Vote with your heart

What Mr. Odo is proposing is to maintain the stats quo: financial growth at any cost.

Vote with your heart

I am puzzled by Mr. Odo’s sentiments in last weeks’ paper. He would have us believe that environmentalism, poverty reduction, rights for minorities, the plight of students who can’t repay their student loans, the plight of workers of all stripes across the country and all those who will never be able to afford housing are issues of the “left” which Mr. Odo uses like a four letter word. He thinks that the Liberals or Conservatives would champion these issues if brought back to power. They have been in power and had a monopoly on this power since Confederation and these issues have hardly been touched. Thank heavens there are two parties who embrace these ideals. The NDP and the Greens are currently in a minority situation. “Not for long” is what I would like to see.

I propose that it is about time we rocked the boat, put on our thinking caps and go behind what makes our political system so ineffective. It can be captured in two words: power and greed. It is this power and this greed which is responsible for all these “leftist” issues. Most politicians have been seduced by the rhetoric of the money addicts: the success of individuals, communities, and whole countries must be measured by an economic standard. To this end, they have further embraced the illusion and impossibility of continual economic growth. They believe that non-renewable resource extraction, world trade deals, unregulated markets, corporate capitalism and endless consumerism are what makes the world go round. This is the ideology of (ooooh, the boogey man) you guessed it, Corporations. Let’s look at these beliefs more closely still.

It is the nature of the economic model that whoever has access to natural resources, controls those resources. Corporations set all the terms: of their work force, the communities they live in, and even the regulatory agencies that are supposed to govern them (re: our governments). Profits do no go to the workers, or their communities, or even the country the resource is being exploited from. This is the agenda that Liberal and Conservative governments embrace and this is the propaganda that they feed us.

Time to wake up. When governments move into the position of sheltering and protecting the needs of a handful of corporations and power brokers, instead of the people that elected them and who they are supposed to represent, it is a very slippery slope. That the current Liberal government, despite their leftist legalizing of marijuana, bought a pipeline company, says it all. They have “bought the illusion” and you can be damn sure they will make it happen, regardless of the environmental impacts. In a very recent CBC interview, the Liberal members refer to Trudeau as their C.E.O. Pure corporate speak.

What Mr. Odo is proposing is to maintain the stats quo: financial growth at any cost. He asks us to be suspicious and fearful of parties and people that actually have a dream not based on the making of a buck, and proposes the continuation of all that ails and fails us. He asks us to prop up another government who will continue to exploit our resources on the backs of indigenous peoples, our workers and our communities. Resource profits have no morals, no conscience, no regret and no consciousness.

We all know the wrongs brought on by large corporations. At least in voting NDP or Green we are stumbling slowly towards a world where people are not viewed as a commodity. These parties are attempting to dismantle the consumer society from the inside out.

Now, are any of the political parties the answer? My response is No. We, the people are the answer. We must not abdicate personal responsibility and personal judgement to any party. Do not surrender your voice to a political order that places a monetary value on human life. Do not surrender your ideals, your dreams, your dignity and respect for human life and the planet.

We are at an ecological tipping point. The degradation of the planet threatens everyone, even the corporations responsible for it. We need to dismantle corporate capitalism, the consumer society and the cult of the individual or be frog marched into self-annihilation. Embrace a life of meaning or be left with a life of struggle. Take back the Night and I can see time when we can take back the Day as well. “One world, one Love, lets get together and we’ll be alright.”

To quote Chris Hedges: “The more we sever ourselves from our addiction to fossil fuels and the consumer society, the more we begin to create a new paradigm for community. The more we engage in physical acts of defiance, the more we keep alive a new and better way of relating to one another.”

Don’t be hypnotized by the status quo and accept their meagre handouts. Vote with your heart and get out on the streets. Non-violent demonstration is certainly a viable and effective alternative.

In Love and Light,

Paul Ruszel


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