What if all the dollars donated to political parties by corporations seeking favours went to the government of the day, earmarked for areas neglected by those governments, like health, adequate senior’s care, education, children’s care to name a few. I understand the mainstream media’s need for advertising income (those full page ads must be welcome), and the political parties obviously find the ads to be effective, but those dollars could be spent filling the gaps, and whatever political party is in control of government would still look good.
The battle for Vimy Ridge, which took the lives of thousands of Canadian soldiers a century ago, was remembered last weekend. I wasn’t able to participate in the activities, but my dad was a survivor of the First World War, including Vimy Ridge, as it happens. He rarely spoke of his experiences, then only with his fellow vets, but I grew up witnessing the physical suffering and mental anguish those war years cost him. As an idealistic young man he’d believed he was fighting the war that would end all wars, and here we are still at it.
On Sunday, speaking of Vimy Ridge, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “this will never happen again.” I don’t suppose anything like Vimy will, today’s wars are different. Less face to face, now we can nuke each other from a distance, but even as Mr. Trudeau spoke, military pundits and politicians were wondering if/when U.S. President Donald Trump might trigger the Third World War.
Canada has spent gazillions of dollars on the military over the last hundred years. We’ve participated in numerous wars, destroyed many lives. Who benefitted? Certainly not the veterans and other victims. Remembering the horrors of Vimy Ridge will, hopefully, help us find better ways of resolving global disputes than by killing each other. After all, we’re touted as a peace loving country.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.