute walk, only stopping to take off my headphones for the voting process. The irony, a song from a movie featuring an all-American hero, did not seem lost on me. This whole election nearly rang with the rhetoric of the Bush years, except substitute the draping of the red, white, and blue with the just read and white. Prime Minister Harper hungers for military operation to go after ISIS, forgetting the soldiers either missing a limb or dealing the nightmares while waiting for a psychiatric assessment for PTSD during Afghanistan.
Even I know life does not resolve itself like a movie.
I went with a more Canadian, nay Winnipeg, selection in Neil Young. I have no idea how today will turn out. Hear one poll and the Conservative will win, hear another poll predict the Liberals, and everyone just wants to know how to deal with October 20th.
How will I deal with October 20th?
If Harper wins, it means Canada enters a dark time. It’s not melodrama. I have seen some pretty scary things said on Twitter or screen-capped from FaceBook. I work in a diverse environment with young men wearing turbans and young women wearing hijabs. The niqab non-issue will open those flood gates, with some forgetting the ‘true blue’ Canadians have ancestors most likely stealing the land from those originally here first. (It’s the way I remember the terms ‘First Nations’ and ‘Aboriginal’.)
In the meantime we keep going. We keep our eyes open as rocking in the free world never comes truly free. It’s always vigilant, and never taken for granted.