St. Jude will hear us even in Alberta – Reflection on 2008 election

St. Jude will hear us, eventually.

The 2008 Alberta election was devastating to many of us. Despite many predictions by political pundits to the contrary, it was a Tory landslide. I already heard on the election night a few staunch NDP supporters talking about realignment of political parties in Alberta. I keep saying to myself, “St. Jude (the patron saint of hopeless causes) will hear us some day.” I’m sure the same sentiment is felt among the Greens and perhaps the Wildroses. This is not good for democracy in Alberta.

If you think of some of the best things in Canada we are proud of, you realize many of them were advocated by people who rarely got into power. I know that politics is about power, and any political party which has no possibility to form a government is not credible. But a good idea can influence the course of history with a sheer force of its wisdom. Siddartha Gautama, founder of Buddhism, left a position of power and wealth to pursue the way of absolute wisdom (Nirvana). Isn’t an art of governing also about compassion and justice, not just pursuit of power?

Some of the most respected Canadian politicians didn’t form a government very often. And yet, Stanley Knowles, Tommy Douglas, Robert Standfield, for example, are all respected figures. Their influence still is enormous. When Angus MacInnes, an original CCFer, stood in the Parliament to speak passionately for the rights of Japanese-Canadians during and immediately after the WW II, he was alone; everybody thought he was committing political suicide. He eventually caused a change of the government’s policy and mass deportation of Japanese-Canadian, which was already in progress, was halted.

I am not in despair. I carry on, continue to be committed to the cause I believe in. I hope you never stop. St. Jude will hear us someday.

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