Disappointed But Not Surprised  


Well, I had hoped for a better Christmas present for my grandchildren, but it seems the fight for democracy isn’t quite won yet. Not that it should ever be. Times change, and by the time they’re running the world, this Pro Rep stuff will probably seem old hat.

Back when I was young and idealistic I believed that if you presented people with the truth they would be persuaded. 40 plus years dealing with the parents of various school children, and I lean more towards Paul Simon’s line in “The Boxer:”

“A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”

Change is rarely made by a silver bullet, a grand gesture. If people aren’t ready, they aren’t ready, and only voter education will fix that. Education is a matter of one child at a time, one day at a time, and there’s no difference between students and voters.

So don’t congratulate yourselves too cheerfully, those of you who resist change. You have staved off the demise of your little political monopoly for a few more years, but it won’t last. Sooner or later there will be another referendum, and maybe another, and each time more people learn more. It’s a fact of life that the older generations who cling to the past soon become the past.

Our main objective must be to fire the younger voters up with enthusiasm for the opportunities presented to them. Each generation must fight for their own freedoms or they will lose them. The First Past the Post system is failing, in case anyone didn’t notice, and it will only get worse.

It took over 20 referendums and 80 years before Switzerland gave women the vote. Sooner or later Canada will realize how far behind the rest of the world we are, and then we’ll be rushing to catch up.

The big message from the past three referendums is not to play around trying to decide on the system ahead of time. A recent poll shows that even this time, a simple “Yes or No” vote would have passed. Hopefully those running the next referendum will take this into account.

So, thanks to all who participated, on both sides. At least those who participated fairly and with honest intent (I’m not so happy with the people that stole half the street and lawn signs I put up). That’s what democracy is all about; it’s not about winners and losers, it’s about listening and letting everyone have their say.

So, see you next time.

And there will be a next time, believe it. My grandchildren will be fighting for their own freedoms, if I have anything to say about it.


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