Leader’s Rant: On Grandmothers and Neighbors

Another frustrating day. Warning, this is a bit of a rant.

It is so heartwarming to see how three Mi’kmaq grandmothers rushed to save our livelihood to protect our water. After their release they came to the province house to fight on. The fight against Alton Gas is becoming for me a symbol for our choice, a future for our children or giving in to oil and greed.

I had again some internal battles I want to share. I didn’t want to speak because I really want to listen to our First Nations who have all the right to shame us (and they didn’t, they were encouraging all of us). Do we really need another politician who tells everyone what we need to do? On the other hand, if we do not speak we will never be heard. So, I said only a few words even though there is so much I should talk about.

I admire the courage and commitment of the people who again stood on the streets in the cold. It feels good to stand with them. However, I am getting worried and sad thinking what does it change at the end? Of course, it is the absolutely necessary as the beginning to wake us up, but do we really believe by now that the politicians inside this House are changing anything because we are there?

So here is my problem. There are so many good people demonstrating, but I think most of such engaged minds find politics dirty and do not participate. Then there is this large fraction of the population which just don’t seem to care anymore, and who could blame them. But with these attitudes, and also with this devastating strategic voting, what will ever change?

We really need another government, and likely a different governance model. I actually think that parties are mostly detrimental at this time. But to change within the system we need to elect people who are really there because of the issues. The Greens are not paid by big oil and are here because of climate change and social injustice. We need to get people active on this front, even so its politics. If we have people who can talk to the neighbors we can make a real change. This is how revolutions happen, not by discussions in the parliament. Interestingly, this was also the message of the Mi’kmaq elders. We need to get active and do this by talking to our neighbors.

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