The hashtag isn’t #apathy

No Prorogue Rally, Waterloo, Jan. 23rd, 2010

I am one of those apathetic Canadians that Rick Mercer recently referenced. I don’t talk politics much, I don’t read political blogs or books as a matter of course, and while I faithfully vote at the federal and provincial levels, I’ve never voted municipally.

Today, with Sherry and Melissa, I attended my first political rally. Along with several hundred Kitchener-Waterloo residents and thousands of others across Canada, I spent part of my Saturday protesting the Harper government’s prorogation of parliament. Kinda disappointed that, unlike Toronto and Vancouver, we didn’t go a’marching. 🙂

However, the weather was lovely and there were lattes to keep the hands warm, and the audience, ever so Canadianly, shushed the rude man who kept intermittently hollering at the speakers. Mostly to tell the truth…

I dislike Harper a great deal, and have never voted for him, so it’s fair to say I’m more likely to get inboard with protesting his actions than other parties’.

And I hope we make something happen. It’s our responsibility, after all, since we, as Canadian voters, put Harper in power. Twice. Or, perhaps more accurately for folks like me, failed to keep him out of power with shamefully low voter turnout. (<60% in the last federal election, I believe.)

Democracy, like any system, requires maintenance, else there will always be someone more than happy to step up and set to work using it to fulfill their own agenda.

It also occurred to me that this morning’s rally was a celebration, too. Being able to organize largely online, with unfettered access to social media, and peacefully gather in large groups in public, across the country, to protest our democratically elected government’s actions, without fear of injury, arrest, or death. There’s a lot there to be impressed about.

I am in full agreement with the idea that those who don’t vote don’t get to complain. And it also makes me smile to consider that where, when, and how we complain, particularly at an in-the-crowd level, certainly appears to distinguish us as Canadians.

(Can you see the heavenly light of righteous indignation streaming down upon us in the photo at the top of the post?) 🙂

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