The Canadian Imagination

What it means to be Canadian; examining and reworking Canada as a nation.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

A missing sign of things to come?

We have grown fairly complacent of regular vandalising of election signs, to the point that it has become largely invisible to us. Diligent election volunteers cruise the area, quickly replacing any signs which have been beheaded, split in half, or defaced. Even though it can add up to significant property damage, some of which is financed by our taxes, it rarely becomes a police matter. It is rarely even reported to the police.

Perhaps this was a mistake.

We can now see that it began with the usual defacing of signs, followed by defacing of permanent property: always on those houses which had Liberal signs on their lawns.

Then it escalated to cut brake lines.

In all, over thirty-five incidents have been reported, mostly in the Toronto ridings of St. Paul's and Parkdale-High Park, but now the Niagara Falls area seems to have been targeted as well. Seventeen vehicles have thus far been reported with cut brake lines. Some have had the letter "L" cut into their paintwork.

Some people were lucky enough to see brake fluid on their driveway and realise something was wrong. At least one person found out the hard way on a busy street, fortunately managing to miss the TTC bus.

This is not as new as it seems. Serious vandalism has been reported in earlier by-elections, in August (Guelph) and in March (Toronto Willowdale). Those incidents went unsolved, and largely unnoticed by the rest of Canada. What better signal that we did not care?

Come on, Canada. I don't care that the riding-rich greater Toronto area happens to be in the political crosshairs of the country. I don't care what your personal politics are. We are better than this!

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