We are having an election, some say that it is proof that we have a Democracy, but that is not what is going on out there.
I am an Activist that has been engaged in the process of democracy for many years. That is not to say that I have been involved in political parties and I have been putting up signs and helping a candidate win a seat. No, as I see it, that is not Democracy, that is how the system is, and that is how the general public have been indoctrinated to think that this is how political activism works.
I once saw a political worker putting up signs for whom I would even consider one of the good guys of the political spectrum, the NDP. He was hammering in a post for the next sign to go up for the election. It was perhaps a bit condescending when I asked, “Why don’t you become a real activist?” To which he defended himself and he said that he was. I retorted, You call an election sprint every 5 years activism? Where were you when Bill C 51 was being rushed through Parliament? I didn’t see you at any of the protests”. To which he said, “ I signed a petition”. He sealed my point, activism, and democratic engagement doesn’t happen a mile away from the action.
I began putting up my own counter election signs 3 elections back, when I first gained an understanding that the politicians use their sea of election signs as a subliminal message to prove to us that we have a democracy. My understanding of an election is that it is merely pretence to make the People think that they have given consent, which they call a mandate, to be our decision makers. There is no “Government of the People, by the People, and for the People” here. There is only a British authoritarian system, of Royalty and Clergy making decisions for the Peasants. But in the end, elections don’t matter, the election is a shell game where issues are spun before the Peoples’ faces and then after the election there was no ball at all; the politicians steal the ball when they don’t do what they promised.
The winners of the game gets to do what they want because there are no real consequences for 4 or 5 years. An Electorate that is lead like sheep to consent to the shell game (the election) don’t understand the nuance of the mandate. The system is such that the game goes into the hands of only the players, the politicians. I refuse to accept that as truth.
I wanted to shake the system so I began putting up MY signs during the last Federal Election. These signs were meant to strike at the heart of the meaning of democracy. My sign declared, “Democracy is… Where the People Get a Say BETWEEN ELECTIONS”. Another sign said “The only sign I want to see is that the Politicians are listening”. My sign inserted the ideal into the democratic election illusion and also the truth where the lie lays. My signs with theirs could never mix, some of my signs never saw the next day. Some signs were torn down and thrown in the bushes, and one was out and out broken.
Come forward to today’s election, and I have gotten a lot more personal. Ed Holder was my former MP when I lived on Baseline Rd in London, so when I went to his office to complain about his voting in favour of the Omnibus Bill, I went down to his office and did my good citizen duty, I made clear that I did not think that his Party should ram through issues buried in the Budget. I was not sedated by the calming tones of his staff, that the budget was good for Canadians. And again, when Bill C 51 was laughingly debated in Parliament, I marched down to his office and protested that he didn’t vote for a single NDP amendment to block the increase of powers of law officers without more public oversight. Again, illusionary tones assured me that Stephan Harper was looking out for the best interests of the Canadian People by bringing in this anti terrorist law. They were quoting from the Steven script, “Bill C 51 will never be used against law abiding citizens”. (Since the Bills adoption, BC’s Privacy Commissioner begs to differ, as Oil Pipeline Protesters have their emails checked by CSIS).
So this election I have put out my signs, and to date 22 of the 23 signs that I have put up have disappeared. Some of them were stolen in broad daylight. Strangely, Ed Holder signs appeared where my signs had been, at one location.
If you view it from the ideals helicopter, my signs are asking the basic question, do we really have a democracy? What my signs are asking is, is this your election, or is this OUR election? If this is your election and my signs have no room in it, you are admitting that we don’t have a democracy. My signs are saying that I want a say, my signs are saying with a voice as loud as I can muster, “I do not accept that you make no place for me and my voice”.
And my signs are telling the rest of you, if you want Democracy, then you better start acting like you want it; our politicians are not going to just hand it to you.
I will continue to put up my signs as long as the election lasts.
This is from my earlier experiment with putting up signs: