Are we devoted to voting because we think it is our responsibility? Or with our hard-won democracy do we feel obligated to sustain it? Yet how is that helping our unstable economies, or addressing the ever-increasing natural disasters?

Our daily lives are in one way or another controlled by corporations or corporate interests, by means of manipulating our economic and political systems. Consequentially, the politicians we vote for must deliver promises to the corporate elites, before considering the voters.

Proudly, many of us go to the ballot box to vote for the one we think is most promising. The winner stays in power for four years, perhaps more if he was a good boy and satisfied the corporate leaders. He lives in the designated palace for a time, travels around the world as a respected president or PM, and is rewarded with a comfortable retirement.

Now, my question is:

Who are we voting for?

The corporations and their never-ending gluttony? No, they are not on the ballot. We don’t know who they really are. But the leaders of each party must toe their line if they hope to win, even though those business elites are grinding down our only home for their own gain.

It is now many decades wherein large corporations have learned how to work behind closed doors to control the movement of the world’s wealth in the directions they desire, simply for their own capital gain. Their actions have caused economic collapses, loss of jobs and, above all, destruction of ecosystems and loss of life in every part of our planet. None of this concerns them as they continue to clamor for more profits by any means necessary.

These companies dedicate massive resources to politicians in America, Europe, and here in Canada as well, who will promise to work with and for them, thus maintaining sweeping powers and direct involvement in the political systems of the world to extract as much as they can from our oceans, forests, and other natural resources; and critically from local economies and peoples subsumed by monolithic global trade.

Since hurricane Katrina in 2005, we have witnessed a steady stream of devastating hurricanes, storms, droughts and other natural disasters all around the world. Yet, we still have climate change “believers” and “non-believers” arguing daily on social media about who is right. The young Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has become the voice of our planet and she watches in awe the adults in charge who refuse to see the confirmed science that points to us as the problem.

Ladies, what has happened to us? In a bygone era, we made history when we stepped up and worked together to bring about necessary changes. Yes, I am so proud of this very talented young lady, but so ashamed that we of the older generations are not united; not working together to support her in a strong and influential manner.

The climate week is over — so now what — are we going back to our daily routines with, “O well, I did participate in a few rallies. I supported her by sharing her work on social media?” Are we content to feel good about ourselves in this way, or instead are we ready to find one another, organize, and work together with her and for our children and grandchildren?

We women worked hard to earn the equalities and relative comforts we enjoy today. We have struggled and come a long way to establish relatively plausible democracies, at least in some parts of our planet.  But we have lost our way too. The meaning of freedom and the “Right Way” have gone missing as we all sink into virtual worlds of social media, the comforts of home entertainment, and other glorious hobbies we have set around us.

Some of us think of voting as a responsibility, to help ensure we keep our democracy. Well, that should be the way it works, but how can we continue to think that, when we know our vote means nothing anymore; that decisions have already been made before we even cast our ballots.

The machineries of support for elected presidents or MP operate long before we stand at our ballot boxes and do our duty. We sense that as we leave, strongly suspicious that the result won’t change much. Our devotion to voting won’t improve our terrible housing market, mitigate job insecurities, fix a broken health system, or help put food in front of our hungry children. But instead of challenging the problems directly, we simply make sure we vote, then turn our backs on the system and allow it to move on with the same corrupt behaviour.

Well, for us in Canada, October 21st is just around the corner and every one of our politicians wants us to vote for them on that election day.  But which one of them is trustworthy?

Which will keep promises and deliver?

Does the answer seem like “None?”

Is there anything we can do to correct this abuse?

Do we share our thoughts with one another?

Do we pursue a moral and political transformation for doing better?

Change the policies that are not working?

Do we hold them accountable for reneging on their pledges?

Or soon after we vote, do we go about our stressful days, and just complain?

– Nasreen Pejvack, author of Amity