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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Yom HaShoah: Remembering Is Not Enough

Let's face it - we're never all going to be friends.  Nor do we have to be.  It is entirely possible to be in total disagreement with someone without denigrating them as a consequence.  

That's not how we do politics in Canada these days - we're much more about stepping We don't work that way these days; now, it's all about putting your foot on your opponent's throat and keeping it there.

Is there any surprise that a growing number of Canadians feel that our democracy is off the rails?  

By fighting every opponent with a war-room mentality, you inevitably turn any debate into a polarized conflict of white hat vs black hat.  In mortal combat, the ends - survival and dominance - justify the means.  As our politics becomes more volatile, we're seeing more dirty tricks, more skirting of the moral underpinnings of our democratic system and, as a result, less democracy.

This is not to say we're headed for Holocaust here in Canada - far from it.  We are becoming more polarized, however, and less tolerant.  I'd argue we're becoming more insular, too, and that's where the real problem lies.

Overseas in countless hotspots around the world - places like Egypt or the Sudan or Syria at the extreme, but also places like Greece, Hungary and the Ukraine, the welfare of the people is coming second to the ambitions of the powerful.  

If Canada is to have any moral authority to speak against these curtailing of civil liberties and human rights, we cannot afford to let our own principles slide.

The choice is always the same - to each according to their needs, equitably, or each man for himself. 

Only one path is sustainable.  It's the harder one, to be sure - society takes effort, compromise, a bit of resilience and a willingness to learn.

But we know what the alternative is - and if you're not sure, just listen to my grandpa and other Concentration Camp survivors like him.  

They're begging us not to repeat the mistakes they had to fight against.  They're worth listening to.

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