Calling Premier Ford

Yes, hello Mr. Ford. It’s Pete the radical activist on the line, you know, one of those dangerous types the NDP surrounds itself with. Just want to let you know I’m trying my best to live up to the title you gave me by working actively to go to the roots of the problems afflicting society. That is, doing politics, just like you.

I believe in politics, but do you, really? When you say there are too many politicians and too much government, it has effects. Canvassing for a municipal candidate here in Kitchener I knocked on a door in a poorer neighbourhood. An older guy in a wheelchair opened it. When I announced, rather unwisely, but with a smile on my face, that I was here about “politics” (ha!ha!) he immediately turned away, saying he was not interested. The one thing liberal democracy avails him to improve his lot, namely the electoral process, he eschews. It wasn’t a joke for him. Quite an achievement for anti-politician politicians like you. Disenfranchising the “little guy”.

Yes, I’m a radical activist. I’m a true believer in democracy. I detest totalitarian and authoritarian governments like the old Soviet Union, contemporary China and Russia, and the current trend among a host of other countries including the United States. That’s because I don’t think people should have to follow orders they didn’t make themselves. That’s the crux of it. So most of all I detest the capitalist corporation, like Deco Labels and Tags, the one you own with your brother Randy, because it’s a type of organization in which the orders flow top down and the profits flow bottom up. The little guy has no say in its decisions but his work makes owners like you rich. Just seems completely unfair to me. Yet it’s the way we live in the “free world,” where big business more or less runs things. Not really right, don’t you think Doug, when the biggest part of a person’s life, that is their work, is spent taking orders they had no say in making? Can you imagine all the inefficiencies and dysfunctions that flow from this basic system of unfair rule and economic exploitation?

When it’s put this way perhaps you can begin to understand why people like the older guy in the wheelchair are so pissed off with politics. Why another non-voter I encountered said, sadly and bitterly as he turned away, “there’s nobody will do anything for me.” Why the middle-aged white guy in a baseball cap yelled “Get a job” out of the window of his F-150 at a group of protesting anti-poverty activists on the sidewalk. That guy’s a real jerk, don’t you think? But his anger is real. He knows he’s being screwed over, that working people like him have been screwed over since serfs became wage slaves, and that what passes for politics in first-past-the-post electoral dictatorships like ours doesn’t and won’t change anything.

Isn’t that why the anti-politics politics of you and Trump and Brexit happen, Doug? You are conjured into existence out of the bog of despond by desperate people who’d rather pull the whole house down than go on living taking orders and being denied a decent life while others get rich on their work. Sorry to go a bit apocalyptic on you there, Doug. But when you remove tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of citizens from political representation in Toronto, turn back the clock on sex education, cancel steps designed to mitigate global warming, particularly those available to the poor, end the basic income pilot project and cut the pension increase for people with disabilities like the older guy in the wheelchair, it just feels like the end of the world is getting that much closer. Didn’t mean to end on a sour note, Doug. Have a good day, Premier Ford.