Sunday, April 10

Honouring the Sacrifices Made for Our Democracy

“You’re all just a bunch of crooks, the lot of ya!”

“Same shit, different pile, that’s what I think of you politicians, I don’t give a damn what party you’re with.”

“They should get rid of all of ya and start from scratch, you damned politicians are just in it for yourselves.”

I could go on but you get the idea.
While the overwhelming majority of people I meet are positive toward me and the election, I encounter too many people with these attitudes, attitudes which I find offensive.

It’s not the language that bothers me (I’m a big boy I’ve heard it all before), it’s the casual and careless dismissal of our democracy, a democracy which our fathers, mothers, and grandparents died to defend, that I find galling.

I find it especially troubling this weekend as we remember the Canadian dead whose blood is still in the ground of Nord-Pas-de-Calais from the Battle of Vimy Ridge. We must never forget the sacrifices that they and their families made so that we can live in a free and democratic country. Casting our ballots honours their sacrifice. Cavalierly  insulting politicians dishonours our soldiers’ legacy.

I personally know politicians of all political persuasions, and most of them are hard-working, honourable public servants who genuinely want to see a stronger and more prosperous Canada. We simply disagree (often vigorously) on how to achieve that goal.

Yes, there are corrupt politicians only interested in personal gain. But they are a small minority of members of a profession that prizes service to the community. Many politicians make personal, professional, and financial sacrifices to serve. If they’re in it for a golden handshake, they’re going to be sorely disappointed. There are easier ways to get rich than by running for office.

So, to dismiss all politicians as lazy crooks is to tarnish those who work hard to represent their constituencies, and who serve the people according to their consciences. And makes it harder to find publicly-minded people to run for office and serve our communities in the future.

So, when a politician arrives at your door, you don’t have to agree with him or her, but you should respect the democratic process that they - and we all - are involved with.

Next: Encouraging our young people to participate in democracy.

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