In one of those funny blogging synergies, my last post coincided with a couple of calls to political action on Arduous' wonderful blog. Although both posts were about issues I care deeply about (equal marriage rights and climate change), I declined to take part in either action. I detailed my reasons in a comment on the climate change post:
Arduos graciously replied:"I agree that American policy has huge implications for those of us who don't live in the country. But I'm afraid I'm going to pass on this one. I have VERY strong opinions about not meddling in the politics of countries I don't live in. Even my last post caused me a lot of anguish before I decided to go ahead and post it (I changed my mind about 10 times first, and I was only sharing a funny photo and stating an opinion, not lobbying anyone).As an ex-pat Brit, I don't even vote in the UK any more. This is despite the fact that it kills me not to have a vote (I can't vote here in Canada yet). The reason is that I don't think it's fair for people to participate in such important decisions if they don't have to live with the consequences. I used to get seriously pissed off when the ex-pat vote was mentioned during UK elections, and any attempt by individuals from other countries to sway voters in the UK or Canada really gets my back up.Sorry to go on a bit, I told you I had strong opinions!
Think global, act local, right?"
I responded (now with added links and corrected typos):"CAE, I totally respect your opinion and you make very, very valid points. I totally get why you wouldn't want to meddle. However, as an American, I realize that American policy affects the whole world and not just America. So the truth is, the entire world from Bangladesh to Canada will be living with the consequences of America's climate policy. Where global issues like climate change are concerned, I think country boundaries matter less.That said, I completely respect your decision, and thank you for voicing your views so articulately and passionately."
"Oh I totally agree that climate change has consequences without boundaries. But there are right wing political leaders closer to home who need to be leaned on first - Harper's* government is almost as blind as Bush's in this regard. And believe me, as soon as I'm a citizen, I'll be leaning as hard as I can.So, what do you think? Should I join in the lobbying of US politicians and make my voice heard as someone who will be affected by US policies? Or is it none of my business?US politics are so tricky because your government's decisions affect me so much - possible more than the Canadian government's, and definitely more than my home nation's!"
Did my not-entirely-serious last post cross that line already?
I'd love to hear from both Americans and citizens of the rest of the world!___________________________________
*The English footballer version of Stephen Harper listed at the top of that article is my team's goalkeeper and one of our most solid performers in recent years. I have significant cognitive dissonance when I hear that name now.