If You Don’t Like What You See, Why Don’t You Fight It?

Good Morning, Macketeer! Have you fed your spambots today? I know I’ve fed mine.

So I went to a political rally the other day, to protest the lack of initiative of our government in pushing forward a comprehensive and consequential investigation of the Robocall Brouhaha that has swept our supposedly fair-minded, gentle, peaceful nation. We knew the political climate in this country had changed significantly since Stephen Harper first came into power, but the upheaval since he won his so-called majority has been untenable. And yet, in the interests of a fair and open democracy, I defend Conservative voters for having successfully gotten their party into office again, fair and square.

Except that, it looks like there was absolutely nothing fair about it. Sorry, gang.

Now, I’m not the best one for quoting statistics, but a number of them are pretty alarming when taken into context. Contested ridings lost by narrow margins, election campaign supporters who aren’t from Canada, too much money in the election coffers, and the highly dubious practice of of calling known opposition party supporters to notify them that their polling station has been relocated across town to an abandoned lot suggests far more than the usual so-called ‘American-style’ politicking. The facts that we are seeking rest almost entirely within the hands of the ruling power, and it’s going to take a lot of pressure to make them do the right thing here, if at all. Some people are cheerily suggesting armed insurrection, but I for one understand, and can’t condone violence.

So, what CAN I condone? Peaceful demonstrations? Petitions? Occupy Wall Street-style site occupations? Sure, why not? But I suspect we need to think bigger. We need campaign ads and slogans, pop songs and an art movement, beat poetry and mad social commentary novels. In other words, we need Creatives to apply themselves to the task of bringing down a government from the outside, without resorting to guns and brickbats. We need to turn the country against an illegitimate government that has no business passing laws when it should be passing sentence on itself and stepping down, or at least calling a new, free election that can be monitored more carefully for discrepancies. A government that sticks by its policy of accountable government instead of slashing funding to Elections Canada, the sole body in Canada that can instigate these investigations and make them stick against a standing government.

There are three things that non-protesters keep clinging desperately to in this province, when defending The Harper Government:

1) If Harper doesn’t get into office, then it’ll either go to Bob Rae or the NDP;

2) All of the parties are equally corrupt, so it makes no difference who gets voted into office;

and 3) At least Harper’s balancing the budget.

Except that all three points are wrong, or at least wrong-headed.

There is a long-standing knee jerk reaction amongst blue collar types when it comes to social assistants users, so when tax dollars get spent (on strangers) to keep things afloat, short-sighted labourers and small business owners only think of the money they’re losing to people they wouldn’t approve of if they met them in person. But you see, that’s what having a government is all about. You get to support your society’s social structure and keep people from starving to death in your doorway. People need a little MORE enlightened self-interest if they’re going to commit to this whole class snobbery thing.

Oh sure, there IS corruption in politics, but relatively little and relatively easily dealt with in Canadian politics. It’s also not as widespread as everyone likes to think. They see Senators delaying the CPP but giving themselves bonuses and assume it’s all gone horribly wrong. But there are plenty of politicians fighting to have those unbelievable perks removed. They want voting reform passed. They want schools and housing and hospitals for everybody. They want jobs for the able and social assistance for those unable to work. In short, they want what seemingly everyone OTHER than politicians want. Because they’re people, and they talk to their constituents and they listen to what people are saying, but most importantly, they remember that what the people want ins’t necessarily the same as what they NEED. It’s when governments forget about what people actually need and start thinking about what the people they know personally need that it gets muddy.

The point is, cynicism might spare your reputation, but it won’t fix the world’s problems. You must be willing to make an ass of yourself if you want to see things changed for the better, because no one with a vested interest in the status quo is going to give you a fair shake, and no one in general is going to thank you for forcing them to change. That’s life. But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. Activism is a powerful tool for change, and it’s needed if you want to save lives AND make the world a better place. It’s either that, or bloody revolution, and really, they don’t work. Any ‘revolution’ where blood is shed usually fails sooner or later. You can’t build Utopia on corruption, and killing corrupts any endeavour, by corrupting the person who commits it, however noble the cause.

And finally, the numbers don’t lie. Harper’s government is sinking us deeper and deeper into debt, and he refuses to listen to Canadians telling him to stop. He believes he has a mandate, you see. It’s false. The only mandate he might have was given to him by his voters (many of whom actually exist), who make up far less than half of the Canadian people. That’s not a mandate; that’s a technicality. A Coalition Government between the remaining parties would be far, FAR more representative of the peoples of Canada than any so-called majority government run by as divisive and fractious a leader as Stephen Harper. And at the same time, we could drop a lot of the ridiculous law&order and military spending projects that Harper is sinking us into the mud with. I for one would vote Coalition in a heartbeat.

Alright, I think I’ve probably ranted enough. Time to go do something constructive… or alternatively, whatever my agent tells me to do.

Your Cantankerous Uncle Eddie.

Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.


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