Vote: Act During Critical Times

During the national political debates this week, one of the pols mentioned that during the last Federal election, 72% of eligible voters didn’t bother to vote.
If this statistic is accurate, it causes one to ponder relative situations in life: the bloody deaths of Tunisians, Egyptians, Syrians, Bahrain-is, Yemenis, and Algerians, adamant about achieving their basic human rights after decades of oppression, contrasted with Canadians’ apathetic, shoulder-shrugging, disengaged acceptance of our politicians and ideas about our future.
As with many things human, effective change comes only after a certain level of pain has been endured for enough time for people to shout “enough.” Egyptians have passed it. Canadians are nowhere near that pain point yet.
But we must be alert and awake to the critical times we are in. Surveying the global landscape, we find that Canada is in far better shape than many countries (Ireland, Greece, Portugal, the U.S.): lower crime, less scary deficits (although still work to be done here), a functioning multi-cultural mosaic, and a reputation for rational, humane, intelligent approaches to world problems.
This has not happened by accident, but rather (at least partially) by design, through decisions taken several years back. Twenty years ago, the Business Council on National Issues and the Government of Canada commissioned Harvard strategy uber-guru Michael Porter to conduct a study of Canadian competitiveness in the global arena, and to recommend strategies and action steps to position Canada effectively for the next 20 years. It was called Canada at the Crossroads. We’re now there again.
The report concluded that, up to 1991, Canada’s great wealth had allowed businesses, labour, and governments to achieve their respective goals without major change or sacrifice; no one had to collaborate to increase the size of the pie. Porter pointed out how dysfunctional government policies, rather than assist the private sector to innovate and grow, actually hindered our global competitiveness. Some recommendations were adopted, others not, but the details of the report are not the point.
The point is that because someone had the foresight and diligence to be proactive in 1991, we are in a better place now, and with the current serious struggles faced by many nations, there is great opportunity for Canada to leverage her relatively strong position, and to ensure a solid future as a major player in the new world order.
Critical times. Question: who is preparing us for that now? Which party or politician has the foresight and vision that will position Canada for the next 20 years? Do you care? Where is the guiding ‘Canada at the crossroads strategy’ for this point in time, and who is crafting it and how will it affect us?
There is always the huge temptation to shrug; what can my one vote do? Yet if we fail to take action as individuals, we cannot expect action from populations. And we will then deserve the results that we get. Movements start with one person.
So please, let’s each do our part to ensure Canada does not drift into the future during these critical times; missing out on a once in a lifetime opportunity. Read about the issues, decide which party best reflects your vision for Canada, and then GO VOTE!

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