Vive Le Canada

Time is running out for Canada
Date: Thursday, January 26 2006

Time is running out for Canada. We need to get organized!

2006 Jan. 24
To my fellow friends of Canada:

Are you as dismayed as I am by the quality of public discourse that took place around yesterday's election? Both during the long-drawn-out campaign and in the analysis afterward, there seemed to be a complete lack of awareness about the serious threats to Canada's national sovereignty, natural resources, and economic independence (such as we still have them. Scarcely a peep about foreign policy was ever heard.

Maude Barlow's diligent daily blogs may not have reached a very wide audience. Not once did I hear on CBC anyone from the Council of Canadians interviewed. The issues they've researched just weren't out there. Same with Mel Hurtig. Never heard him or one of his supporters on a phone-in show. David Orchard got a little bit of coverage because of his switching parties from the no-longer-Progressive Conservatives to the Liberals -- but he didn't really get coverage on the substantial issues. And who's ever heard of Connie Fogal and her promising work?

I've been praying a lot for leaders to arise who can help our people to think about who we are and what is important to save about our country. But darn it, the leaders are there. It's just that the people don't hear of them. They work tirelessly at their research and writing and touring and speaking -- but only the same few people come out to hear them. Are they really being shut out of the media?

I've been praying about what needs to happen before another election rolls around. I was ill-prepared for this campaign. I wrote a couple of op eds in January, but too late to get them in the paper. I was too late in getting my thoughts and research together about missile defense, military integration, "harmonization" of our security systems with the US, etc. Too late in recognizing that the Tories actually might win -- and that the Liberals were already selling us out anyway. I did a bit of work for my NDP candidate, but even the NDP scarcely talked about these issues.

What needs to happen, by way of preparation between elections? The Council's campaigns of writing to MPs and circulating petitions don't reach many people. Is there a way we can break through some of the media barriers? By getting op eds and letters in the papers regularly? By getting on phone-in shows? By getting the leaders interviewed when they come to town?

One thing I know -- when there's an election on, at least one of us should be present at every local all-candidates meeting, putting Council literature on the table and lining up to ask questions. This should be organized locally, making sure that all the all-candidates meetings are covered. Literature suitable for distribution at election time should be thought of ahead of time and prepared. Pamphlets with a few hard-hitting points would be very helpful.

You know what's scaring me today? Everybody's saying that Stephen Harper won't be able to do anything extremist because he'll have to have the support of the other parties to govern in a minority Parliament. But NO ACT OF PARLIAMENT IS REQUIRED to give away our water, dismantle the Wheat Board, expand our participation in missile defense, or send forces to Iran or Venezuela (if, God forbid, the US starts further adventures there). The Liberals have been doing similar things, without the consent, or even the knowledge, of Parliament. It didn't matter if they had a minority. It didn't slow them down any. Once we put somebody in as prime minister, he governs like a president, and Parliament is just there for show.

Unless we have public organizations, not aligned with party politics, drawing the people's attention to what the government is doing behind closed doors, all the time, between elections, then disastrous things will be done -- signed, sealed, and delivered, faster than you can say "51st state".

We need some better tactics and methods of organizing. Time is running out for Canada.

What do you think? Let's start talking!

Eleanor Grant

Box 40052, 75 King S.
Waterloo, Ontario N2J 4V1

[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on January 27, 2006]

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