Friday, February 19, 2010

People voting with their feet

I see that there are 25,000 volunteers at the 2010 Olympic Games. That is the same number of people that came to the anti-proroguing protests. Certainly these numbers speak to what is more important to people.

Going to a protest for an hour or two is an easy thing to do and does not take up much of your time.

Being an Olympic volunteer takes up a lot of time - I was down to be one but had to cancel because I could not go to a required event in February 2009. 25,000 people putting in about an average of 150 hours each as volunteers is a huge amount of human resources. It is also a big personal commitment by the people.

There are people out there that hate the fact that the games are in Vancouver but they need to recognize that the games have huge public support. The protests are seriously endangering public support for the protesters and their issues by attacking the games so vigorously. 25,000 people giving so much time for free is a huge statement of support for games. Crapping on the games with arguments that do not hold water is an act of mindlessness that will harm social issues in the province.

If you want to make change in society, you need to engage people that are opposed to the change and make them feel their interests are not harmed by the change. Confrontation does not bring meaningful change in a democracy. Cooperation and compromise are the way forward.

The activists in the downtown eastside should have embraced the games and used contact with Vanoc to build support for their issues.

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