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POLITICS: A big stinky joke.

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

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Written by Laura Shaw

Last week I went to Mountain caf for breakfast. It was a normal day, a little cold, I'd been studying for midterms, finishing up an essay I'd been working on(I will forever curse the name of James Joyce) and just living out the usual day to day routine. I trekked across campus (I live in East) and found myself chowing down on a grilled cheese and staring up at the nearest television monitor.

This should have been a day like no other. When I saw the words "Liberal Scandal" glaring back at me from that television screen, my tasty breakfast (more like lunch, it was probably about 3 by then) should have caught in my throat. I should have jumped out of my seat in outrage, demanding that the volume be turned up so that I wouldn't have to decipher the story through clip art and captions. I should have been extremely surprised.

But the truth was, I kindof laughed. I laughed and shook my head. And kept eating. Why wasn't I surprised? Why wasn't I completely taken aback? The same question can be used to answer, why aren't kids voting? Why is the voting rate in Canada only about 50%? Why don't kids (and all other citizens for that matter) care deeply and earnestly about politics? Maybe if politics weren't such a joke, (a slimy, disturbing, sickening joke) we would care.

Personally, I can't say I don't care. I actually care a lot, or I wouldn't be writing this article. I couldn't wait to vote at the last election, and I can't wait to vote at the next. But, sad to say, most of my friends don't feel the same way. As intelligent, well-read and politically versed as my friends are, only 2 voted at the last provincial election. Why don't we vote? Maybe if our government stealing $250 million of our hard-earned taxes was more of a shock, more of us would vote.

$250 million is a lot of money. Students especially are being hit really hard, with our baby-booming parents sucking up all kinds of cash from the government, leaving us with ridiculously expensive tuition rates and horrifying debts. The cost for education now, not to mention the crappy education kids are getting at the elementary and high school levels is stupendous. So when the people who need money, like the school system, the homeless, the poor, the uneducated, the students, etc., get screwed over so that some fat cat friend of a politician can get them lots of money to do nothing, it makes students a little wary of the entire system. Why should kids vote if the whole thing just feels like a big, stinky joke?

I laughed when I saw the headlines because I wasn't surprised at all.

Disgusted? Yes. Shocked? Not one bit. And THAT is more shocking than the whole scandal. I'm not going to "vote against" the Liberals at the next election like so many other newfound Conservative voters. And I'm certainly not assuming that this could only happen under a Liberal government. But I'm going to start hoping that the next time a scandal like this comes up (as I'm sure it will, no matter who we elect next time) it actually comes as a surprise to me.


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