Thursday, November 21, 2013

Unreasonable men and women must show defiance when government fails

It was George Bernard Shaw who reminded us that reasonable men attempt to fit into the society, while unreasonable men attempt to fit the society to them, making unreasonable men the most important, if not the only, agents of change.
As a young boy, I can recall a chant/mantra "sung" by my mother almost literally on a daily basis: "If the whole world took a walk off the town dock and drowned, would you take the same walk?" She was reinforcing her view of the "unreasonable" person, in a world filled with lemmings.
It is not too difficult to see that, in this case, the "acorn did not fall far from the tree."
There is an irony in the current battle of some "heat" and very little "light" coming out of Ottawa.
On the one hand, the government is attempting to pass an anti-bullying bill to prevent anyone from displaying images of another on the internet, without permission. On the other, the government is, simultaneously, bullying the Canadian people and the pursuit of the truth, with a histrionic display of stonewalling on who knew what, when surrounding the Senate debacle.
Various versions of documents, allegedly "protecting" some players, affidavits that seem to put in doubt some statements made on the public record of some highly placed elected and appointed persons, a Question Period now having become almost "appointment television" for many Canadians, overlaid with RCMP affidavits in pursuit of additional evidence, while all the time proclaiming there is no investigation of the PMO, and attempting to build a firewall around the prime minister....these are the signs of a well-oiled political machine that is attempting to ride out the current political storm, a storm whose core element is the pursuit of  literal, absolute and total truth in a political climate analogous to a petri dish that is friendly only to deceptions, distortions and dissembling...
Problem is that  there is such a monstrous cloud hanging over too many governments, and their actors, the politicians, that the public's disdain of the public arena is making effective governance nearly impossible.
Unreasonable men, in the case of the current spate of political scandals, would call for a public inquiry, a clearing of the air, a public decision to "take responsibility" for the pursuit of truth under the very laws which are intended to define the purpose and the parameters of the government which seems to be making the rules as it goes.
Unreasonable men, too, would put all public statements from all public leaders under a microscope, but of course we do not have either the time or the patience for such an ambitious undertaking. And so, as unreasonable men/women, we have to build our own filtering system for judging the truth, and for assembling some modicum of stability and balance in a world given to attempting to put us off balance. And a public inquiry, on our behalf, would attempt to accomplish what we, individually cannot accomplish.
We are, the unreasonable electorate, the ballast that keeps the ship of state afloat, when the winds of personal aggrandizement and personal agendas, and personal power-addictions attempt to blow the ship of state off course, and overturn it into the seas. We are all that is left between a government seeking absolute power, not only to pass laws but to define what is the national "truth" and a nation that resists such ambition. We are all that is left to protect the national interest from all those who would be so contemptuous of anything resembling a "national interest" as to throw such "interest" overboard.
Unreasonable men and women have always stood defiantly in front of the tanks in Tienanmen Square, and outside embassies and consulates and houses of government whenever and wherever such defiance was required. And it will be, once again, unreasonable men and women who demand that the government take responsibility for those issues currently abandoned, at least in Canada, such as the Canadian environment (we are at the bottom of the heap in fulfilling our responsibilities in this file, 54 out of 58 countries), of aboriginal rejection and denial, of support for those who are unable to support themselves...and all the while Ottawa fritters in a pursuit of truth from sources who might have difficulty recognizing it if and when they met it on Sparks Street Mall.

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