Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan
Dispatches from the 148 by Fred Ryan
Right in the crease of season change, wisps of winter hanging on in the wind, here’s spring as eager to go as the song birds and geese … we might recall that every year at this time we are caught anew with the tsunami of growth and winter’s debris that spring slaps upon us – each end-of-winter catches us off-guard. And this in almost everything; our jobs, studies, gardens, bush lots, livestock … all of it. COVID magnifies it; we’ve gotten used to much less activity with the lockdowns. This year we may find ourselves not merely surprised, but shocked at spring’s hectic arrival, so soon.
So let’s hope the big-shots do not opt for a federal election this spring-summer. It’s going to be shockingly-busy enough, without adding more hullabaloo. A cynic might think all this sounds good to politicians, since it means
an occupied-elsewhere electorate, not paying attention to what’s being
proposed (or what’s not being promised). But we’re not cynics, not here in the Pontiac.
Well, we might be cynics enough to wonder why the politicians don’t just get on with their job and their challenges, and leave off the calculations endemic to electoral politics. Too bad a few earlier elections during the pandemic proved successful for the incumbents, which catches the eyes of incumbents anywhere. But an election this year remains unlikely. There’s the sea to
sea to sea resurgence of COVID & its variants, with an impending crash of intensive care facilities in many places … you don’t want to be shaking hands with voters in the middle of a catastrophe. No, get on with the jobs of leadership – with today’s big challenges. Face the country’s needs, instead of more talk, more programs and promises, and then all the talking it up.
No, an election would not take our minds off the bad news, the COVID
damages, nor would it stop us from worrying about the future for
our country, its environmental integrity, and its ignored minorities. Its economy, natural re-sources, and rootless worker pools. Its environment, clean water, healthy forests. Its next generation, the kids who are not getting the instruction needed in their earliest years, their maturing brains, future scientists – why would anyone want an election in the middle of all this? Especially our usual horse-race elections, where winning is all the media reports. Maybe now is the moment to catch the opposition’s new leader off balance! Maybe the "other parties" are toothless, given their scarce attention by that same media. No, no, no!
Let us make a promise among ourselves that we will punish whoever precipitates an unnecessary election in the midst of a nationwide struggle. Promise, all of us!
But if they do persist – the big-wigs – and opt for an election, let’s be prepared. They will paint it in promising colours: so much more good will come from a majority government, for example; that’s questionable, but certainly pointless – in a pandemic. Let’s finish that off and get rebuilding. Politicians have plenty to do already.
But if the parties want an election, let’s given them one! First, the election-causer, that party’s candidate gets no support. Next, we ourselves have to participate. None of this half of the population sitting on their duffs complaining instead of
voting. It takes only twenty minutes to vote! Third, we have to be ready with our own issues, not the scenarios the "parties" paint. They don’t hand us their menu; we hand them our take-out order. There must be local issues. Sure, we need national decisions – with the climate crisis – but, locally, what about quick, reliable, reasonable internet? And a big No! to that mega nuclear dump just upstream on the Ottawa – which candidates are promising us a clear ‘no’ to this future Chernobyl-on-the-Ottawa?
Well, there is a federal budget coming. Let’s be prepared, for once, really prepared. For our important issues, we want real proposals with adequate funding, today.