Election day reflection – poetically speaking

On this election day, I’d like to revisit a poem I wrote on a previous blog that addressed the circumstances of Bill C-311: a bill to set serious climate change reduction targets for Canada. It was voted down in our Canadian Senate without even passing into committee for debate.

This might not seem like a big deal – legislation dies all the time – however, not without due consideration, especially after elected representatives pass a bill after months of deliberation. Moreover, it was killed by a body of unelected officials.  (Read “people hired for their special interests and political alignment”). This has not happened in  almost 100 years, and as Elizabeth May (now the first Green Party MP in Canada ever!) puts it, even then, it did not happen “without notice”.

Why? I suspect Harper realizes that if parliament even entertains a debate on the matter, his government will have to provide a REAL position on climate change. He will have to come out and say exactly why Canada is not going to produce any serious targets or take concerted measures to address this monumental challenge.

I don’t hesitate to admit it is difficult for Canada to meet stringent targets, especially being currently economically dependent on the oil sands. But Canadians will not be willed to find a way to make this work, if their leadership isn’t even acknowledging the problem… the really, really big, “nothing else matters, even oil sands, if we don’t solve it” problem.

It is hard to express anger in ways that resonate, rather than alienate. I think poetry is a means for overcoming this.  Unless you are into serious heavy metal, I suppose.

This bit of reflection came after reading the biography of Lester B. Pearson, who was my great grandmother’s cousin, and to some, “the Greatest Canadian”. Basically, a diplomatic genius whose minority government introduced universal health care, student loans, the Canada Pension Plan, the Order of Canada, and the current Canadian flag.  He really stood for making Canada great on its own merits.

Oh yeah, and he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Just sayin’…

Anyway, I wonder what he would think of and do in times like these. And I’d like to cheer on those made of the same kind of “stuff” Pearson was made of.

Are the people of my country gone?

Long since Lester B.

Succumbed to tyranny

Of mass media and trade economy?

What people, where?

Could I identify

That see,

Boldly,

A future, fair and safe?

Do we condemn our children and beyond

To a fate

Deserved by shareholder greed,

GDP psyche,

Ignorance, 

And false entitlement?

The sight is lost,

Spatially, temporally,

At scales beyond ourselves.

Are the people of my country

Resigned to feel

The heat and pains  brought by this hell?

“Not here, but there”

Perhaps they think.

And futile is that feat.

For Lester B.

Well does he see

Immortally, that tyranny

Which chafes against the meager and the great.

For our counterparts “out there”,

Beneath the covers

Irritants and assaults run deep, long

In a bed that we all share.

Yes,

Certainly my nation stands

To lose like all the rest.

Yet,

In breaking free for principles that speak

To all humanity,

We may well find the people of my land

So loved, painted, defended,

By Lester B.

Who would see us

Take that stand.

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