Apathy is Pathetic

I have been hearing and reading a lot of people bemoaning politicians in general and making grand declarations that “Jack Layton was the only politician who truly cared about what was best for Canadians”. Mr. Layton did care passionately about making Canada a more equitable place for all and he did work hard to help bring his vision of Canada to reality but he is not the ONLY politician who cares/cared. Statements such as that are actually counter to the effort that Mr. Layton put into making politics more accessible to all Canadians and counter to Mr. Layton’s final words to us all. Apathetic statements like that just don’t fly. They give citizens of Canada a further excuse to avoid political engagement. If you really want to honour Mr. Layton’s memory, now is the time to become engaged and get involved in politics at all levels (municiple, provincial and federal). It is time to start working to understand the issues and educate yourself on them. It is time to write, phone or email your representatives and ask them for a few minutes of their time to discuss your findings and thoughts. It is the time to seek out the party that best reflects your vision of Canada and become involved.

We receive the political representation that we deserve. If you do not believe your current MP, MPP or councilor is working in your city, province or country’s best interest, it is your job to open a dialogue with them and question what they are doing. Make a stink. Get loud (in an educated manner). Get others involved. Make your voice heard.

If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, it is then your job to work to ensure you receive better representation in the next election by either putting your own name forward or throwing your support (and time) behind a candidate you believe in. We, the people, decide who represents us and decide which vision of our city, province or country is likely to materialize based on our votes. That is the beauty (and sometimes the curse) of democracy.

Mr. Layton wanted to change things. He wanted to change people’s perception of politicians and he wanted to change how things get done in this country. If you want to help change things, and not just pay lip-service, then you need to get engaged and involved. Stop just talking and start doing. The only way change will happen is if you start making it happen.

“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result”.

-Mahatma Ghandi

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