Going Door to Door

Going Door to Door
Posted on April 12, 2014 | Qais GHANEM | Written on April 12, 2014
Letter type:

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

Erosion of democracy by Harper's government

Even at my age, I simply had to do something about this undemocratic government that rides roughshod over us Canadians, with 39% of the popular vote. So I joined a group of patriotic socially conscious mainly female Canadians who care. We’ve been going door to door, talking to citizens, including the current constituents of young Minister Pierre Poilievre. One weekend after another, our numbers increase and our determination multiplies.

So, what have we achieved? Nothing yet; which is exactly what we expected. I hate to use clichés like Rome wasn’t built in one day, but they can save writing a paragraph. It’s a whole year to election time in 2015, and that’s a long time in politics - another cliché.

Last weekend alone I knocked on 85 doors. I had knocked on many hundreds when I ran for the Green Party two federal elections ago. So, I knew the drill. The vast majority of people respond surprisingly positively. I mean they actually leave their TV set, come to the door and have a chat in cold weather. That’s impressive, I think.

I repeat the same concise spiel about the reasons why the so-called fair election Bill C-23 is bad for democracy. The vast majority of people agree with me. How do I know that? They actually say so. Many more nod their heads in agreement. I figure it would be boring if they all agreed. Well out of the 85 households, one disagreed with me strongly; another simply said he was not interested, and one agreed with all my reasons except one. He felt that those who want to vote should go out of their way to find the appropriate identification. Fair enough!

I studied epidemiology, and I know about sampling errors. But this tells me one thing: 82 out of those random 85 Canadians disapprove of their rookie minister’s attempt to change election laws, either strongly or mildly. They were especially mad at his secretive new rule which requires the Commissioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions to keep the data of nearly all investigations secret. Such secrecy for a public servant has no justification.

There are several positive changes he could have introduced, such as leveling the playing field between wealthy and poor candidates, by limiting the size of their contributions to their own campaigns. He did the exact opposite by raising them several-fold, such that the poorer one could not adequately compete.

So, for the sake of myself and other perplexed citizens, let me ask Pierre: Why on earth would he advocate such secrecy, if there is nothing to hide? Would he not want full transparency when, rather than if, the Liberals return to power, next year?

I’m not seriously expecting him to answer. These politicians don’t bother to talk to us. My own Liberal M.P. is the same. The only time he bothers to talk to me is once every four years.

About The Author

Qais Ghanem's picture

Dr Qais Ghanem is a retired neurologist, radio show host, poet and author. His novels are Final Flight From Sana’a and Two Boys from Aden College. His 3rd novel, "Forbidden Love in the Land of Sheba", was just... More