Paul's Internet Landfill/ demons/ Welcome To The Revolution, Part II

Welcome To The Revolution, Part II

To Mike Harris

Congratulations on your election win. Winning 59 seats and 44% of the vote must make you feel very proud; many people either believe in what you stand for or were swayed by your appeals to their pettiness and bigotry. Your campaigning was shrewd -- allowing corporations to increase their party contributions so that the Tories could rake in more corporate money was a wonderful idea, as was the timing of your election. There's nothing like a 28 day summer campaign to get the electorate in a politicking mood, and timing your election call with the Leaf playoff run and the opening of Star Wars must have done wonders to help people focus on election issues.

I trust you will waste no time in continuing to guide Ontario into ruin. I anxiously await your mean-minded campaign to rid Toronto's streets of their sqeegee kids, and applaud your decision to pick on welfare recipients for mandatory drug testing. I'm sure that you will continue to reward the rich and powerful with tax breaks, subsidies and weakened environmental laws, while placating the masses with publically-funded propoganda about the strong medicine you intend to dose out to those awful poor people.

The apathy of the people has spoken. You have your majority government and your mandate. There's no need to listen to any of our concerns for the next five years, and I am sure you won't. So have lots of fun. I'm sure that the economy will not dare turn for the worse while you are in power -- you're the Taxfighter. The National Post credits you with keeping the economy strong independently, notwithstanding the strength of the American economy. And if we can't trust an unbiased publication like The National Post, who can we trust? I'm sure that you will have no trouble keeping the economy humming when the next great American recession hits.

To those who voted Tory

Well, you won. Perhaps you are mean-spirited or perhaps you are just gullible, but you won. I can't quarrel with your decision, because that's the way democracy works. Just remember that you have the government you voted for, so don't complain when things turn sour.

To those who voted strategically##

We blew it. It sucks to be us. Maybe if we had been "pro" something instead of "anti-Mike-Harris," we would have had a chance. Better luck next time.

To those who voted to get the Tories out

It's going to be a long, hard five years. Say goodbye to environmental legislation, many of our social benefits and anything else that doesn't favour the rich and the powerful. Say hello to more dictator-like arrogance, "special interest group" labelling and statements that Mike Harris earned the votes of the Ontario people. All of the dissent and protests and grumbling in the province are going to mean nothing now.

At best, we might be able to rebuild, or people will wake up to the corrupt tactics of our government. At worst, I fear class warfare. Hopefully, it won't happen, but there is no reason it couldn't -- especially if Harris keeps on playing the rich classes against the poor, or the economy turns really, really bad. (Y2K hysteria, anyone?)

To those who were eligible to vote, but didn't

have no respect for you. You are idiots.

Those of you who claim that "I won't make a decision because I don't know the issues" are the biggest idiots of the bunch. In criminal law, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Say I steal a lipstick from a drugstore. I am guilty of an offence regardless of whether or not I know that stealing is considered a crime. I think that ignorance is no defence when dealing with political responsibilities, either. It's a cop out. We don't have many political responsibilities in this country. The politicians make our decisions for us most of the time. All we have to do is put an X in a little box once every four or five years per level of government. If you can't be bothered to do even that much (and make an informed decision in the process), then expect no respect from me. And don't complain when the government you didn't elect does things you don't like, like increase tuition and close hospitals and end rent controls and generally reduce the quality of life in this country.

It makes me sick. Not only do we enjoy the privilege of democracy in this country, but our democracy isn't bad. People don't threaten voters outside polling stations with guns in their hand, telling them that if they don't vote for party such-and-such their lives will be in danger. We have multiple parties to choose from when we vote. For the most part, people aren't allowed to stuff ballot boxes. It's true that we suffer from lying and corruption and campaigns that are won and lost through propoganda and name-calling and adversarial politics and short attention spans, but that is our own fault because we are all stupid and gullible. Our democracy certainly doesn't work well, but it works to an extent. But you make a mockery of what we have.

Don't think that voting is a right. People -- more people than you can count -- have died to win this privilege for us. People around the world would envy our system for its potential, however much we squander that potential by being stupid. We do not have to go to war to gain political change. We are allowed to have different opinions and coexist. All we have to do is mark our ballot. But you can't even be bothered to do that, because you are too complacent in your security that things won't get that bad. Think again. Within our lifetimes, our political stability and our comfortable existences could change dramatically -- especially if apathy like yours is allowed to rule the ballot-box. What's the point of even trying to have a democracy with you around? Why don't we just resign ourselves to monarchy or dictatorship?

While we're at it, let's not even try to fight the oligarchy of economics which controls our lives behind the scenes. Let's just throw up our hands in defeat, because we don't care enough to take care of ourselves. I'm not saying that democracy as we know it works well -- I'm not even saying that it works a little -- but I would rather see my fate decided by people than multinational corporations, thank you very much. But when people don't even take the responsibility to learn a little bit about the political system and to vote for the political situation they would like to see the most, we have no hope of ever controlling our lives. So phooey on you, idiots. Your vote could have helped make a difference.

To those of you who voted in ignorance

You are no better than the aforementioned idiots. It's not enough to just cast a ballot if you have no idea what your vote represents. I'm not saying that you have to know everything about every aspect of every political platform, but if you don't even have a basic understanding of the issues you are voting for, your vote is worthless.

To those of you who have no vote

I fear for you most of all, for you have no power, and this government has demonstrated time and time again that it does not listen to those without power.

I fear for the forests and wildlife of Northern Ontario. You are our heirloom: a reminder of the way this province used to be, once upon a time. You are our treasure: a resource that should not be squandered to fatten the wallets of mining firms and forestry companies. And you are dead meat, because trees can't vote and the Progressive Conservatives have won the election again.

I fear for the water and the air. Pollution is increasing in Ontario. The fish are not safe to eat and the air is not safe to breathe. But instead of improving the situation, Mike Harris has slashed funding to the Ministry of the Environment, and Norm Sterling has worked hard to weaken environmental legislation so that companies can get away with more pollution, not less.

And the car? The one meagre concession the Ontario government has made so far is to promise that cars have to meet weak emission standards. This government is not interested in getting cars off the streets. This government wants to keep cars in business, because cars are good for the economy. May we choke on our riches as people choke on our air.

Let's not forget the homeless and the squeegee kids. Harris has decided that you are a blight on Ontario's landscape. He will get you off the streets -- or at least out of the spotlight. Your lives will get worse, I'm sure. But as long as "regular" people don't have to look at you, you might as well not exist. Harris has no compassion for you -- you deserve to suffer because you are poor and helpless, while owners of banks and corporations deserve subsidies and handouts and all the help the Harris government can provide, because they are rich. Welcome to the new Ontario. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

To all of us

We have all failed. I have failed because I was not campaigning for what I believed in, and I did not keep track of enough of the corruption that oozes from this "Common Sense" government to convince anybody else that we have just elected a province of thugs. The corruption is undoubtedly legal, but it is corruption nonetheless. Harris does favours for those who are powerful, and they give him money so that he can brainwash the gullible people of Ontario into electing him again.

I don't know. Maybe I am wrong, and Harris's government is compassionate towards those who are poor, who are helpless, or who don't fit upper-middle class, two-parent materialistic family that he seems to favour as the solutions to all our problems. Maybe the people of Ontario made an informed choice, and didn't let the combination of summer, a good economy and a high-priced propoganda campaign feed their apathy to the issues involved. Maybe we all need a taste of the "strong medicine" the PCs are going to force feed us. Maybe people don't have the responsibility to vote on election day. Or maybe we are in for five more hard, long years of an arrogant, short-sighted, mean-spirited government that refuses to listen to its people.

Thanks for nothing, people of Ontario.