This article is a very good piece, but it serves even more as a warning. Islanders need to stand up and bring about change, and we have to do it soon. Those who say we are doing fine and we do not need to change, have the right to that opinion, but they should consider that we can always do better
AN ISLAND OF FEAR AND APATHY
Some Islanders will be insulted, others will be annoyed, and perhaps, just perhaps, some might be inspired to actually speak up and do their part to help create a better Prince Edward Island after reading this essay.
We love this precious island, and its people, most of them anyway. And yet, we are becoming impatient, and a little dismayed, with those who remain silent in the face of our problems. And why? Because that silence and passivity has become a license for Island politicians to continue down the same failed paths: a license to carry on as usual.
No one can tell us that the majority of Islanders are satisfied with incompetence and corruption in our government. No one can tell us that they are content with the wanton destruction of our watersheds caused by industrial potato farming. And no one tell us they are unconcerned with an economy so fragile and debt-ridden that we suffer the mass exodus of our sons, daughters and grandchildren.
Shouldn’t we be more than just a little upset that some of our lawyers and accountants grow wealthy on our tax dollars when their “party” is in power? A clucking of the tongue is just not enough. And how about our “successful” businesses, gorging on grants and loans at the taxpayer trough while others must beg for a short term job on the highways? All this along with the highest taxes in Canada. Do these privileged leeches have a conscience? Where is the integrity? Where the conscience? Devoured it seems by a sense of entitlement.
What then must we conclude? Are Islanders afraid to speak out? It would seem so. Either that or they have been so acclimatized to the diseased political culture of the Island that they can no longer recognize the corruption, incompetence and injustice that flourishes here. It also doesn’t help that there are so many Islanders connected to government in some way – spouse, neighbour, cousin – that they are terrified of retribution from those in power? Yes Islanders, this is actually our unspoken dirty secret. What does that tell us about the society we live in; citizens fearful of their elected representatives? How pitiful and sad is that?
And who else contributes to our apathy and lack of awareness?
The Mainstream Media: front pages and daily news shows filled with irrelevant fluff. Are there not issues of importance to report on? Could we not expect at least one in-depth report a week on an issue of significance to all of us? Reports well researched, with hard questions asked and spin and deflection called out and rebutted? Let’s face it, the fourth estate is in a deplorable state in this province, all of which encourages an abuse of power, and the decline of communal intelligence. It’s the ‘dumbing down’ that every autocrat and shyster likes to see.
The Official Opposition: heaven forbid that they would actually present us with fresh vision. They are clearly not up to that. Instead, they throw their little pebbles of rebuke, hoping to bruise a minister here or there. And what are their plans for the economy, agriculture, the environment, education and so on? Who would know? The best opposition is the presentation of creative alternatives, yet this current crew seem to embrace the strategy of waiting for Islanders to tire of the current government so they can find their way back to the feed-bag? Well, we have news for you; concerned, thoughtful Islanders aren’t going to rally around that.
That concludes, for now, this tirade of unpleasant truths. Two semi-respectable, semi-sane Islanders expressing their views clearly, hoping to stir an emotional response, and to work with other concerned Islanders to help reinvigorate a languishing civic culture.
for VISION PEI
God Bless and keep reaing