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Jan 23

Is Nickelback Right? Are We on the Edge of a Revolution?

Is Nickelback Right? Are We on the Edge of a Revolution?

Andrew Genesius

O Canada hatThe prophets of political prognostication from the Great White North, Nickelback, are at it once again, predicting the end of life as we know it and the dawn of a new age. The same Canadian band who spoke so eloquently about courtship in their song Animals and the importance of dental hygiene in Something In Your Mouth have graced the masses with their political commentary in their latest single, Edge of a Revolution.

Some might doubt the sixth greatest Canadian band of all time behind Rush, Loverboy, Saga, Triumph, and Stompin’ Tom Connors would have a great deal to offer in the realm of politics, but they seem to sum up the zeitgeist of the moment with their latest song. After the uprisings across the Middle East with the Arab Spring and the upheaval in Ukraine, one does wonder if the entire world is teetering on the Edge of a Revolution.

There can be no denial about the great deal of discontent and discord in the world. Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, progressive governments have promised to take care of all their citizens’ needs. When a person becomes sick, old, or unemployed, the government has pledged to be there for every citizen and their family. No longer will any individual be responsible for themselves or their children, the state has plans for everyone. Citizens will never have to worry again, because the government is watching.

After decades of promises, citizens are now shocked to find out that the government is not looking out for them, and they now need to look out for the government. The government is not providing benefits, but burdens on its citizens. The goodies are gone from the candy store and all that is left is the bill as Canadian Governmental Debt, particularly at the provincial level, are at alarming levels. For many, this seems unfair. Why was everyone else able to party like a Rockstar, while I am left with their trashed room and aching hangover? People are not satisfied with this new deal and they want a change, but will it be a revolution?

Discontentment does not always lead to change; if this were so, the Toronto Maple Leafs would have fired most of their players and won another Stanley Cup by now. People might be upset, but anger is not enough for a revolution to occur. Individuals need to come together and act in unison to bring about change. One or two protestors achieve nothing. A group of people coalescing around a vision of the future is needed for real change to occur.

Luckily for those in favor of the status quo, millennials are never going to rise up to challenge the system, because the youth of today do not join groups. This point was eloquently described in Robert Putnam’s book, Bowling Alone, and Jean Twenge’s Generation Me. Previous generations joined bowling leagues, churches, and political organizations. The youth of today refuse to join any organized groups, particularly political parties.

What is the end result of going it alone? The young adults have have next to no influence in Canadian politics. Society does not hear an isolated voice. A single lone wolf performing a cowardly terrorist attack against Parliament achieves no lasting political change. An unorganized mob is also easily ignored. Prior to the 2012 election, it appeared as if the Quebec Student Protests would significantly change the country, but the Maple Spring quickly cooled and the students failed to have much of an impact on election day.

Until individuals under 40 become members of groups, either established or new political parties, there will be no revolution. We might be on the edge of a revolution, but no significant lasting change will occur until a group has enough power to push the current government over the edge.

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