It’s almost enough to restore your faith in the system. I’m talking about two incidents this week that reminded me that we do have a voice and it has a right to be heard.
The big one of course is today’s deadline on the Harmonized Sales Tax referendum. Citizens of B.C. rose up in anger, waved their pens and signed petitions and voila (OK maybe after numerous court challenges and committees and over-spending on advertisements) the government had to review its decision and, rightfully so, listen to the will of the people.
Of course the flip side of that will be the never-ending debate if all the government did was pull the old shell game and switch one tax for another.
After watching the U.S. politicians butt heads for the past few months, or is that few years, I realize that many fine-print additions to bills and amendments slip under the radar before it’s too late.
Next thing you know you’re worried your license will be suspended and your car towed because you had a beer at the golf course.
Nevertheless, it is inspiring to see that if enough people make enough noise, it does get heard.
The other item this week is Shaw Cable’s decision to return to its Spokane feeds after pulling the rug out from under West Kootenay viewers recently and serving up Seattle stations.
It took only one newscast to make me realize what we had out of Seattle – two murders, one abduction and a stolen van topped the newscast and left me wondering if I was watching an episode of “Cops,” or the 6 p.m. news.
The weather was as irrelevant to me as most of the Global TV predictions for cloudy skies and rain in Vancouver.
I wasn’t the only one upset with the sudden change.
Local citizens, politicians, plumbers, bakers and candlestick makers started making calls to the cable provider in hopes of getting answers.
It certainly wasn’t easy.
Two reporters at the Trail Times were given the corporate cha-cha sending them dancing from one voicemail to another until they were back to the initial person still unable to provide answers. Calls weren’t returned and all that time on hold could have been better spent watching the ice form inside the Cominco Arena.
Then finally someone from Shaw did call back, someone who could provide answers.
And the answer was, “the customers have been heard.”
As of Thursday morning, Shaw was in the process of returning Spokane to our TV sets.
Soon we’ll be back to relevant weather forecasts, traffic reports showing four cars at a red light and a story about a family of ducks wandering downtown leading off the newscast.
It’s enough to make you realize how wonderful it would be if more things went that way?
Oil companies would suddenly hear customers complaining about the fluctuation in prices. Instead of delivering billions in profits to the elite shareholders and CEOs, the companies would realize that millions in profits works too and give back to the people who have patronized their stations for years.
Car companies may finally step up the pace on delivering vehicles that can run on something other than gas. If they can put a video screen in a vehicle for your kids and develop sensors that can park your car then they can certainly work a little quicker when it comes to making something that people truly need and doesn’t destroy the environment.
Advertising companies would hear how their pitches to the public need to be adjusted. We don’t need the latest gadget, the latest clothing or the latest cosmetic to make us feel good about ourselves. And they certainly don’t have to tell us we need these things in commercials at a volume that could drown out a jet engine.
Maybe the federal government and other leaders might learn something from what happened in B.C. on the HST and locally with Shaw Cable.
Perhaps a rash of phone calls and petitions might get the prime minister and his cronies to realize that the rich getting richer doesn’t trickle down to the rest of us like they want us to believe. Or that maybe what works in one part of our vast country doesn’t work in another part.
Yes if even one of the above would come true it would help restore my faith in the system.