My apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning as I direct a thought to the Ontario government and to governments at all levels these days: ‘How are you so gutless? Let me count the ways.’
As the Government of Ontario prepares to legalize ‘online gaming’ – leaving out the ‘bling’ as John Sainsbury so aptly says – it shows that it is prepared to prey on the weakest of our citizens – the up to 17% of the addicted to gambling online already, with more to come.
Why doesn’t this government have the guts to tell its citizens that in order to have services for everyone and a good infrastructure, taxes are required from everyone who is able to pay? Why does it not have the guts to stand up to the illegal online gambling and shut it down instead of caving to the lowest common denominator of human nature?
This is the same gutlessness that is seen in the failure of governments to act on the gridlock we see around all our cities – by taxing the use of the private automobile – directing the revenues to quicker implementation of public transit; or governments’ failure to tell us the truth about the levels of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere that are now creating havoc with weather and the ability of the earth to sustain life – by taxing the burning of carbon accordingly, with the revenues to be directed to sustainable energy development.
I suggest that we have a problem with the way our democracy is structured – the relatively short office terms of four or five years leave governments at the mercy of our worst angels rather than our best angels. If our civilization does not come to grips with this problem there will shortly be no civilization.
Murray D. Lumley,Toronto