Letter: Caring about not caring

By David Brownridge

Editor, the Gauntlet,

Wow, great letter by Chuck Day [“Affordable housing blues and a call to abandon ship,” Chuck Day, Oct. 2, Gauntlet]. Finally somebody with “balls” and some political sense, two qualities rarely seen here on campus, especially together. The insults were only part of what it made it good, the other was its truthfulness about an administration ignorant of student welfare and more interested in new libraries and research opportunities than new campus housing. The same administrative attitude was evident in the move to replace a student union rep with an “ombudsman” hired by the ruling class. So, who really cares? Answer: basically nobody.

This kind of political apathy is rampant in Canada and maybe even more so here in Alberta, and it is present in every sector: the public, the press, academia, the student body. Mel Hurtig, the former publisher and political activist, and another person with “balls,” deals with this political apathy in his recent Google video “Who Killed Canada?” The 75-minute, well-researched, stats-filled production paints a disturbing black future in which much of the foundation of this country– its economy, its resources, its culture– are owned by foreign investors and three per cent of Canada’s richest residents. And nobody cares because we just suck up whatever politicians and corporate CEOs feed us.

Hurtig spreads the blame around but has special comments reserved for apathetic university students of which only 25 per cent voted federally [in the 2006] election. He also refers to university academia and their silence amid chaos.

In any case, the parallels here should be obvious. In both cases– nationally and locally on campus– social issues take a back seat to profit and prestige and meanwhile the people all stand around, as Mr. Day says, like sheep. Or maybe lemmings would be more apt a description. Which cliff did we fall off this election?