Thursday, January 23, 2014

Engaging Community: Some Thoughts From The Salamander

The other day I wrote a post about the Harper cabal's systematic efforts to re-engineer Canadians' critical thinking capacity through the gutting of science libraries and their resources. No books=no concern over climate change=cheerleading for tarsands development. It is up to each of us to combat this drift into darkness.

I received a number of comments on the post, including those of The Salamander, a passionate and articulate Canadian who shares the grave concern many of us have over Canada's direction under a regime that has consistently shown little but contempt for the nation's traditional values. I am reproducing below the exchange that he and I had in the hope that people will read his ideas and suggestions and offer additional commentary and ideas:

The Salamander:

.. the question of our times, in Canada today.. is certainly one of our national identity.. and a related question must be.. do 'we' care.. PM Harper is trying to permanently embed the bizarre notion that he reflects (or is) our national identity and we should ensure our values, emulate his.. or lack of..

Here's a short list for the pollsters .. and ideally the questions to the Canadian public * of all ages * would be framed in positive ways, accommodating blunt intuitive responses..

Here's a sample or two..

- Q - Do you care if Canada lets other countries control the development, mining/harvest & sale and delivery of our natural resources, energy, fish, lumber, grain etc .. or if the cost for that decision is the extinction of species like salmon, polar bears, caribou, eagles or killer whales because we eliminated the habitat, waters, forest etc they lived in.. or if certain regions have no safe drinkable water or useful soil, breathable air as a result?

- Q - Do you see any value in letting partisan political parties gain further control or direct how Canada moves into the future.. in particular by their secretive use of databanks, election funds, robo & live calls, or questionable election campaigns or electoral fraud to manipulate, gain on maintain power?

- Q - Do you care if to a great extent, Parliament and our political process is simply posturing and its the religious beliefs, greed or immorality of the Prime Minister or his complicit MP's, corporate sponsors & controllers that define policy, legislation and secret economic agreements?

- Q - Do you care if Members of Parliament, unelected anonymous public servants ie in the PMO or many or any of the consultants hired or contracted by the Federal Government end up in jail for fraud, illegal lobbying, graft, lawsuits or have relationships with their babysitters or nannies or parliamentary pages and secretaries?

- Q - Do you know what 'The Rapture' is? Do you know what religions believe the ultimate fall of Israel is the biblical key for good christians to rise triumphantly by the hand of god up into the rosy clouds

- Q - Do you have better questions for your fellow Canadians, that might help improve the situation? Or do you trust folks like Tony Clement, Dean Del Mastro, Senator Gerstein, Ray Novak, Ezra Levant, or Arthur Hamilton or Julian Fantino to look after the important stuff for you ?

Me: These are very provocative questions, Salamander, that, if ever asked, would likely provoke some serious thought and discussion among Canadians. While it is safe to assume such a poll would never be commissioned by any of our 'leaders,' it could prove a potent weapon in the hands of a group dedicated to improving public policy, if it had sufficiently deep pockets to underwrite it.

The Salamandar: .. I'm not certain there is much hard cost to such a poll, Lorne

To a certain extent, such a poll. with exceptionally well developed questions & criteria would generate its own inertia.. driving on as a Q & A reflection of true concerned Canadian spirit, identity and response..

In their own way, the indy blog items from yourself, Mound, Beav, Lautens, Whirlpool, Owen at N Reflections, Kinsella, Simon etc.. all have driven thought, process, review and spread knowledge.. and in fairness so have some mainstream media.. as well as the unique ones like Kady and Rick Mercer etc.. or a truly heavy battlewagon like Neil Young

In a unique progressive and unique way.. you.. and me.. are a poll.. a reflection of ideas and thoughts of real people

I guess what I am driving at is to identify or refine what really matters to Canadians, First Nations, immigrants, the aged, the young, the workers, teachers, artists, mothers, grandparents, miners, farmers, fishermen, clerics, students & newborns..

I truly don't give a f off to what greasy spokes-dwarts like Joe Oliver or Jenni Byrne 'think' or are told to say.. or what a fatuous self absorbed dick like Harper trots out to dweeb political weasels in Israel.. I care what the pulse and reality of this gigantic country called Canada is..

A 'running poll' .. non partisan .. tabulating, reflecting .. observant, reactionary, abrasive, honest, simple, blunt & clear, Canadian .. could be just the nurse or doctor that Canada needs.. taking our temperature, listening to our concerns or fears, investigating & identifying pathogens and infections, treating us for.. or suggesting simple remedy for the ills of a modern society, threatened by toxic, rabid, dishonest political animals

So there you have it. I hope this exchange provokes some further discussion as we continue to direct our efforts and our passions toward a better Canada for everyone.

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