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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.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Deeds not Words

True, this; it's damned scary to think how easy it was for what was likely one lone gunman to shoot his way into the home of government in Canada - and that after having already shot a soldier at least the equivalent of two city blocks away.
The response from our government has been, shall we say, lackluster.  Disappointing, in fact.  Alarming, at worst.
Parliament Hill is never short of bluster - tough words, biting critiques, snide comments abound.  When the action's about people not them overseas somewhere, the words flow easily, confidently.
Yet when it's closer to home, we have representatives barricading themselves with chairs stacked against doors.
There will be time for introspection moving forward, but I would suggest it's not just the people on the Hill we should be furling our brow at.
For this is a democracy, folks.  The leaders we have are chosen by us; their words and actions are condoned by us, even if it's by our refusal to wade in ourselves.
Our democracy is suffering; it's not something that's happened overnight, nor are the current crop of elected officials to bare all the blame. 
It would have been great for police, or the army, or Parliamentary security to have got the guy before he got into the House of Commons.  That's their job.
But how many citizens did he pass, with his shotgun, before he got there?
I've no interest in ours becoming a gun-toting culture; that's gang warfare.  Guns bring the illusion of power and safety - they're a way of putting risk at a distance in theory only.
Democracy is messy; ownership implies risk.  Part of the reason our democracy has suffered is because Canadians have been too willing to upload responsibility and risk to Parliamentarians who, reflecting us, aren't that interested in the responsibility side of ownership either.
We cannot expect our security forces to be a blanket and the world.  It's time we ask ourselves what price we are willing to pay for democracy.  And if the answer is "not that much," what we should fear is our own indifference.


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