Rome is Burning: An Election With Fire and No Water

The sun rises over Shuttleworth Creek, at the heart of the Okanagan. Still a world of smoke.

It’s like those ponderosa pines on the edge of Okanagan Falls are lined up and watching a spot of theater. The humans have theatre, too.

That’s right, the “leaders” of Canada’s “major” “political parties” ready themselves yesterday for a bit of social positioning called a “debate.” Meanwhile…

The world is still burning. As the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation puts this situation …

Federal leaders spar over vaccines, health care and guns in first French-language debate

Those are important things, but, really, they are signs of a problem, of which today’s sunrise is also an example. If you want to know what on Earth is going wrong, here’s an image for you:

Meanwhile, the political class is jockeying for social position.

This pandemic, maybe?

Smoke over Skaha Lake? Salmon extirpated? An Italian bell tower? Wealthy Albertans driving around in Lamborghinis and Audis, sampling that pinnacle of environmental destruction and White power, B.C. wine in the (former) antelope brush shrub steppe? Everyone is fiddling while Rome burns. Imagine if these guys…

For some a black-tie event. For some, blue.

… went head to head on the environment and the real problems facing the people of this country, rather than the problems of the settler state, of which they are the ultimate champions. But even that is not quite right. Imagine if the creatures of this country, the people-other-than-human, the people, so to speak, were accorded the leadership that is rightfully theirs. For example…

Stunx saying his name out loud.

Stunx is a good example. The country was founded and developed (including the ascendancy of Montreal) on the basis of killing Stunx the Water Keeper in order to make hats for social display in Europe. The world is burning because Stunx isn’t there to keep the forests in a non-burnable state. And he sure isn’t here:

Shouldn’t Beaver be in that empty space in the middle, assessing their performance?

It’s ridiculous. Sure, humans need a vote, but a vote for human concerns shorn of their context is just fiddling. It’s time for a new political structure, one that is for all the people, and without a self-referential empty circle in the middle. There should be the energy siwɬkʷ, known as “water” or “l’eau” there, at the very least.

Or Skimxist, the great walker, the food chief of all the animals, who paces all the land and keeps all its creatures in balance.

Those are just two of the leaders of this country. Deferring to them does not lessen human power or human self-determination. It only lessons the self-referential gaze of the settler state. Imagine if the political leaders were actually the leaders of the country we live in, rather than the one imposing itself on us. Imagine if everything wasn’t about artificial intelligence. Image if Canada grew up.

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