Can You Do Something?

by MaxPower

I’m not an apathetic person – I vote in elections, keep abreast of current events both in this country and abroad and take an active role in espousing my opinions. However, I have always felt that one person can’t really do anything. Writing to my member of parliament or the legislature has never really been something I felt would solve a problem. I’m a realist, MP’s get thousands of letters a year and most MPs can’t even show up to all parliamentary sittings let alone read my letter on a certain issue. Sure they have lackeys and university political science volunteers to sift through their mail, but they probably don’t care about any one letter more than the thousands of pieces of junk mail the average person gets in a year.

Very rarely an issue comes which makes me rise out of my quasi-apathetic state and look o accomplish something on a national level. That issue right now is Kyoto, and whether Canada should push the treaty through on the back of Jean Chretien’s attempt at a legacy for ‘future generations’. If you follow the news at all, you know the issues, and if you have read R4nt for any great time you know my stance on Kyoto. Chretien has flipped and flopped on this issue as he seeks to reassure everyone from environmental activist groups (the scourge of the 21st Century) to European nations, to rebellious provinces. Why? He is a lame duck, that’s why. Handicapped by his notion that by doing something ‘good’ for the earth, history book writers will be kind to him and forget the popular notion that he is the ‘Friendly Dictator’. Is it a coincidence that the Kyoto Protocol sat on the shelf for five years never getting a mention in yearly speeches and that suddenly Chretien says he will ratify it before the end of the year – which is conveniently his last full year as PM?

Rex Murphy had a great line when he was looking at the issue on ‘Point of View’ on the CBC from October 22nd. He said: “We signed on mainly because of environmental boy scoutery. It’s Canada putting out its blue box for the rest of the world, a decision taken for its symbolism, not its substance.” That Kyoto is a placebo (read: symbol) for the environmental groups and the people who think it will cure all the world’s ails is an important point. No matter what type of bad weather someone is having, global warming is the cause. Freezing in August? Global Warming. Too hot? Global Warming. Too much snow? Global Warming. Too many hurricanes? Global Warming. Wherever you live in the world and whatever type of weather you think is bad, you’ll get more of it in spades if Kyoto isn’t solved. Fear mongering. Fear mongering compounded by a lame duck Prime Minister’s attempt to be remembered as a global crusader and a hero. Rather than someone who flopped around during his last 4 years in office, accomplishing nothing and making a fool out of himself with regular frequency on the international stage.

Well if you want to send Chretien a message, I want to give you some information. You can use this platform for whatever point of view you have. There is a coalition called the Canadian Coalition for Responsible Environmental Solutions. On their website you can find all of the resources you need to write a letter to your MP. It has a feature in which you can put your postal code in and it will give you the name, location, address and email address of your member of parliament. Try writing a letter. Maybe one person can’t do anything to affect the course that the Canadian government has chosen to set. But if enough people write in, something may happen.

  • Can You Do Something?
  • by MaxPower
  • Published on November 1st, 2002

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