By Patrick Meagher
People believe the funniest things. There are those who think they offer common-sense answers that aren’t and others who present ideas as facts when they are just superstitions or wishful thinking.
Elections seem to bring out the worst of the absurdities that don’t stand up to scrutiny but seem to stand the test of time. Here are some I had hoped I would never hear again — and that was five elections ago.
“You get the government you deserve.” The only people who get the government they deserve are those who voted for that government.
“Voting should be compulsory.” I’ve read enough Facebook posts to not want a lot of people even knowing that there is an election.
“The people are always right.” How is that possible when most people don’t vote for the party that wins? The Liberal Party got 39.5 % of the vote. Most Canadians, more than 60 % of them, voted for a party that didn’t win. How are they right?
“The people have spoken.” Yes, they have — six different ways from Sunday.
Sometimes, reality is stranger than fiction. Elections Canada thought it was just fine for a six-foot-tall male journalist wearing a niqab (Muslim face mask) to vote but you have to show your face to vote in Egypt.
There’s been a harvest of the absurd in just the last month covering everything from raising children to religion.
“It takes a village to raise a child.” But if I left it to the village, my children would grow up to be undisciplined, spoiled brats who receive trophies for just showing up and the freedom to choose from a plethora of lifestyles that cater to self-centredness in preparation for necessary counselling later in life.
Speaking of the village, it wants legalized pot. Not sure how that would improve self-discipline, one’s work ethic, or any other virtue that contributes to the common good.
Our new federal government wants to legalize pot too. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau smoked pot so he knows something of what he is talking about. But I have never met a parent whose hope for his kids when they become young adults is to turn a new corner and become under-achievers with a drug dependency.
We’ve heard about the horrors of big pharma, big tobacco and factory farms. Big is bad. So, why does government just keep getting bigger? And isn’t it odd how the environmentalist movement, which is now a huge industry, denounces huge industries?
The provincial government includes six genders in its new sex education curriculum that was introduced this year. Children in Grade 3 are encouraged to consider what gender they might want to be. Every medical book I consulted lists two.
Some politicians say that religion is bad for you even though studies agree that most religions make us better people. Coincidentally, those denouncing religion are moral relativists who don’t believe in absolutes. Yet saying, “religion is bad” is an absolute and saying “there are no absolutes” is another statement of an absolute and, consequently, a contradiction.
How is it that for some people disagreeing with same-sex marriage is a ‘hate crime’ but denouncing traditional marriage as an anachronism is exercising freedom of speech?
A University of Guelph geography professor criticized “climate change deniers” in a CBC radio interview. But I don’t know anyone who denies that climate changes. But everyone I have heard who brings up “climate change deniers” actually means a denial of man-made global warming, a theory based on questionable evidence.
One last example of how we often don’t even believe what we say. As Canadians, we say we live in a democracy that embraces the common good. But in today’s post-modern 21st century world, Canadians seem mostly split among three groups: those who hope government will respect their version of the common good (i.e. what’s in it for me?), those who just hope government will inflict as little damage as possible and those who don’t care as long as government stays away from their Internet connection.