Monday, November 1, 2010

Of rights and risks

Elections, elections everywhere. But nary a leader in sight.

Well, that's not actually true, but it sure seems to be the mood of the people these days. Look anywhere - in your own city or across the border in the US - and the horizon is clogged with people complaining about politicians and the gravy train. Well, anger is a righteous emotion, but I'm not convinced it's prudent to make decisions while in the throes of it.

With our democratic right to cast a ballot comes the responsibility to BE responsible about that right. This means taking the time to listen beyond the 30-second sound bite and actually invest our energy in learning what the candidates are truly saying and - maybe most importantly - what the facts of the moment are.

There is so much nattering going on about "the fat" at City Hall (or in Ottawa or at the Leg or down in Washington - pick your political location)...and it's just that, nattering. How about someone in the media does some real investigating to unearth the FACTS about the fat: Is it really there? What would we be cutting in order to trim the fat? How much fat should we have in order for our lives to have some flavour, some meaning?

I'm getting mighty tired of the armchair politicos raising their voice in anger, while remaining firmly seated on the couch. Get out there and make a difference. Stop whining from the comfort of your blinkered perspective. Want to retain the right to vote? Then exercise your responsibility to be engaged in the process. With every right comes a risk. And we're on the verge of risking our collective democracy for the privilege of rule by anger.

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