We are the same, only different
James Bow and Andrew at Bound by Gravity started it: a concerted effort to get bloggers of all political stripes to be civil, polite and to think of that which we hold in common, rather than what make us different.
I respect these two gentlemen and enjoy a challenge as well as the next person so here goes:
All of us political animals in the blogsphere share one main thing in common - we love Canada and wish to make it the best possible place to live. I know this is true of Andrew and James above, as well as DazzlinDino, ALW, wonderdog, Jason Cherniak, CalgaryObserver and daveberta, just to name a few from the blog lists on the right side of this page. I even think this applies to the more shrill among us like jeff, Richard Evans, Le Revue Gauche and Anonalogue. Deep down, despite the rhetoric, I think they really believe the things they write and comment on are for the betterment of Canada.
Where we differ? For the most part I think we differ on how to make Canada better, because we also differ on the what the problems are or the causes of the problems. So I see us all as trying to get to the same place, via different roads. And there will be times when all the roads cross and we all agree on something.
Now, knowing all this should, I hope we can move our debates away from personal attacks, over-generalizations and the general bitterness we have all experienced throughout the spring into more civil, rational discussion on the issues, or policies. I hope we can have debates and discussions that are fought with facts, statistics, evidence and even anecdotes, rather than strawmen, name-calling and large quanities of "look I just read [insert Ayn Rand or Karl Marx or other political philosophy book here] I'm an expert and you are a dummy" innuendo.
That being said, of course, I also think we should call it like it is and not be afraid to be firm and straightforward with those who use these negative tactics. I won't shy away from a good debate and I won't shy away from making someone look like a fool if that is what is needed. I will defend myself from ridiculous accusations - such as being in favour, somehow, of pedophila because I supported SSM or being anti-American because I don't like George Bush or his policies - and I will defend others of any political stripe suffering the same - such as the vicious attacks on Andrew and Mike Brock for daring to ask that the CPC focus on positive, policy based messages rather than messages that don't work.
Democracy and freedom work hand in hand with civility and cooperation. I think if we all agree on this, we can have something else in common.
So let's debate our various, differing ideas on how to make Canada a better place, and come up with the solutions we can all live with.
Is that so hard?