I was just reading a post over at Climbing Out Of The Dark, and in the comments section " "Mississauga Tom" told Hunter that 'today's Liberals are not your father's Liberals'. That really popped out at me because for as long as I can remember, my dad voted Liberal. It was always funny to me as a child and young teen because when an election came up, my dad would put up his Liberal sign and my mom would put up her PC sign. It made me laugh, not understanding much about politics at the time of course, and being involved in my own little world of teen-dom and not really caring to ask what the difference was. Now I kick myself in the butt over and over because I have NO IDEA why my dad voted Liberal. None. Zip. Nada. What I see going on today just doesn't mesh with how my dad raised me. My parents are both from very small towns in New Brunswick, but moved to Alberta in 1969.
My dad went out on his own in his mid-teens, then joined the army. He went on to Forestry School in NB and eventually landed a job in the Rockies out here. He was a VERY hard worker and did not accept aid for anything. He was never unemployed, we moved a few times to follow his job changes, and his last one was 16 years in a provincial park. When I was about 15, I wanted a new shirt from an expensive store and his response was that if I wanted it, I should go get a job lol. Same thing when I complained that they were buying me cheap jeans instead of Levi's - get a job. So I did. And I have worked ever since and never collected unemployment (unless you count the one time out of three kids that I took paid maternity leave). He complained about unions going overboard, he was a volunteer fire chief at the same time as working full time, he had a very strong work ethic. He did not like people getting free rides and wanted them to aspire to create their own wealth and make their own way in life. He was not in the Army that long, a few years but he still attended many Sapper Apprentice Reunions and one of his best friends was an army buddy living in BC and they visited when they could. So it's not like he joined the army and then hated what it stood for, he had the tattoos and still talked of his days in the army and I never heard a bad word about it (other than his ouch story of breaking his ankle in a parachute-jump-gone-wrong). As I got older, he encouraged ME to join the army, but I never did.
He donated to various things, and was a life long blood doner because he had Type-O, he volunteered for the Red Cross - but I remember when the 100 year flood was going to hit our city and he was p-d right off that people were not heeding the warnings and not preparing themselves. He was not impressed that so many were panicking at the last minute and expected everyone else to help them. We had warnings for 2 weeks that most ignored and he did not like that. In order to help them, he ended up stranded on the north side of the city when they had to close the bridges...he was not impressed. He did not walk around talking about social justice, increasing unemployment, increasing welfare, etc. He wanted people to get out on their own and pull up their own pants instead of expecting someone else to do it.
So I don't understand what he was so strong about when saying he voted Liberal. And I cannot ask him because he died at work in 1996. I was only 23 and was not interested in learning about politics. So I will never know what the deal was - what exactly it was about the liberal party that made him dislike the PCs so much. I wonder what he would think today because he would be 63 years old and would see his children doling out tax money left and right to countless programs and the country really struggling. What would he think of that, I wonder? But alas, I will never know what his true reasons were and if he really believed in what the party represents, or if things have changed since then.... ????
At his funeral we had countless calls for people wanting to give eulogies so we picked 3. All of them spoke of his drive to work, to bite the bullet and just get things done, how he inspired people to find strength in themselves to get out there and make their lives how they want it, his sense of humor (usually sarcastic and sometimes caustic lol), etc. Mostly about his strong work ethic and living his life by example. Three grown men crying while trying to read out their stories, reciting In Flander's Fields, gasping at some points while trying to make it through - but all about his strong work ethic. What gives? I have a letter from him that he wrote a couple months before he died, telling me that he has a quebec student working with him for the summer and making jokes about how he whines about hard work, doesn't know how to drive, etc lol. It was joking, but that's the kind of thing I heard all the time. He didn't want me to work at the park because he figured everyone else would think I only got the job because of him and he didn't want them resenting me and not seeing my true abilities. He knew I was smart and could do it and would love it, but he wanted me to make my OWN way by MYSELF. So this just does not mesh with what I see going on today and it confuses me to no end.