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Fear is in the air. Don't let it spoil your ballot.

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They want us to be afraid. Not just the "terrorists" but also our
governments. Fear is the mechanism they use to control us. If it's not the
fear of an unnamed threat in a foreign land, it's the fear of public censure
or financial ruin. The corporate agenda, like terrorist regimes, uses fear
as their greatest tool. A populace kept in fear does exactly what they want
it to. Today Stephen Harper and the media have done an amazing job of
instilling fear in Canadians with precious little proof of their
allegations. Perhaps this was a "terrorist" attack, but it is equally as
likely that two unhinged individuals acted entirely on their own.

For me, this relates directly to the Toronto mayoral race and the many
questions I have about polls and corporate media manipulation. From the very
start of this election we have been told that John Tory enjoys a healthy
lead and so far, according to the polls, no one has challenged him. He has
been framed by all of the corporate media outlets that have endorsed him as
a "progressive" despite a history of saying whatever he had to in order to
appeal to the broadest base of people in whatever position he was pursuing.
But most of all, he has been sold as the only hope against Doug Ford. And
everyone I've spoken to from the beginning of this campaign who wants to
vote for the only proven progressive in the bunch, Olivia Chow, has
confessed that they won't be voting for her because they are afraid it will
put Doug Ford into office. They are voting for Tory out of fear of Ford.

The corporations have won. The terrorists, whether they be from a foreign
country or our own government, have won. We are ruled by fear and it has
overtaken that most rare of traits these days, common sense.

I refuse to be ruled by fear. I refuse to compromise my ideals because this
society gives me no choices but bad ones. I'm not going to visit cenotaphs
or wear red to show my patriotism, when it's my pragmatism that is needed.
And next week when I go to the ballot box to elect a new mayor for Toronto I
am not going to vote out of fear. I am going to vote for what I think is
right for the city. And I'll do the same thing in every election following
because I'm tired of people trying to make me feel afraid to get what they

I realize life holds no guarantees. It's just as likely to be beheaded by a
mentally unstable person on a Greyhound bus as it is to be shot or blown up
by a disgruntled "terrorist", either way it's not something I can control.
What I can control is my fear. And I refuse to fear those things other
people tell me to fear until they prove to be actual threats, as opposed to
unproven bogeymen pedaled to us by those who will gain the most by keeping
us afraid.

Do what your heart and brain tell you to, not the media.


Brad Fraser is one of Canada's best known playwrights. His works include Poor Superman, and  Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love. You can read more from playwright/director Brad Fraser at bradfraser.net 

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