Grassroots matters

Another session of Canadian politicking has drawn to an end. Harper’s fear mongering worked. He got the victory he was desperate for. Ignatieff’s dirty campaign took him into a gutter that he was unable to climb out of. Layton had a clear vision and it was pallipable. He stood strong of the issues that matter to him and was able to take his party to new heights.

Many people took the time to vote.  They sent their message to Ottawa.  Elizabeth May was also sent as a message.  I for one am thrilled for May.  She is a positive step for the Green Party and proof that sometimes one is enough, (at least for now).  May was relentless and based her campaign on a better Canada.  One where we care about the Kyoto Accord and the average person…and even democracy.

Layton did not dig dirt, but rather recited facts and statistics.  His campaign was about a better country too.  The NDP move up the federal political ladder made a strong statement that many Canadians are sick of the huge gap between the haves and the have nots.

Harpers answer is to thrown the downtrodden in jail if they act out.  We need more jails he cries.  I agree there are those that need to be in jails, but I also wonder about how we could take some of those who end up in jail and change the cycle with a better social system.  Is little Johnny a druggie and thief because when he was a child he was beaten, went without food, and had no hope of a better future?  Was there anybody there to really help him along the way?  Did a social worker stop by as often as they should have or is Johnny a statistic of not enough?

I wonder what Johnny could have been if that village was there to help raise him.  Isolation is a terrible thing.  Isolation can mean more than abuse.  It can be poverty, lack of hope, lack of confidence, and just no where to turn.

Most of us know kids who have come from less than stellar backgrounds who have turned out okay.   The difference between those who make it out of their past and those who don’t is usually people.  Did that kid who didn’t get enough to eat at home have places to go and get fed?  Did that kid have a friend from a caring family who adopted him or her in?  Was there a teacher who told them that they mattered?  Was there a someone who held out their hands just because it was needed?

I was talking with one of our local politicians over the weekend and he said “this is why I like local politics.  It is the people.  At the grassroots I get to see local people making a huge difference and getting things done just because they care.  It is inspiring.”  …and he is right it is.  I also feel each one of us has an obligation to step out of our own backyard and hold out that hand once in a while for others.  I just hope our Prime Minister realizes that Canada is made up of people…good people and not just corporations with CEOs.  An economy is only as strong as its people.