31 December 2010

Of Decades Past and Future

As 2010 comes to a close, my hope for the coming decade is for an overhauled Canadian Parliament and similar changes to the BC Legislative Assembly. I doubt anything substantive will change in terms of policy or direction - for this country, this province or its communities - if these changes do not happen.

I hope for the people's representatives to be elected through a new inclusive electoral system; that the powers of back-benchers be returned; that the power in the office of the heads of governments be vastly reduced; and that Question Period, a farce today, be returned to a venue for vital rigourous debate on issues important to Canadians.

I hope for a reversal of the power and responsibilities of Canada’s three tiers of government. Local governments must have more power, greater areas of responsibility and additional means for acquiring their own, direct, revenue. Many Canadians appear, rightly, to have had enough of the paternalism of the federal and provincial governments toward municipalities; the governments closest to the people are those that should have the greatest political power to effect change.

Of the years 2001 through 2010, they constituted the most miserable and worst decade for me personally. The misery was lessened, however, through new friends and learning that this community truly was a ‘community’ in the old-fashioned sense. My rapidly-acquired and subsequently persisting straitened circumstances also came with a silver lining. They forced a reassessment of my values and shoved the activist in me out of the closet. Had my personal circumstances not been so bad I may never have opened my eyes to the distress around me or become such a strong proponent and activist for democratic (and housing) reform.

Recommend this post