Why I was at the rally for democracy

Initial estimates say 25 000 Canadians moved their protest from facebook to the streets.  It was the first time I ever took part in a non-partisan political rally.  I felt I should be there because we see the current government sliding away from democratic ideals.  I’ll happily acknowledge that Harper had every legal right to Prorogue.  That isn’t the issue.  I was at the rally because of the reasons behind the suspension of parliament.  The questions about afghan detainees getting tortured were hitting a little too close home.  Tom Flanagan, one of Harper’s former top advisers believes much the same. Instead of allowing parliament to do its work and hold our government accountable Harper puts the government on pause.  I for one don’t want our prime ministers to get in the habit of turning off dissent every time legitimate issues are being raised in the house of commons.  The issue of the day, the torture of afghan detainees, is no small issue for me.  I don’t want Canada to go down the slippery slope of devaluing people just because they are different. 

I am really sick and tired of watching the Canadian government spend more time and energy on derailing or obstructing the opposition than running the country. 

Freedom is something that can slip away easily in a culture of apathy or ignorance.  It happens in nations and I’ve watched it happen in the church.  While small changes here and there might not seem like much they slowly erode the foundations of honesty, transparency and accountability.  Once leaders get so comfortable that they start to bank on voter ignorance and apathy they really need to be sent a wake up call, and if that doesn’t work they need to be sent packing.

I didn’t like the Conservative Party’s response to the facebook group and the planned protests.  Dismissing 200,000 Canadians as the “chattering classes” and irrelevant only cemented my desire to show up at that rally. 

I’ve learned something in the last two years.  Freedom, truth and accountability are something worth fighting for, worth sacrificing for.  I made some decisions in the last year that cost me but I’d make them all again in a heartbeat.  How come? At the end of the day I can look deeply in the mirror and be truly content with what I’ve done and what I’ve stood for. 

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