Your meme is bad and you should feel bad

ConservativesWantYouToThink

Can Canadians stop sharing this? Even if we ignore that one of the thoughtful conservatives in the provided example believes she can see Russia from her house, the image is inaccurate to the point of being absurd and it doesn’t make whatever point you think it’s trying to make and has little – if any – relevance for the upcoming Canuckistanian election.

Toe the party line

Each party absolutely does tell voters what to think. The people that follow their chosen party’s instructions are referred to as that party’s base. If you’re voting CPC because that’s who you’ve always voted for, you’re part of that base and, as such, not exhibiting any of the critical thinking skills your breezy graphic celebrates.

On the other hand, if you’re open to voting for whatever party/candidate you think best reflects your concerns and values, you’re exercising independent thought (regardless of who you vote for).

If you think the election is a hot load and that the system is broken and that ultimately, it doesn’t matter who you vote for, you’re Russell Brand or the guy from PETA that explains voting to Stan Marsh.

And lastly, if you just want to do what you want to do, you’re Bender from the Breakfast Club.

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A non-existent rivalry

There was a time when the Tories and the Liberals were diametrically opposed. They battled back and forth, each wanting to rule the federal roost. Those days are looooong gone. The entire political landscape in this country has moved one step to the right.

Twenty years ago, the federal political spectrum looked like this:

NDP → Liberal | PC ← Reform

Way to the right we had the bible punchers out of rural Alberta and the yin to their yang were the communists of the NDP. “Rational” voters got to choose between the left of centre Liberals or the right of centre Progressive Conservatives.

That’s all changed. In 2015, the spectrum looks like this:

Green → NDP | Liberals ← CPC

Here in the 2010s, Conservative Party of Canada members are the far right wingnuts (exhibit A) and – whether its base wants to accept it or not – the Liberals are now right of centre. The NDP carries the torch for leftist voters and way, WAY on the far left, dirty hippies occupy the commune that comrades once called the motherland.

In the first post-2015 federal election, the “mainstream” parties will be the Liberals and the NDP. So while it’s all good and fine for conservatives to have some fun at the expense of their Grit counterparts, something tells me that by 2020, right of centre voters will be begging for a Liberal majority.

When viewed through this lens, that stupid “think for yourself” meme referenced at the top of this post now makes even less goddamn sense than it did before.

Stop using it.