Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ya Gotta Obey the Damn Law

       It has always bothered me when people or a group have issues of disagreement with the government and they twist , bend or outright falsify what they think the rules are which they can use to push their cause.

      Two different groups have recently reminded me of disgruntled people who attempt to take the law or part of it into their own hands.

     In my province, Alberta, Canada, we elected a very different government in May. We'd had the same party in Govt. for over forty years. They had become incompetent and tone deaf except for their own interest and that of their friends. Naturally there are some sore losers. Democracy has spoken and we have to live with it until the next election. We have all the usual ways to persuade the government to change it's policies. 

     A group here has decided to organize a coup d'etat which they spell "kudatah". Their plan is to get a petition and take it to the legislature and see the lieutenant governor . this petition would cause the governor to dismiss the current party which has 55 members and install the guy's small party with 23 members in government. It's loony but it's scary. They have a completely warped sense of how the world operates.

     The other incident is the group in Oregon which has taken over a wildlife refuge facility. They have some disagreements with their government which has gone on for some time. Two of the group are going to jail for a long time as they have broken laws. These two justify what they did as being the proper thing to do on land they lease from the government. 

     Now I look on marches, petitions, sit ins, letters, speeches as fair ways to urge a government to change policy. Then there are procedures that are set up that can be used in a more formal way. Hearings can be held in a number of ways that give the public a way to protest. Currently we are having hearings on building major oil pipelines. People who have issues about the environment, aboriginal or land can present evidence.

     When you take over a facility and prevent the government from using it that's going too far. When your main purpose is to overthrow a government rather than change specific policy differences, that goes too far.

    I once had a resolution that I put forward at our teachers' provincial annual general meeting. I knew I had very little support for my resolution but I wanted a chance to speak to the motion and get support for it. I used up every step in the process. For a last gasp I  challenged the chair. The house voted and supported the chairman and I was finished. Was I angry ? No. I was disappointed but I'd done all I could.

    Sometimes we have to accept loss in a democratic system. Sometimes we may even have to admit that we are wrong. Democracy can be very messy and slow but it gets the job done.

A scrappy little pine siskin