Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

COLUMN: Drop the partisanship and agree to disagree

Entrenchment of belief has been the norm

Finally we have seen a small glimpse of government working together.

Perhaps the most astonishing part of Premier Rachel Notley’s announcement that Alberta will be cutting the production of oil by 8.7 per cent was that all parties had reached some agreement on the decision. This is a rare showing of cross-party agreement in a time where political disagreement and partisanship is consuming all of our social interactions.

It seems like for a while, entrenchment of belief has been the norm — not only between political parties, but also at work, home and in public.

Maybe I am being nostalgic or a revisionist, but I remember a time when not every conversation was political. I remember people used to be able to talk about music, without referencing whether the artist was blue or red. I remember being able to have friends to my house, without wondering whose world-views will be offensive to someone.

In short, I remember that we as a society used to at least talk to each other without it also being about whom you vote for.

I am not suggesting that political discussions are not necessary because there are vile, hurtful opinions out there that do cause actual pain to other people and need to be addressed.

What I am suggesting is that we need to find a way to agree to disagree.

People who vote differently than you still are worthy of love and respect; people who worship differently than you do not deserve your condemnation; and people that are offended by an idea or a word are not just being “PC babies”.

Quite frankly, things offend people because we live in an offensive society that is becoming more polarizing every day due to our own unwillingness to try to understand the other side.

If you are conservative-minded, do you have even one liberal-minded friend and do you respect that person? If you are the liberal-minded friend, do you have conservative-minded friends and do you take the time to listen to them regardless of how you feel about their beliefs?

The more we choose to demonize the other side, the more our roads, hospitals and firehouses will go un-built. Like our polarized society — they will be left fractured.

Don’t be duped by political marketing and memes. The people you don’t agree with are generally not evil and it is imperative we find new ways to work together.

You can disagree but please attempt to disagree with respect.

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