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March 28, 2012 / mike54martin

Pointing the Finger in the Right Direction

I am starting to wonder why we bother having elections if we keep ending up with politicians and governments that look and act as if they want to get rid of governments. If I had a company that manufactured widgets I would hire managers and employees who would continue to make widgets, in fact I would look for people who wanted to make the best widgets possible, not people who hate widgets and want all widgets to disappear. That would be weird. And yet we don’t think it’s weird when people get elected who want to dismantle all of the public services that we have all worked so hard to build up. I don’t get it.

I also don’t understand the political theory of creating scapegoats or pitting groups of people against each other. Really, what is that about? And once again, why would the people we elect do this on a fairly consistent basis. TheOntariobudget which came out yesterday is a prime example. The message I got from the budget was that doctors, teachers, public sector workers, people on social assistance and disability, seniors, and students are the problem. If not then why have they been singled out in the budget for cuts, freezes and rate increases?

If we have a public debt problem, then wouldn’t a better approach be to talk to everybody and see if you could get some cooperation so that together we could make a plan to reduce our collective debt? Did they miss something in the kindergarten lesson about trying to get along or is it more politically viable to have people blame each other than to have them point the finger at the people who really caused the problem? Just askin?

Well, they can try all they want but I like my doctor and I don’t think that he caused the deficit. And I know some people on social assistance and disability payments and as far as I can see they are just trying to get by. In fact most of them make regular trips to the food bank to feed themselves and their kids. And I have a kid in school who’s living on a pittance and racking up a massive debt and I will be a senior sooner than I want so I can’t see where students and seniors are the big bad guys that the government is trying to convince me of.

The politics of division and ignorance have led us to this place where a reasonable response is apathy and withdrawal. And sadly many people have taken this approach. I don’t blame them but I will never go there. Because at the end I think that’s what those small-minded politicians really want. The antidote to the petty politics that are unfolding right now is action, small, large and in-between. Doing nothing is not an option.

Mike Martin is a freelance writer and workplace wellness consultant.

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