Why don't we ditch the government and taxes and adopt anarchy? Anarchy doesn't mean what you think it does. Well it does because the government wanted to align its meaning with chaos and fear, but it has two very different definitions. We expect a ruling body to enforce laws or provide public goods and services in exchange for a portion of the goods and money we produce. Most people believe that some level of government and taxation is necessary to maintain order and provide for the common good.
What exactly are we getting in return for our labour?
With the current healthcare crisis, the supply chain disruptions, and the growing gap between people who can have safe housing, and those who can't. Is our government holding up their end of the bargain? We're paying a lot of tax, and road work is always being done, but that's something visible and easy to point to when a politician is asked "where are our tax dollars going?"
We should question the decision-making here. Should we be widening roads? Or could we be improving public transportation to where it's reliable? People have said that a developed country is one in which rich people use public transportation. In many European countries, this is the reality. They can set their watch to the trains and it's clean and comfortable.
We can't say that about Kelowna. It's unusable for the majority of people because there's a very real possibility of having to walk home in the dark or sitting in some pee, or just being late to work and having to arrive an hour early to make sure you get to work on time. It's not the driver's fault either. Do some math and you'll find that they are given less time than needed to complete routes and only the University is serviced at a rate that could be called acceptable.
That's just an example of how we're being played by the tax collectors.
I would propose that the Okanagan would do better with limited government oversight. Perhaps even anarchy itself.
Anarchy is a political theory that advocates for the elimination of all forms of government. Anarchy is often associated with chaos and disorder. However, this is a ploy by governments to demonize a society free of control and micromanagement.
Why ditch the government as is and rebuild? It's because our churches and charities are already doing the work of keeping people alive on less of a budget. They have shifted their responsibilities and still expect payment. Our government is abusive to the majority of people living here. They obstruct normal day-to-day interaction and allow for the allocation of funds to the friends of politicians. They're robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Many of us are unable to access medical care, the Premier coped with criticism by making a joke out of it and offering no real engagement. The unelected new premier is tossing around the idea of "involuntary" "treatment" for the homeless. A quick query of google scholar will tell you there are decades of evidence that doesn't work. It's just a cheerful way of saying "incarcerate the homeless without trial". The mindset of the people making decisions for our wellbeing is clear. They see us as money generators. If you're not generating money, no house for you. No food for you, go and beg for it. You could go on welfare, but we're going to shame you for it and watch your bank account to make sure you're not restarting your life without our permission and taxation. If you do try to work, they can make you repay the money you used at any time.
They're also unreachable. I know because I've been sending them letters asking, "hEy, U up?" for 2 years with no response. They only appear by way of the black mirror when it's election time, or they're obligated to be seen at an event. When they do appear, they seem disconnected from our pain like it's all part of the plan. Chrystia Freeland recently appeared in Saskatchewan to prove she knows how to put a hard hat on. When asked if they had any plans to help with the healthcare crisis there, she said it was a good time to clap for the nurses. We did it at the beginning of the pandemic, and it was nice. That might help.
It's almost like the government has a plan to not provide health care anymore. If so, what are they doing? Are they going to provide bread lines if there's a shortage of food? Probably not, that duty's been handed to the church. Are they going to implement mass transit that doesn't get stuck in traffic... maybe some kind of shuttle on tracks that would cost about as much as widening a highway on a mountainside and could service a larger area, since much of the highway traffic here is commuters who can't afford to live in the city they work in. No, they would find someone smarter than all of us to tell us trains are impossible in this area. Are they going to assist people affected by fires and floods? According to many people in Merritt, only as long as the news cameras are on.
We are being played by politicians. We've been played since the Hudson Bay Company rolled into Canada and started raiding people's houses to make sure they didn't sell furs without giving them a cut. We don't have term limits for our prime ministers because well-organized corruption takes time to execute.
If we act as a group, we could go back to a time before Walmart put all our small shops out of business and we had to take on obscene work hours just to keep up with the taxes and price hikes. Some people worked so hard to pay off their house, only to have their taxes and utilities jump up to match rent prices. Realistically, nothing changed except that speculators and corporations got involved with our basic needs and started treating water, electricity and housing like luxury goods.
We now know we can't plan for anything and that's how they like it. Work until you die, be so tired that you can't organize your thoughts long enough to figure out that you're being abused by the system. We don't need expensive cars if we have good transit around the valley. We don't need to work two jobs and never see our kids if our housing isn't priced like a luxury item. Your kids don't need to take on debt just to get an education if you're able to save money.
We all know this in some capacity, unless you're in the group benefitting from this current system. There is something that can be done, it's hard and scary. Limited Government, individual interaction with the global systems of trade. We don't need the government's intervention and they're bad at negotiating deals anyways. They almost always hire a middleman to buy the goods from outside of BC regardless.
We need people to be able to source their goods and sell them without middlemen driving up the price. We need the opportunity to grow more food here, not just grapes. We need to pool money here in the Okanagan, not off in Ottawa or Victoria, to be vaguely accounted for. We need to be able to vote for the projects we want, not rely on a council that is already wealthy and conflicts-ridden.
It's scary because everyone is going to have the thought, what if I come out on the bottom, I lose my way of life? You might not have Starbucks anymore; you'll have to go to the bean scene or Kootenay coffee. You might not have a say in who can afford to buy the house next door to you, but you can move more easily if we weed out speculators and make it less profitable to flip houses or sit on properties.
You could move to another part of town if it starts to suck where you live. You might not have a Lambo, but you could listen to a podcast while texting your girlfriend and doodling a picture of the Ogopogo fighting truck-a-saurus on your commute to work. If you live in Summerland and work in West Kelowna, wouldn't it be nice to have that hour of your day to do something amusing instead of driving? The payoff could be huge if enough people decide change is better than grinding until they die from neglect.
Nicholas Avender, Kelowna