When it comes to politics, we need to work together, not be chained by our biases. (Illustration courtesy Pixabay)

When it comes to politics, we need to work together, not be chained by our biases. (Illustration courtesy Pixabay)

Editorial: Parting with partisanship

Canada is not immune from partisanship

Even two years after he lost the U.S. presidential race, former U.S. President Donald Trump continues to be a focus for partisan politics.

It would be nice to be able to just say ‘that’s the U.S. for you, thankfully we live in Canada!’ Sadly, Canada is showing the same partisan trends, one example of which is the recent verbal attack on Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland during a visit to Alberta.

Debate and discussion are a key part of our democracy, one of the reasons why some of our greatest reforms, like Medicare and the Canada Pension plan, came out of minority governments — they had to talk to each other to get anything done.

But partisanship continues to grow in Canada. In the last federal election, it seemed like the parties were more focused on attacking each other than campaigning on policy and issues.

Partisan politics is nothing new, of course. We see it at all levels of government, but at other times, politicians have recognized that when push comes to shove, they should work together, at least to some degree. After all, they all are supposed to have a common goal, despite ideology, of making their community a better place.

Debate is a key component of how our democracy works, but when it becomes so divided along party lines that no opposing voices can be heard, it’s not really a debate anymore — it’s just people shouting at each other, often descending into attacks on the person, rather than the person’s policies.

Partisanship isn’t as big a deal with local elections such as the one coming up next month, but it remains something to be aware of and work to avoid.

In the end, it’s up to the people we elect to represent us to set a good example, to stop building walls and inciting anger. You don’t have to agree with each other, but you do need to have an open mind.

–Black Press

100 Mile House