“Our View” on “Citizen Activism”

Today’s world has plenty of opportunity to research, read and express itself. Thankfully. With the growth of alternative media we no longer need to rely on standard government and corporate lapdog media to receive news and opinions. And that is a good thing.

Which brings us to a local media editorial on citizen activism.

Merriam Webster defines activism as “a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue”.

Let’s repeat that – “a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action”.

Erin Ridge residents did just that as they stood in front of council opposing the added traffic and building congestion that would affect the quality of life in their neighbourhood.

Even though their opposition ran into a brick wall, they still did what was their right to do. They did not, as the editorial suggested they do, slackly sit back and wait for an election. A ludicrous suggestion at best given the time line and issue that was at stake. This was a concern that needed addressing NOW, not on election day. That is what activism is about. Citizens actively taking a stance on issues that affect them.

Belittling the numbers who stood up to speak their concerns, belittling the numbers who supported those standing up to speak exhibits the extent of the editor’s understanding of how our political system works.

Is it worthwhile to continue reading editorials like this? Probably. It is one way of doing damage control of a media that has lost touch with its audience and reality. And by doing damage control, it sends out a message to support those who still appreciate and respect that citizens have a right to speak up and oversee those they hire, to do the job they should be doing.

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2 thoughts on ““Our View” on “Citizen Activism”

  1. I believe the editor was poking a stick at voter apathy. There are more than a few residents of this city who actually believe that, once elected, council will always do the right thing for us. In fact, I’ve met more than my share of residents who won’t just “…slackly sit back and wait for an election.”, because they can’t be bothered to vote at all.

    Do regulatory boards have the right to oversee the conduct and decisions of their membership? Aren’t taxpayers like regulatory boards, in a way?

    When it comes to doing the right thing, I have to say that I don’t want to be associated with our current mayor’s form of morality. That would include his attempts to make criminal what is legal everywhere else – at our expense; or chewing out a PM under the guise of an invitation to a picnic – on city letterhead; or approaching someone at a meeting and calling them an F-ing C@&T – then claiming he didn’t say it and had done nothing wrong?

  2. Well said Swallow. I have an awful feeling that we are leaning towards a dictatorial type of gov’t in St Albert. Closer than you think. Pretty scary.

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