Monday, May 19, 2014

Election Time!


For many, there are two topics that are taboo: religion and politics.  So, let’s talk politics!  I wish to make it clear, however, that I am not going to go into minute detail on each and every aspect of politics.  If I were to do so, I would be writing myself into a grave!

From time to time, elections are necessary.  We, the citizens of the so-called democratic countries, are called upon to go to the polls to elect the next federal, state, provincial, or “whatever,” government.  From one person to the next, “democracy” can mean something quite different; some are more fervent in their values and beliefs regarding the democratic process and an individual’s responsibilities, while others are more “laisser-faire.”  And during these elections, candidates and their various parties try their best to woo the majority of the electorate to their side and secure the votes of the people.

The upcoming election in my part of the world has left me rather bewildered.  In a recent survey, respondents were given an opportunity to list the most important issues in this election.  With varying percentages attached to each, the responses included words deemed to be synonymous with the economy, jobs, and taxes.  Health care was the second-most frequent answer, while accountability, education, energy, transit and infrastructure, the environment, and social justice/inequality rounded out the top ten.

Although I agree with the majority of these concerns, I am still having difficulty deciding how I’m going to vote.  “Why,” you ask?  Well, the various parties’ platforms suggest that they will do this or that to rectify the current state of affairs, but to me, it’s all rhetoric.  Considering that accountability actually made the list in the first place, I think that it’s the issue that is most often overlooked and forgotten by the governing party.  During campaigns, the various parties put their best foot forward, but once a party gets into power, accountability goes right out the window!  In essence, we always wind up getting the same result: corruption, waste, and of course taxes.  The reason for this is simple: once in power, what is of utmost importance is paying off the folks that contributed to the success of the campaign!

When it comes to politics and the results that come out of any electoral process, I believe that there are a few things that are certain: 1. The rich will get richer; 2. The poor will get poorer; and 3. The middle class will pay for it all!  Part of me says that the only sure way to change this reality is to take everything apart and start from scratch.  Only then could we ensure that things are put in their proper places and everyone pays their fair share.  Being the pessimist that I am, however, even if we were to do this, greed would most certainly entice some people to sway their votes in a different way.  The whole situation exudes uncertainty, and I think that Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."

What will come out of the elections that we face?  I do not know.  But with humans being who they are, one thing is for sure: There will be plenty of finger pointing throughout the process, laying blame for this, that, and the other thing.  How did we get to where we are today?  As I said earlier, greed and corruption play a major role.  And finally, how do I deal with it all?  I choose to blame it on fast foods.

- B. J. T. Pepin

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