Monday, April 9, 2007

Video...Celebrating our rights...but not in Oshawa!

Today marks the 90th anniversary of the attack on Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917.

This is seen as, a key step in Canada's evolution as a nation, because all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together to take a German position that had resisted previous attacks. In three days of heavy fighting, there were 10,602 Canadian casualties, including 3,598 dead, but the Germans lost control of the ridge and retreated.

We are celebrating on this day Canadian soldier's heroic victory in preserving the values and freedoms of our own country and of the free world.

So what do you think are the real icons…the defining values that characterize life in Canada and Western World”?

We have Free Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom of Association and Assembly, Freedom to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, Freedom of political expression, Freedom of the Press, etc....all aptly summarized in famous documents as the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

But what is the central right that defines all of the others?

Isn’t it the right to cast a meaningful vote……a “real” vote…a vote that can really make a difference in determining our governments?

Lots of countries have votes…but in many places they aren’t “real” votes.

In these countries, there may be only one set of candidates…or one party…it may be illegal to campaign against the government…or only certain people are allowed to vote…or the election may be outright fixed.

Votes allowed in those places are not "real" because they have no role in determining political leadership.

Oshawa’s history with the general vote shows that all council change took place through the death or resignation of members. When that was the case, the vote was meaningless. It was an exercise in futility because it did not and could not make a difference.

A vote that cannot and does not make a difference is not a vote at all.

Isn’t it perverse then that on this day when we are celebrating the 90th anniversary of our most noted victory to preserve democracy, we are fighting in Oshawa to retain the most cherished right we have…the right to cast a vote that has the power to determine our local government?

Even more astounding is that some Oshawa city politicians of Eastern European ancestry whose forefathers came here to enjoy the freedoms we have and the right to cast a meaningful vote are themselves voting to remove this basic right from us.

We can’t sit back and let our politicians take some of our freedoms away.…We have to rise up and rebel against those who would do this.

Losses of freedoms have a way of creeping up on us without us noticing. The loss of one freedom can be the thin edge of the wedge for the erosion of others.

Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."

Stand up Oshawa and fight… Don’t look on and do nothing as Oshawa City Council undermines the most basic value that people have sacrificed for since the beginning of time…the vote that can make a difference in choosing your leaders.

Silence is consent!---You must rise up and get active in resisting the loss of your meaningful vote.

Celebrate our freedoms by emailing the mayor and council and tell them that you will not stand to have your free and meaningful vote taken away.

If Council if able to do this, it is not the Canada I know!

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