Just like my horse Romy searching through his grooming kit for goodies, Canada Day always makes me look for the gems that we have here in our special country.
As a country blessed with beautiful outdoor spaces, much of it rugged and still wild we are often stunned into reverential silence by what we are so lucky to have around us…and yet we are so frequently cavalier about our guardianship of the environment we find ourselves within.
So on this Canada Day 2014 I find myself whistfully searching for answers I know must be there just like the distant City you may be able to see in this photo.
My family came to Canada just after these wonderful volunteers started to forge the magnificent Bruce Trail I’m now hiking with my friend Cheryl.
This was just after the first universal medicare program had started in Canada – a testament to those things we prioritized as a country…it was and is a land of wonderful possibilities…but perplexing contradictions.
Maybe I wouldn’t have been as conflicted as I am but we’ve just had a federal by-election here, to elect four new members of our Federal parliament and the voter turnout ranged from 15 to 30%…Oh Canada!!
All countries are full of contradictions, aren’t they! Compare to many other countries I think Canada is probably better off on a range of issues. But that turn out is indeed very low – and is and problem for any democracy. Lovely photos by the way.
Ironically, while national identity and patriotism may be waved liked flags, when societies become prosperous most citizens become complacent. This allows for the majority to go about enjoying their privileges while ignoring the responsibilities of engagement in governing. Bureaucrats, professionals, and dictators tend to then take over.
My satire of the the happenings in the USA is that the reason the Supreme Court keeps siding on “Corporations are People Too” is that our voting percentages are getting so low that the politicians are looking for someone with a vested interest to vote for them. I’m waiting for the Constitutional Amendment that will franchise businesses to vote in elections. “Give me Liberty, or give me NASCAR”, isn’t that what Patrick Henry had written on his Lowe’s Home Improvement Center stock car?
Oscar (rhymhs with NASCAR)
Agreed! The already powerful have much to gain from our apathy…and that apathy is on so many levels not just voting. Thanks for dropping by Nascar…I mean Oscar!!
The pictures are lovely. I don’t know anything about the politics of Canada but this post will make me pay more attention the next time a see a news article about Canada.
I do follow the U.S. political scene but it is perplexing to say the least – thanks for the visit.
You’re so right about the contradictions and complacency is certainly one of them. It seems to me that naturalized Canadians have a greater sense of real patriotism than those of us born here.
I agree – one paper reported that in one of the Alberta ridings their MP was elected with just 7% of elegible voters!
Apathy at its worst!
Thanks – enjoyed your post on the Australian system…While I was at it I enjoyed a few more too! It’s very troubling that so few people are participating in elections and not just here in Canada.
Australia has compulsory voting as has already been commented. I did a post on it back last September – called whoops! A political essay if you were interested to check it out. Sure, it’s not perfect, but if you are going to get voter turnout as low as 15% then it must have something going for it. It can’t be just the young who are not voting if your figures are so low. Maybe life is comfortable enough, that there is an expectation things will roll along much the same no matter who is in charge? Your beautiful horse looks very content 🙂
Thank you…he is a gem!
I think your horse Romy is one of the gems of Canada. Beautiful pictures.
Good wishes back to you too!
It has been a wonderful Canada Day out West and I wish you all the best. I’m with you around the apathy of voter turnout. So much freedom here and yet….
Happy Canada Day to you. Voter turnout is not good here. Authorities are considering the possibility of online voting for elections but…..I don’t know that will make much difference. People, especially young people, can’t relate to politicians and what they do. I have trouble with that too; we might all feel better about them if politicians were required to spend their time in office living on the basic wage.
So interesting that this seems to be a problem in a number of places! I once believed in mandatory voting – like in Brazil and Australia but now I’m not so sure…we do need to find out why people are so turned off voting. It is quite frightening though because it leaves so much power in the hands of the barely (vs fairly) elected and the corporate lobbyists.
Barely vs fairly; great expression. In Australia people simply spoil their votes in protest.
Another Happy Canada day wish to add to the others! I’ve made quite a few visits north of our border and loved your country very much. If only we could be as sensible about health care. I can’t help but think the low voter turnout might be a sign of disgust at the behavior of our politicians who don’t seem to be listening to their voters.
Thank you for your good wishes!
It was worth the wait! Happy Canada Day!
Okay then – Happy Canada Day to you and let’s have a day free from contradictions!
Thanks for the Canada Day contradictions. Steven, winding his way across Canada sent a message saying “so proud to be Canadian – such a beautiful country”. Sometimes it’s better to simply dwell on the good.
Best wishes from Salmon Brook Farms on Canada Day. Romy looks like a handsome fellow!
Politics tends to be rather dismal most places. I’m hoping the U.S. eventually adopts a single-payer system, but that will take some time. Hopefully in my lifetime…
Thank you and yes Romy is a handsome, curious and gentle quarter horse – a great combination for an aging rider! I too hope that the U.S. finds a way to make healthcare a right for all.
Best wishes to you and Romy on Canada Day. I don’t know if it’s any consolation, probably not, but those polling stats look pretty similar to the recent local and Euro elections we had here in the UK.
We thank you for your good wishes. Makes you wonder what is going on with voter turnout and why people don’t participate more…I know democracy isn’t just about voting but still…off to the traditional Canada Day barbecue to ponder this further!
What a beautiful horse! xx
He is a lovely fella – and gentle too!