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Calgary

If I Wanted To Be a Dictator….

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7 minute read

If I were the Prime Minister of Canada, I’d likely find the democratic process to be restrictive and cumbersome to my ambitions. No matter how beneficial my proposed policies, there would always be some half-wit squawking in opposition to implementing my vision of what Canada could, and should be.

If I were Canada’s PM, I might admire the efficiency of other Governments, and/or systems of Governance which allow their leaders to create the society they believe is best for them. A society of fairness and ecological responsibility is in the best interests of all Global citizens, and if the United Nations were in control of the world, all would benefit.

If my father was a Politician, and I grew up without ever having to worry about money, I might view small business owners as greedy little tyrants who exploit their staff by only offering minimum wage.  I might believe that Capitalism is greatly flawed, and that individual freedoms obstruct my vision of what society should be.  I might find a way to alter the system so that small businesses are run by the government, but without calling it fascism. 

If my father was an admirer of the Communist Regimes, I might be influenced to share in his admiration. 

If I wanted to be a dictator, I would have to either create an emergency, or I would have to be lucky enough to have an emergency occur during my reign as Prime Minister.  Only with a national sense of emergency would the Canadian public allow me to expand my ministerial power.  The greater the sense of fear felt by the public, the more accepting they will be of my expanding powers. Under the Emergency Measures Act, I would be able to achieve my goals.

If I wanted to be a dictator, I would relish the emergency and do everything I could to prolong the crisis for as long as possible.  The longer the crisis lasts, the more my power could expand. 

If I wanted to be a dictator, I’d have to “sell” the idea to people in such a way that they resist as little as possible. I would loudly condemn any criticism of authoritarian governments that are operating in a fashion that I would prefer to operate. 

If I was determined to become a dictator, I would proclaim my moral superiority over my adversaries, so as to condemn any dissent as immoral. 

I would place strong restrictions on social media and protests by limiting both free speech and the right of assembly.   I would call these freedoms “Dangerous to the public good”. 

I would implement new laws to limit liberties which I would call “temporary”, but in reality, they will be no more temporary than income tax was during its “temporary” implementation after World War 2. 

At the earliest opportunity, I would seize as many firearms as possible from the public, so as to minimize the possibility of armed resistance. I would find a way to make the seizure of arms appear to be in their best interests. 

If I was determined to be a dictator, much of the public would need to be on my side. To that end, I would provide government funding for them which circumstance would force them to accept.  After just a few months, they would become dependent on the Government relief funding.  The more dependent they become, the more compliant they will be. The more compliant they are, the more my power can expand. Love me, or hate me, they won’t want to risk losing the funding which allows them to survive. 

If I were to be a dictator, I would hire a tech firm to mine the internet for data that would identify potential resistors.  The list would reveal both those with the most influence, and those who could lead an armed resistance.  I would start by monitoring all Army veterans, especially those with combat experience who are the most outspoken. 

I would create as much tension and civil unrest as possible, so as to foster a volatile social environment. The more volatile, the more likely it would be for a “trigger event” to happen.  Once a trigger event occurs, such as an armed response, or a violent protest, then I would have the excuse I would need to implement martial law. Under martial law, I would have all the tools I required to institute a permanent dictatorship.

To maintain my power, I would have a zero-tolerance policy for any and all dissent. Anyone who would question my authority would be immediately labelled as conspiracy theorists, arrested, and jailed for “subversive activity.”  Only with absolute control over the masses, would I be able to re-create our entire society into what I know to be “the right way”.

Our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and other world leaders are currently on the path to absolute power. Now is the time to ask ourselves, …are we OK with this?  If not, what are we prepared to do so that we can avoid this dark potential future?

Mark E. Meincke
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Alberta

Raising the Bar and Drawing the Line – Men for the Eradication of Violence Against Women

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On December 6, 1989, 14 women were brutally murdered in a gender-based attack on a mechanical engineering classroom at Montreal’s École Polytechnique institution. In an event now widely known as the “Montreal Massacre”, a man entered the classroom armed with a semi-automatic weapon and shouted, “you are all feminists,” while proceeding to open fire on the students.
The tragedy at École Polytechnique sent shockwaves around the world. The horrific event gave rise to a global dialogue regarding the deeply entrenched issue of gender-based violence and its many forms in modern society. 

In 1991, the White Ribbon Campaign was established in Toronto in honor of the 14 women who lost their lives in the Montreal Massacre. White Ribbon is now the largest global movement of men and boys working to “end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity.”
With a focus on intersectionality, the organization aims to understand and be an ally to all those who experience gender-based violence and discrimination in a multitude of ways. This means educating the public on and standing up against violence, racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny and more.
The White Ribbon itself is a historical reference to breaking the silence, and represents a pledge to never commit, condone or remain silent about any form of gender-based violence

In the era of MeToo, harmful narratives often emerge in response to discussions of gender-based violence, particularly on the Internet. These include statements such as “not all men” and “men experience violence too” in response to shared experiences of violence perpetrated against women.
White Ribbon aims to increase education and understanding of disproportionate struggle by highlighting how the affirmation of struggle and suffering experienced by women is not the negation of male struggles in a similar arena. “Absolutely not all men have used violence,” states Humberto Carolo, Executive Director at White Ribbon “but all men have to be a part of the solution.” 

“We have to change our responses. Instead of saying not all men, we need to say YES, all men need to step up, speak out, challenge their own behaviors, intervene when they can, and learn about these issues and how they affect women in their communities and around the world.” 

Carolo has been on the front lines of gender-based violence prevention for his entire career, including 16 years with White Ribbon. According to him, his commitment to eradicate gender-based violence is both personal and professional. Being raised in a home where he and his family experienced violence has contributed to a deep conviction that men can – and must – be a part of the solution.
“I am a dad,” he says, “I have 3 sons. I promised myself I would do everything in my power to raise the next generation so they would not go through the things I went through, and the women in their lives would never experience the things the women in my family, and community, did.”

Raising sons to understand the complexities of gender-based violence, while teaching them how to be a part of the solution is a monumental – and absolutely essential – task, rooted specifically in education, discussion, information, and practice.
“The existing process of socialization teaches men and boys in our society to be tough, to be strong, not to cry, to always be in control and always fight back,” says Carolo. “If we as men cannot deal with our feelings and emotions in a healthy way, it results in the extremely toxic use of violence, anger and control that is very harmful to those around us – particularly women and girls.” 

To introduce solutions to a centuries old crisis, tailored educational initiatives are required, according to Carolo. Specifically, teaching men and boys to witness, notice, and accept that what is happening is problematic, while providing them with the tools and knowledge to address the issues and intervene wherever it is possible, and safe, to do so.
White Ribbon’s Draw the Line Campaign provides a series of potential situations and next steps designed to educate students, parents and teachers on the safe and appropriate actions to take in instances of sexual violence. This includes why, when, and how to draw the line. 

Ways to Draw the Line

  • Communicating with a friend to let them know their behavior is not okay 
  • Alerting others to a potentially dangerous situation
  • Reporting the situation to someone you trust
  • Calling 911 in situations of immediate danger
  • Supporting the individual who has been affected by the violent actions

In the 30 years since the launch of the White Ribbon Campaign, the organization and its allies have grown and evolved alongside the changing times. Particularly in response to movements such as MeToo and Black Lives Matter, White Ribbon has continued to develop educational tools, campaigns, and resources to increase awareness, understanding and accessibility. The original call to action, which encourages men and boys to wear white ribbons and sign onto the pledge, remains in place, but is now supplemented by multi-dimensional approaches designed to address systemic factors of violence at their roots.  

The White Ribbon website provides a host of resources for learning how to be an ally, how to respond to ongoing movements for women’s safety and equality in a productive way, how to understand and talk about consent, and so many more. For more information on White Ribbon and how to join the movement against gender-based violence, visit https://www.whiteribbon.ca

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Alberta

If You Stand Up In Defence Of Oil And Gas You Risk Looking Like A Climate Change Denier

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