A Letter to Brigette

Dear Brigette,

I felt like writing to you immediately after your “Stop Harper”demo during the Throne Speech, but held off. I felt like it again after your article appeared in The Toronto Star (“Why I Did it”;  8/6/2011).  And again I delayed.  In the meantime I have read and heard comments that range from the complimentary to the offensive to  downright ignorant.

As a fourth generation Canadian who is almost precisely four times your age I simply want to say that, figuratively speaking, I am right beside you – or at least behind you.

I won’t ramble on but perhaps the best way to give you some idea of how I feel is to quote portions of your own article back to you, and to make comment. Your words (I trust this is “fair use”) are in italics and indented (a technique I usually reserve for quoting myself !)

I think those who reacted with excitement realize that politics should not be left to the politicians,and that democracy is not just about marking a ballot every few years.

You are absolutely correct, particularly when prior to marking that ballot we are immersed in slick, misleading (often downright false), extraordinarily expensive propaganda.

It is about ensuring, with daily engagement and resistance, that the vision we have for our society is reflected in the decision-making of our government.

“Vision”is a key word. So far I see no government vision other than to stimulate our consumer economy by staying in lock step with the bigger corporations which are mighty engines driving the human species into the abyss. This is folly of horrendous magnitude. When I was your age, some 60 or so years ago, I didn’t recognize the folly. You do – and more power to you.

Our views are not recognized by our political system. How else could we have a government that 60 percent of the people voted against?

In your first TV interview, on CBC-TV’s Power and Politics,  you used a 25% figure for Conservative support as a reminder that only one in four Canadians want a Harper government. Going by the number of eligible voters, not just the ones who did vote, you were right that first time. One in four. Some mandate, eh?

And why don’t more people vote?

Well, partly because the pillar supporting the rotten system is the archaic first-past-the-post electoral count which in a multi-party parliament makes a fiasco of representative democracy. You, as a page in the Senate, have witnessed elaborations on the fiasco that escape most of us. Thank you for keeping your eyes open and your brain turned on.

A broken system is what has left us with a Conservative government ready to spend billions on fighter jets we don’t need, to pollute the environment we want protected, to degrade a health-care system we want improved, and to cut social programs and public sector jobs we value.

Well said. What can one add but “Amen”?

As a page, I witnessed one irresponsible bill after another pass through the Senate, and wanted to scream, “Stop.”

You did scream it — silently, peacefully, and briefly. And you, Brigette, had been watching a minority government in action. Imagine what your successors are going to witness during the next four years with a majority in both houses under the control of a PM with a social/economic philosophy dangerously in tune with the regressive ideas of the current US Republican Party  —  a PM who (thanks to his predecessors) has almost dictatorial powers.

We need a reminder that there are alternatives. We need a reminder that we have both the capacity to create change, and an obligation to. If my action has been that reminder, it was a success.

Let’s hope it was a success. Remains to be seen, doesn’t it.

Hang in there.  Best of luck  —  and thank you.

Munroe

P.S: If you want to know where I’m coming from click on the ”About” button at the top of this Blog.

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About Munroe Scott

Munroe Scott is a veteran of the freelance writing world.
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One Response to A Letter to Brigette

  1. lionel strange says:

    In general I agree with you. But let me try to express my position with more clarity. We, in the western world, and also those in the more advanced areas of other countries have, in the past century , with the aid of our newfound communications technology, reached a situation where we all see on a daily basis the lifestyles of all levels of society, particularly those who are wealthy. This has resulted in a general shift of emphasis from the Christian concept of “ help thy neighbour” to one of trying to at least equal his level of prosperity and, if possible ,overtake it. Governments such as the present Harper government simply reflect this .
    Faced as we are, with worldwide approaching disasters related to climate , water and food shortage and overpopulation. we nevertheless elect governments that have as their primary aim the ever increasing prosperity of the influential minority. As far as I can see, we will continue to elect governments who are blind to the future and only committed to re- election . This will continue until a series of devastating natural disasters causes a general panic effort to face reality. It will be too late. Although I dislike the present government,I doubt that a Liberal or NDP would be any more likely to face up to reality and save Canada from the chaos that approaches.

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