Over the weekend, Nadine Wellwood, the People's Party of Canada (PPC) candidate for Banff-Airdrie, was the recipient of a threatening letter claiming to be from the left-wing-activist group ANTIFA (the letter's contents can be read in the Cochrane Eagle's front page story).
In the letter, the writer tells Wellwood she must reconsider running for a "Nazi Party" if she doesn't want to attract the interest of ANTIFA. The threat, which indicates there is someone watching Wellwood, is obviously meant to intimidate her into dropping out of the race, or at the very least change the party she is representing.
The PPC has received backlash in regards to its platform stances on immigration and multiculturalism, which has strong language denouncing multicultural policies as divisive. The party also believes in heavily reducing immigration numbers. Democratic systems have a wonderful tool to allow the public to select representatives, it's called voting. Elections are the way democracies decide which parties have presented the best case for leadership.
The voting public has the ability to select or reject parties or representatives based not only on the policies they will stand for but the values they represent. Candidate and voter intimidation is not only undemocratic, but it is also unCanadian. These are the tactics more common in countries such as Afghanistan.
It is also interesting that so far the candidates that have been victims of these threats - two so far - are both women. Women have fought a long hard road to political office. Despite those gains, they remain heavily under-represented at all levels of government and now to see female candidates become the victims of intimidation in an effort to force them out of the race is disheartening and frightening.
Canadian Forces have fought and died in countries in efforts to protect citizens from despots and militia groups threatening the freedoms of others, especially women, and seeing it being done here, in Cochrane, is revolting. If the PPC does not represent your views and you believe its policies will be detrimental to the nation, the actions are a simple, vote, stage demonstrations, write letters.
We as Canadians have the right to protest and speak out against ideas we don't like, just as we have the rights to stand for things others might not like (within reason). Intimidation, harassment and stalking should not be the route taken to share our opposing views, we have the tools necessary to do so without resorting to the extremes that are not only unCanadian, they are undemocratic.