Monday, February 4, 2008

Wake up Canada

The CBC and Environics have released another new poll. I'll attempt to avoid my usual complaints about the veracity of the answers, whether the questions were skewed, etc. (The questions about nuclear weapons were skewed towards my own world view, making the bias more palatable.) The problem is that Canadians are hypocritical, selfish twits. 91% of those polled felt that they have either a great deal of confidence or some confidence in Canadian NGOs to make a positive difference in the world. This confidence in NGOs is no doubt warranted. Certainly Canadians do not have the same confidence in our own elected officials to make a positive difference in the world (also warranted).

What gets me is that while Canadians (as represented by those polled) believe in NGOs, 60% admit they have not given financial support in the last two years to causes or organizations that address problems or issues in other countries.

So let me get all of this straight:
  1. Canada has a leadership role to play in the global arena.
  2. NGOs are more capable of making a positive contribution than governments, businesses or individuals.
  3. Canadians do not give NGOs the money to allow them to do the work to make the above mentioned positive contributions.
WAKE UP CANADA. It's time to whip out your wallet and make your own positive contribution to an NGO near you. Feel free to start with a few of my favourites:
  1. Doctors Without Borders (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, with volunteers working in some the world's most dangerous regions)
  2. Oxfam (working to end global poverty and injustice)
  3. Plan Canada (formerly Foster Parents Plan)
  4. UNHCR (United Nations Refugee Agency, not expressly Canadian)
As an aside, check out Doctors Without Borders list of the top ten underreported news stories in 2007.

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