harper majority: first mourn, then organize

This isn't the outcome we wanted.

For many of us, it's the outcome we feared. For me, the outcome of the 41st Canadian federal election is a mixture of hope and fear.

I have hope, because millions of Canadians wanted change - and they wanted change from the left. I have hope, because I believe Jack Layton and his caucus will do whatever they can do fight for our rights and our needs.

I have fear, too. But my fear is not Stephen Harper. My fear is Canadians. Will we acquiesce to whatever Stephen Harper dishes out? My fear is that he will dish it out and Canadians will lie down and take it.

Are you prepared to fight for the Canada you want to live in? We must accept our responsibility to this country and to the greater good - and to ourselves - to speak out, to protest, to agitate in every way we know how. We can't do it in isolation and we can't do it only by sitting at our keyboards or clicking on Facebook pages. We need collective action.

Last year, Scott Walker was elected Governor of Wisconsin and he set out to destroy the state's public sector. And this year, the capitol building in Madison was occupied for weeks on end. Teachers, janitors, nurses, postal workers stood shoulder to shoulder in solidarity. Farmers drove to Madison on their tractors. The uprising spread to other states. It captured the imaginations of people around the globe, it stirred the hearts of revolutionaries in Egypt. State legislators fled the state in an act of civil disobedience that could never have been predicted.

I always hear about Mike Harris' Ontario, also a majority, and a nightmare for public services. But my friends who've been in Canada longer than me talk about a string of general strikes that nobody believed was possible, much like Wisconsin.

A Harper majority has the potential to change in Canada in ways we deeply fear. If that fear causes us to retreat into our own little worlds of entertainment and complaint, we may well be doomed. But if we take our fear - and our anger - and channel it into action, we may save ourselves and this country.

Don't tell me it won't matter, can't work, will never happen. Canadians are so full of "can't" and "will never". Ever since I moved to this country, I've been hearing that the NDP will never form the government, will never even be the official opposition. We've already seen one of those disproved.

None of us knows the future. But I know this: do nothing, and there will be no result.

Get up. Stand up. Don't give up the fight.

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