By Debby Gregorash
I wasn’t much interested in politics until I married and nearly died of boredom with toddlers, laundry and endless cleaning up.
I started listening to CBC Radio and became fascinated with how our political system works.
I soon came to realize the average citizen out here in Alberta doesn’t study politics or the issues either.
So, the wool can be pulled over their eyes with ease. I pray this next generation pays attention.
I remember listening to the radio when the Premiers’ conference was on and was impressed by Peter Lougheed and his provincial savings account — the Heritage Fund.
Well now, it’s pretty well gone. We charged decent royalties back then for the oil taken from our province.
Now, we practically give it away, which is pretty much why we are broke. How did this happen? Well, we have become a Petro-state.
At the same time, I was learning about all this, I was developing my spirituality.
I liked the part in the New Testament where Jesus says if you feed the poor, care for the sick and visit people in jail, and all those compassionate things — you are doing the same thing for him.
I looked around at the province back in the 1970s and it wasn’t too bad and almost seemed to have a civilized and compassionate air to it.
Alas, now the food banks can barely keep up, too many poor people are in jail, the push for private health care is on and the government is no longer “of the people” but “for the corporations.” Rule of government by corporation is fascism.
I understand immigrants in the 1950s were sick of totalitarianism and fascism in their home countries, so what I don’t understand is why they can’t see it now, here in Canada, and in fact keep voting for it.
Is it true people vote a certain way because “we’ve always voted this way?”
I once voted federally for the Progressive Conservatives but they are dead and gone now, replaced by the Reform Party, which stole the name “Conservative.”
Meanwhile, old men vote Conservative and tell the wives who to vote for. I know of a woman who said, after her husband died, “Oh well, now I can vote for the candidate I want.” It’s a secret ballot, for heaven’s sake, you can vote as you please.
Meanwhile, democracy is dying and the gap between the rich and poor is increasing.
Funding is being stolen from public health and education and the world is being funnelled into private hands.
In other countries around the world, you can go to university or college for free and the citizens in those countries are prospering.
We need young people to get well-rounded educations that include the arts and sciences.
Graduates should not be indentured for the rest of their lives. That’s slavery.
We need somehow to revoke the law that says corporations are persons. We need to force them to have a conscience that includes the costs of protecting the environment instead of using rivers and lakes, and the air and the soil, as toxic dumps.
The technology to move to a world without fossil fuel energy is here but the people who make the rules are the same people who profit from this dinosaur industry.
I once thought “Globalization” would mean a world-wide awakening to truth, peace, co-operation and all those good things communities can have.
But the corporate view of globalization is making a profit wherever democracy is not strong. Greed is the new God.
Every day I listen to the economic reports and the market numbers and I wonder why we don’t have a “Happiness” report or a “Democracy” report.
Why is it all about how much you can steal from people, nature, and the soil?
Why must unemployment be good for industry? Why do we put up with modern day slavery? Where are the Democrats?
Their democratic voices need to burst forth and we need to pay attention.