So we stayed up late last night, about 90 minutes past our normal bedtime, watching MSNBC's coverage of the election returns in the states. I find US politics fascinating for a couple of reasons, partly because it's a freak show at times and partly because often times, policies in the US can affect policies in Canada.
For example, I give you marijuana. Well, I'll not actually GIVE you marijuana, I don't smoke it and don't have any to give. Before the "harper government" came into power, marijuana possession had been decriminalized in this country. I personally believe that it should not only be decriminalized but it should be legalized. People use cannabis to treat a huge number of ailments and conditions, including MS, anxiety disorders, migraines and other types of chronic pain. Not many doctors are comfortable signing the necessary paperwork you need to obtain permission to use it legally for medical reasons. Because the Bush 43 government was a strong opponent of pot, the harper government followed suit and revoked the laws which decriminalized marijuana in Canada.
Some of the ultra conservative folks in the states, many of whom were defeated yesterday, want to take away the ability for a woman to make choices about her own health and they sure don't want same sex couples to be able to marry legally. I would hate to see the harper government try to pull the same stunts up here. Times like this make me appreciate the way our government is structured. The multi-party system has forced everyone to work together to get things done.
Things in Canada are by no means perfect, I don't think that any country is "perfect" for that matter. There are always ways which we could help improve things for folks, for young people and old people and people suffering with illnesses and disabilities but overall, I think we get things right more often than not.
Today, to celebrate my Canadian-ness, I'm going to get my free flu shot at our local health unit. Normally, I don't get the flu shot. Last year, I had the flu and it was pretty horrible. Hopefully, I'll avoid that this year by getting shot in the arm. For folks who live here in the Kingston area, the Health Unit has a list of places you can go to get your free shot OR you can book an appointment online and avoid lining up.