This isn’t supposed to be an ag-policy blog anymore. Because of that, I apologize to the readers who were enjoying my travel posts. They will return. I promise. Feel free to ignore this post.
Between what’s happening south of the border to the current Federal Conservative leadership race and the Ontario government’s retrenchment back into people-pleasing campaign mode, I find myself wound so tight with daily political angst, I feel like exploding.
People tell me not to worry about the things we can’t change. Trump. The Ontario Liberal government. Kellie Leitch’s small-minded view of Canadians.
The people we are supposed to trust to know stuff say, things won’t change that much for Canada with Trump. Everyday, I read with horror the executive orders he’s signing. Does the media, seemingly no wiser in their actions after the election than before, continue to sensationalize the truth? Are they purposefully trying to cloak the truth in an exaggerated version of itself to fire everyone up more?
I suspect likely so.
Even still, these aren’t policies I will be subjected too and I cringe. I feel like we are watching the unraveling of all that made the U.S. once great and the consequences will have a ripple effect on the rest of the world.
I am not so naive to think the hardship and frustrations that drove so many U.S. voters to demand change don’t exist here. While many of us would opt for change a little less drastic, we still desire change nonetheless. We don’t have the benefit of the electoral college to carry our voice to victory though. Large concentrations of population drive the vote in Canada.
So what can we do if we are unhappy? Twice last week, I heard it mentioned that there is a very real chance the OLP will be re-elected. Let that sink in. Billions of dollars wasted. The largest sub-national debt in the world. The least popular Premier. Ever.
The London Free Press reported this week, on interest alone, each of us is paying roughly $1,500 a year. That’s $1,500 from your paycheque not going into roads, schools, or healthcare. I’m sure you can think of other ways you would spend $1,500.
We half-heartedly select these people to run our provinces and countries, sometimes knowing full well they are unqualified, then when they fail to uphold even a basic moral standard, we don’t hold them to account.
I get it. You’re busy. Your kids need picked up from hockey. You need to get the dog to the vet. You need to keep food on the table. When you do interact with government, it’s more likely than not, frustrating, inefficient and disappointing. Isn’t it easier to just let someone else deal with it?
It is. Except that when the time comes it’s in your face and you’re forced to deal with government, likely you will be too late. The school your kids could’ve went too was closed because you didn’t speak up. The healthcare you need is not available because the funding was redirected to urban areas only. The reliability of your food supply no longer exists because local farmers and processing have been shut down.
We do have the ability to change the course of things. That is what democracy is and it can start simply.
- Write your MP. If you don’t know who it is, find them here.
- Sign up for a party – any party. I don’t care which one but pay the $15 fee if you have too and have the right to decide who leads you. This is even more important than voting. Usually by the time we get to the election, we don’t like either candidate and we’re disillusioned by it all. Get involved now and help pick the candidate. No one needs to know either. You don’t get a badge slapped across your forehead. You get to have a voice though.(If you are Conservative, then your voice counts NOW. Party members who are signed up by March 28, 2017 will be able to vote in the leadership race. Do it.)
- Then, ask your friends to sign up and make sure they vote.
We can change these things. That’s what democracy is. That’s what being Canadian is.