Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The state's role in daily life

As we head into the final stretch of the current federal election, I am horrified by people's apathy. How can you not be interested in participating in the democratic process that brings clean water to your kitchen tap, content into your classrooms, snowplows onto your winter streets, clean camping sites into your provincial and federal parks, qualified doctors into your hospitals, skilled bureaucrats into innumerable positions of power, influence and service within systems that manage everything in Canada from housing to infrastructure to culture to immigration programs.

I feel strongly about voting, feel everyone should live up to their responsibilities as a citizen by voting, and wish that every eligible voter would ask themselves these two questions:

1. "What role do you want the state (government) to play in your life - when you're healthy? when you're sick? when your loved one is in trouble on the other side of the globe?" Do you want the state to have put in place systems that help you, support you, encourage you, rescue you? Or do you want to go it alone, always, because everyone should always be self-sufficient?

2. "Would you feel comfortable if all services in our society were privatized and run for a profit? And I mean everything from schooling to healthcare to utilitities to...the list goes on." Of course, when something is run for a profit the people involved often play third or fourth (never mind just second) fiddle to the bottom line.

I believe that government (the state) has a strong role to play in Canadian society, and MUST play a strong role to keep our country one in which every person has opportunity not only the person who is privileged with brains and money; to keep our country one that is open to immigrants and refugees who not only need our freedoms, but whose skills and contributions WE need; to keep our country one in which we can expect - every day - to have access to clean water, qualified healthcare professionals and educators....the list goes on.

Vote. Vote with your brain and your heart engaged. Do not succumb to voting for the incumbent merely because you recognize their name. Take the time to become educated and informed on the issues.

Even if you don't care about the outcome, I sure do.

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