By Al Beeber on August 28, 2021.
Prompted by Doug Cameron’s recent Letter to the Editor, I took an online quiz to gauge where I stand on the political spectrum. In his letter, Cameron stated with the election that many voters will be speaking of their devotion to one political party.
The quiz at https://canada.isidewith.com/political-quiz may quickly dispel your preconceived notion about which political party fits your personal beliefs. The poll is designed, according to the website, to show people how their beliefs align with each political party.
Like Cameron, I also have voted for different political parties provincially and federally over the years, including each of the Big 3.
My interest in politics started in the early 1980s when a group of us would meet every morning at the Voyageur Inn motel in Fort Frances for morning coffee at one of the town ‘s regular “koffee klatches.” One regular, Pat Reid, was the cousin of the motel’s owner Tom Reid. Pat happened to be the Liberal Member of the Provincial Parliament representing the riding which included Fort Frances. His brother John was the Liberal Member of Parliament for the federal riding that also included Fort Frances.
Being a border town on a boundary water – specifically Rainy Lake that encompassed territory in both Ontario and Minnesota, Fort Frances residents had some serious concerns about fishing regulations and the access of American fishermen to Canadian walleye stocks, which at one point were in terrible shape because of overfishing by anglers on both sides of the border.
The many hours spent at morning coffee with Pat Reid helped shape my political viewpoints so it became natural for me to consider myself a Liberal.
But that hasn’t stopped me over the years from voting Conservative and even NDP depending upon the year, the issues at hand and my concern over the handling of provincial or federal affairs by our respective governments.
So I took the test which is a very involved one, tackling many issues and providing multiple choice answers. These answers are used to determine one’s likely political affiliations.
I suspected the quiz would show I lean to the left – when we used to have Saturday “church” services at the old Backstreet pub, I was known as the only left-winger at the table and took a lot of good-natured flak over it. At least I think it was good-natured.
I truly wasn’t expecting the results that turned up, however. According to this quiz, my leanings are 76 per cent Libertarian, 73 per cent Conservative, 70 per cent Liberal and a whopping 58 per cent Communist!
The latter surprised me as much as discovering my grandpa Bieber was part Icelandic.
To me, this says that no party truly represents me. And I’m guessing that’s because I’m balanced. I don’t subscribe completely right or left; I believe a person can have some views that are liberal and even socialist, and others that are conservative.
And that’s because I do have both.
And why shouldn’t we have a range of viewpoints?
Political and social issues are not just two-sided; there are many sides to every issue and I think this quiz reflects my belief in balance.
So how am I going to vote in the upcoming federal election? I don’t know because I don’t feel I can completely relate to any single party. No party yet exists that personifies me and it probably won’t unless I create it. And that’s not going to happen.
Balance, especially in the political climate of Alberta, is about as foreign as a Stanley Cup parade on Yonge Street.
Those of us who consider ourselves moderates in this province either are in the minority or we’re in hiding like American military interpreters in Afghanistan, fearful to be seen and not daring to be heard.
Balance is not a thing here in Alberta and the lack of a real alternative to the major parties that represents a wide spectrum of viewpoints doesn’t appear to exist or if it does, that party is virtually unknown.
By the results of this particular quiz, it’s clear to me an alternative party is definitely needed – at least for people like me who may feel disenfranchised by our existing political system.
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