Monday, November 10, 2008

Too Busy for Democracy - How Important You Must Be

Perhaps the most important thing you need to know about the upcoming civic elections has nothing to do with what the candidates are promising or what their recent crimes may have been.


The really important thing comes from a Frances Bula piece in Saturday's Globe & Mail.

Here it is:

In 2005, the number of people who voted in Vancouver was 32% of eligible voters. In Victoria, 26%; in Prince Rupert, 46%; in Chilliwack, 15% and in Kelowna, 31%.


Tomorrow is a National Holiday.

It is called Remembrance Day.

You buy a poppy from a boy scout and wear it as a badge on the lapel of your raincoat.

But you don't vote.

Let's say it again for the 900th time.

Men and women fought and died in World Wars so that you could have the honorable privilege of throwing away your franchise, behaving like a selfish neanderthal and not exercising your right to vote.

Oh, we know.

You don't like the candidates and this is your little rebellion.

You are too busy.

When we are too busy to practice the simplest rites of democracy, we are rushing headlong to a precipice...and texting while we do it, no doubt.

It is your civic and moral responsibility to vote.

It doesn't matter that the quality of candidates has fallen dreadfully in the last 20 years.

It doesn't matter that you don't like Jack over Bob.

It only matters that you behave like a citizen.



Anonymous said...

Hear, hear, David!

Anyone who doubts the veracity of your paragraph, "When we are too busy to practice the simplest rites of democracy, we are rushing headlong to a precipice...and texting while we do it, no doubt."

...needs to read, Dispersing the Fog: Inside the secret world of Ottawa and the RCMP, by Paul Palango.

For those who are concentration-challenged, one need only read as far as Page 17 to "get" the message.

Me? I intend to work my way through every one of its 530 pages, the last one of which says this: We desperately need our society to be educated about the crucially important but different roles played by commerce and guardians in society....Unless we are prepared to do more for our country, it is all but guaranteed that our governments will do less for us.

I would go further - Unless we pay closer attention to those who are in a position to do harm to our fast-fading democracy - no matter to what slight degree - Canadians can look forward to the dictatorships which loom on our federal and provincial horizons.

The dictatorships will be exerted by unassailable, self-serving, conscienceless, consortia of politicians, private corporations and 'security' personnel.

Would that I could believe differently about this wonderful country to which, with stars in my eyes, I so eagerly immigrated almost 54 years ago.

David - this is the opinion of one who, for the better part of a long lifetime has been considered to be on the right-wing of the political spectrum.

Liz J.

Anonymous said...

I am not too busy for democracy, I want to vote -- but tell me, how do I put my 'X' beside a candidate that I do not support? Perhaps Peter Ladner is a good guy -- I spoke with one of his advisors this weekend (we were both visiting a mutual friend in hospital) and he thinks Ladner is the only choice and if we only knew the details behind the $100 million dollar loan and that Ladner can't speak out for ethical reasons and would rather lose the election than compromise his word, or some such. His son is working on Ladner's campaign as well and they both respect him as a very ethical person (is that possible in a politician?). I certainly won't vote for Robertson (despite your insistence that his cute factor, you know, the Warren Harding effect, will get him the female vote, or at least some of the female vote). Had Carole Taylor run for mayor, I would have been out pounding the streets on her behalf (well, at least I would have happily voted for her), but alas, that was not to be. So I ask again, what am I to do?


David Berner said...

Dear Mo,

I understand your dliemma and I sympathize...BUT...

as well know, there is little justice in the world and no thing that we know of that is in the Big Smoke is a series of considered compromises...

What are you to do?


Bite the bullet and vote for one of them...preferably Ladner, because, in spite of all you may know or think about him, just wait until Mr. Social Engineer and his well-heeled Millionaire Silly People friends get beihind th steering wheel. You will see a host of wonderful new programs and a hasty exit of all city hall money.

Anonymous said...

It can be said, in the first world war, our soldiers fought for Canada and that Canada and Canadians were something to be reckoned with. Vimy Ridge seared Canada's coming of age and the soldier's knew this.

Fighting for freedom is not and was never in the lexicon of WW1 vets.

World War 2 was different, when there was a realization of a lurking evil that was undoing everything that was sacrificed for a generation before.

WW2 was a fight for freedom (in the context of the 1930') and those vets who are now still alive, know well. Nazi and Nazism and the rest of the fascist clones were an abhorrent evil. Too bad that our politicos today have turned Remembrance Day into a political event and not a solemn event for those of us to remember our fathers and grands-fathers and when called to do their patriotic duty, did.

For those at rest in far away graves - I remember.

Anonymous said...

When 'da Creme de la Creme decide which one gets to be Mayor, then that one will have the 'nod.

Ultimately not many from east of Main Street will bother to peek over their cubicle/stand/manhole/whathaveyou to take much notice that the name on the office door has changed.


Because who is #2 is not as important as #1 and the Mayor of Vancouver will not qualify for #1 anytime soon.