Shaping Your Future

by Simon Goland, September 29, 2008

I am not much into politics. Never have been, really. Yet, I am beginning to see and realize, more and more, that everything is ultimately political (or, at least, is impacted by it). From business, religion, education, health care, media, economy, and most of the aspects of our lives – all areas are impacted by our political systems. And one of the ways to shape my own future is to cast my vote towards what is important for me. Learning to vote with my money is one way I can make a difference; voting in the upcoming elections is another.

“All great truths begin as blasphemies.” – George Bernard Shaw

For the Canadians among us, the following is an excerpt from The Harper Record which, I think, is a must-read before the coming elections for every Canadian:

“In the 32 months that the Conservative minority government was in power between 2006 and 2008, the people of Canada faced significant challenges because of the substance of what the Harper government achieved and because of the anti-democratic way in which he went about it. What becomes clear from the Harper Record is that the Conservatives are as committed to a market-driven world economy as the Liberals were, but that Harper is not committed to national democratic or multilateral institutions in the same way. For Harper, the only international relationship that matters is the one between Canada and the United States. He does not criticize the Bush administration for its ineptitude in living up to its own conservative commitments. Nor does Harper shine a bright light on a tattered U.S. hegemony. Rather, he reflects to the world an enhanced image of conservative unity in North America and a resolute commitment to market forces that is undeterred by the noisy democratic rabble. Indeed, his calling of the election so close in advance of the U.S. election might well be timed to offer support to the Republicans as they go about trying to elect a McCain administration. It certainly does Harper no harm to be running a campaign while Barak Obama is not the president of the United States.

Civil society organizations must become quite the opposite of what Harper has offered up as the model of leadership in a “turbulent” time. In these times we need a strategic sense of how to affirm a broad and diverse range of possibilities. It is through openness and not closure that our own deeply felt convictions that another world is possible can be articulated. It is this collective capacity we must seek to strengthen as we face the political power of CEOs as embodied in ruling parties, whether in the majority or minority. Indeed, before the next government takes shape, we will need to remember what happened during the last and reassert what it is we are prepared to commit to from now on.”

Another source of information is the Vote for Environment website. This initiative was designed by Canadians who believe what the vast majority of the world’s scientists have told us. That we are out of time and we must start to reduce our fossil fuel pollution now to save the planet from dangerous climate change.

And if you are curious about the US elections, then Michael Moore’s “Slacker Uprising” movie is a must-see for you.

“If we do not know what port we’re steering for, no wind is favorable.” – Seneca

A sunny week to you all, inside and out.