Ballon substance

March 14, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Is it unkind to say of a person or to a person that they are “full of hot air?”

Talking nonsense or from a very ill-informed point of view, it means. There is a lot of that these days.

There are many different seats of power and I think a number of people reckon the seats that matter most, that carry the heaviest influence do not necessarily reside in government. An age-old story is blackmail. Thinking of ancient regimes, the king and rulers were followed by crowds of tempters offering to influence their own underlings to serve, offering services themselves; offering treasures, whatever was ill-gotten. They wanted in return land or power and prestige; to be the friend of a king was to have many false friends, with their own wants and hopes.

Mad psychological circles – who can do how much for whom and who winds up on top? By and large, so it seems in this world where reason and justice are such rarities, the top must be protected by mindless brutality, like Russia, Afghanistan, China, and North Korea, where a constant eye is on the people, ready with quick retribution and punishment for the slightest gain-saying. 

Yet, what powers a democracy such as ours?

Elsewhere, where the common populace is defeated and weak, they likely regard us as extremely lucky to live in such a balanced and democratic land. They are quite right: so we are. Taking our lot for granted, understanding that it is given to us, this privilege without fear of losing it, we are at risk of a slippery slope and a long fall. Because we are complacent and therefore lazy when it comes to who actually runs the country, there is the steady danger of a deteriorating fair and democratic government. Because democracy comes in many packages, there are plenty that we wouldn’t like here.

Russians are going to the Poles, as are the people of China. If you are pressured by fear of being beaten or other abuse to vote in a certain way; if you knew for certain that nothing you do can help elect a government you can trust; if you were sure that the tyranny that dominates your life will continue indefinitely, would you want that for your children’s future? 

Luckily for us, Canada may well be as good as it gets.

We mustn’t gloat, for just south of the 49th Parallel, democracy is in trouble. I really cannot grasp that the next president of the United States might be the man who sincerely tried to overthrow his government at the end of the election of 2020. That same man, just as sincerely, flatly lists at length the revenge he will take on detractors, how he will change the government of the United States; his plans for deportations are extensive and when he was last president, he talked about being President for Life. He was not kidding then and he will not have forgotten the idea this time around.

Just have a look online at: “Trump’s second term plans.” There are many news feeds describing those plans in very strong terms, in his own words and all of it is bad news. 

When he was first running for president in 2020, one of the things he said and meant was: “If we have those [nuclear] bombs, why can’t we use them?”

In an election that is fair and accurate, which the one in the U.S. is – 2024 may absolutely not be. It is really important that we pay attention to what our perspective leaders are saying. Like it or not, the poison that rules the new laws in American states against abortion and the return to the end of gender freedom and hay rights does seep over the internet onto the screens of potentially like-minded people here.

Canada is one of the leaders in the world on this matter, with there being no restrictions on abortion at all. In this fair land, women have absolute rights over their own bodies. This was hard won and must be left as it is.

You know, there is a strong representation amongst the disabled in this country, much of it coming from within their own ranks. The hideous treatment here in Ontario at least, of how the disabled are punished by a lack of support and the difficulty there is to access fair and reasonable resources in this very rich land. That they are too often proffered MAiD instead of protection and support is outrageous.

I hear about it all the time. But they remind us all that we are each susceptible to becoming disabled ourselves, even if only as a result of aging.

Don’t take anything for granted. We had to march against Doug Ford to make him back off developing the Green Belt but he is far from finished. 

We have to pay attention to what our potential leaders are saying. When it comes time to vote, get out there.

Truly, every vote counts and it is up to us to maintain that.

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