O Canada, I believe: A ‘No Prorogue’ poem

O Canada, I believe: A ‘No Prorogue’ poem

O Canada, I believe we have a problem. PMS: Prime Minister Steve. Canada’s Prime Minister prefers to ignore advice from scientists and diplomats in the warfields, silence watchdogs and whistle-blowers and shutdown dissenters and to let Parliament decide–Later*. A mere war-criminal or -monger, he is Disaster, Capital’s arrogance and greed, personified.

O Canada, I believe our system needs some medicine. When it allows abuses of democratic power by a Minority government leader to evade investigations into the torture of detainees– well, O Canada, there’s something wrong. We need to talk. And we’ve started. We are here.

O Canada, I believe in the energy of our activists and our votes, in the people on this street and all the streets all over our nation and beyond. It’s the energy that’s given us public healthcare, unemployment insurance, minimum wages… Personhood.

O Canada, I believe in the maple leaf – the Manitoba Maple that lives in these parts. I believe in the leaves on trees, the air we breathe, the water that flows and the earth that grows the food we it. I believe in the power of symbol to connect us.

O Canada, I believe we care. I believe in our capacity to care, to take care, of each other in our families and communities, in this province and our country and all around the world. I believe we do it, not for personal gain, political games or polling numbers– We do it because we genuinely care.

And, O Canada, I believe in the strength of diversity. Though partisans would have us divided, we hold together, one voice, united. No! No prorogation!

O Canada, I believe in the power of the people. I believe in the power of the people to create a flashpoint, to make a difference, to take back democracies.

~ Bernadette L. Wagner
January 23, 2010

* from the poem, W.L.M.K. by F. R. Scott


Oh Canada, We Stand On Guard For Thee, Eh!

I don’t consider myself to be a patriotic person. In fact, patriotism is something I’ve never encouraged in anyone. I think it’s dangerous, quite frankly.

Democracy and participation in the democratic process, well, that’s something else entirely! What’s happening in Canada right now, with the surge of clicking on Facebook and the creation of this website, is something that should make our Prime Minister a little nervous.

Yes, Canadians are ticked that the Harper Conservatives have given themselves an extended Christmas break by proroguing Parliament. But I’m not convinced that’s the only reason Canadians are making the click. The majority of Canadians are not happy with the Harper government. And, in my experience, Canadians don’t like being dismissed as silly or not caring because really, compared to many, we are a heartful bunch. We have a social safety net and yes, it could be stronger. We have socialized medicine and yes, it could be better. We have a decent education system and yes, it needs work, too. We could do more and better in a lot of areas, certainly, but not with Herr Harper at the helm and Canadians know that.

And now it appears that Canadians are recognizing that our democratic institutions also need improvements. These are the conversations we can have while our MP’s are posing for photo ops in their constituencies and at the Olympics. And these are the conversations we can bring to the next election, whenever that may be.

I hesitate to say it, lest I sound patriotic, but, well, WAYTAGO, CANADA, WAYTAGO!