Ask me how I feel about the recent federal election and I’ll tell you. I am deeply disappointed. Devastated. When I broke the news to one of my friends, that the Conservative Party had won a majority in parliament, she cried. Why? Why are we crying?
We are crying because of the diabolical policies of the Conservative Party before the election are now re-enforced, sanctioned, ratified, as if the people of Canada were saying, “Okay, go ahead, work your will.”
Let me be more specific about these policies. For brevity’s sake, I’ll make them into a list. A vote for the Conservative party is:
– a vote for the interests of the rich over and against the interests of the vast majority of Canadian citizens – against what I would call the Interests of Everyday Life;
– a vote for Globalization, meaning the parasitic domination of World Trade, currently bleeding all local places of their natural resources, contemptuous of ecological damages, indifferent to harming people of place; and by “outsource-ing” and such strategies, finding ways to underpay the poor for demeaning, assembly-line labour;
– a vote for the continued denial of climate change in the face of sure evidence of its reality, of all our problems the most threatening to life on the planet.
– a vote for the Conservative party is a vote for privatization of all public utilities and services, from medical care to post office delivery, including the sale of fresh water;
– a vote for aggressive military action in foreign lands, and the unwarranted build- up of military arms;
– a vote for increased surveillance of the Canadian citizenry, and more prisons under the ruse of “security”;
– a vote for the Conservative party is a vote for the continued dismantling of an open, accountable, democratic process in favour of secretive, elitist, back-room decision-making, along with a self-righteous, haughty attitude characteristic of an Oligarchy rather than a Democracy;
– a vote for monstrous gas and oil projects like Enbridge pipelines, oil tankers along the coast of BC, and the dirty, tragic, ever-expanding Tar Sands.
– a vote for the continued relinquishing of Canadian sovereignty in deference to the commands of the U.S.
One could go on, but this is enough. I have laid these policies out in one breath in hopes that the reader, if not already aroused, will be frightened to wakefulness. It is time we became truly conscious of the nightmare we are creating for ourselves in the new Millennium.
These policies are not good enough for us. They are failures. As an economic strategy, Globalization is a failure. Corporate rule is a failure. The quality of life – the people, the land – has suffered under this regime, downgraded by it. I do not exaggerate when I call this election a turning point in Canadian history.
Some friends have made an effort to console me. They remind me that, after all, the Conservatives won a majority of seats with only 38 per cent of the vote (among those who took the trouble to vote). In other words, the Conservatives didn’t really get a majority of votes, and most Canadians are not really in support of their policies.
This is true. The Canadian electoral system is fundamentally distorted.
I am also reminded that the NDP increased its seats to succeed the Liberals as the official Opposition. (My opinion on this score is that what we really need is “cooperation,” not “opposition” in parliament, but o well.)
But as to the NDP-ers, do they really offer an alternative on these vital issues? Are they not equally dominated by corporate interests and locked into the policy of unlimited growth, the ethical/economic cancer of our times?The Greens obtained one seat. Good. Let them speak out for intelligent governance and we will cheer them on. Forgive me my skepticism. I’m a disillusioned man. But believe me, my words speak for thousands, maybe millions of others.
Have we no hope, then?
Well, it’s hard to say, isn’t it? If Corporate Godzillas don’t exterminate us first, intelligence may yet prevail in social governance. At least we have each other to turn to in our local places. By hanging together, we little people can perhaps survive the growing mayhem. The necessity is that we get ourselves under control and change our ways (from competition to cooperation) before it is too late, and that’s going to take some real doing.
But onward. One carries on regardless.