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NICHOLS: disenfranchisement may be thick

Recent events in our nation’s capital that might have passed you quietly by have compelled me to bare my mind again. But let’s start with a look at some of our history.
Sadder still to have the vote and be disenfranchised.
Recent events in our nation’s capital that might have passed you quietly by have compelled me to bare my mind again. But let’s start with a look at some of our history.
It was a long, discouraging struggle for ordinary, unpropertied men to get the vote. Women? Well, that’s quite another story. In Canada women could have babies, pull the plow, (yes, our history books contain pictures of teams of women hitched to the plow; didn’t see a man in the picture), send their men off to war, and keep the farm producing until their surviving men returned to take the credit for their women’s labors.
But for women to have the vote? That also was a long and convoluted tale with much sound and fury and cross-jurisdictional differences frequently manipulated to give the ruling party the advantage (So political corruption ain’t a new phenomenon!). In 1916 Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba “gave” women the right to vote. By the end of 1922 all provinces except Quebec (1940) allowed women to vote. 
Don’t overlook the meaning of the language – a wonderful thing is our language! Women, just like men a generation or so earlier, were “allowed” to vote. Big government was being very generous. And don’t overlook the principle held dear by governments the world around, and in Ottawa, too, that whatever government gives, government can take away with the stroke of a pen or a nod of the head or a Twitter post. 
That’s life in a broken world.
So for now, all citizens above the minimum age can vote for the candidate of choice. 
Which I have done many times since I voted for Mr. Diefenbaker, or was it Mr. Pearson, not so long ago as time flies, in 1958.
But now?
Federal Liberals and BC’s NDP are just too far off in their ideological fancies for me to consider them as voting options. If they suit you, go ahead and vote for them. That freedom has not been rescinded yet. I won’t hold your choice against you nor will I love you less.
I once thought we had an option with Mr. O’Toole and the CPC. The recent fracas in the Conservative party over the expulsion of Derek Sloan, a truly conservative member, from the CPC caucus, allegedly over a campaign donation of $131 from Paul Fromm, a know white supremacist (under the name of Fredrick P. Fromm, an unknown), has left me nursing a sense of alienation and disenfranchisement.
I am thoroughly disenchanted with Mr O’Toole and the CPC for the unprincipled way this event was handled.
Clearly, Mr. O’Toole caught a straw blowing in the political wind (Fredrick P. Fromm, indeed!) in his festering desire to eject a duly elected member of the Conservative caucus who, apparently, was an embarrassment to him in his left-of-centre thinking. 
Surely, amid the multiple crises of our time when the energies of the opposition should be exercised to hold the governing party to account, he might have used his time and resources more productively.  Absolutely! He had better things to do.
Instead of destroying a human being, a member of parliament, and subjecting him to a category 4 Twitter storm of hiss, hate, and vitriolic abuse (and fracturing the Party in the process), he could have been putting the boots to Mr. Trudeau in ways that get the Prime Minister’s attention.
Maybe he has no boots?
Instead of sitting quietly by while Canadian resources are idled, while Canadians are unemployed, while the Canadian debt goes through the stratosphere, while Canadians continue to subsidize corrupt regimes by purchasing their dirty crude, he might have raised the battle cry.
Instead of allowing Mr. Trudeau to roll over and play dead when Mr. Biden promised to tear up the pipeline permit (and while Mr. Biden continues to undermine Canada’s economy), he could have read to the Prime Minister the riot act – act now to end this foolishness or we’ll take it to the people.
All of it in unambiguous language audible in the West. This is not the time for weakness. 
Confident that he has the crucial edge, the Prime Minister is musing now about a potential election. Mr O’Toole, it is far past time for the loyal opposition to show a bit of strength and vision, some real gut, instead of blowing its energies and credibility on an exercise that looks remarkably like a witch hunt from way out here in the West – and, I think, to a lot of Canadians across this once-prosperous land.
Mr. O’Toole, can you seize your role as leader of the opposition and show some strength, some vision, some real gut in the face of looming national disaster?
Let’s hear it from you now!
But perhaps not. Sadly.
Sadder still to have the vote and be disenfranchised.
Still, I pray for you and your caucus every day – and for Mr. Trudeau and his caucus. 
By the way, here’s a Churchillian for you to mull over as you consider your options: “However beautiful the strategy, you have to occasionally look at the result.” And a Wisdom from the Ancients: “Our ways are before the eyes of the Lord and He [notes the things we do]”.