by Donnie McLeod

I got my purple Photo Card from the Ontario government last week. It was the same week Stephen Harper promised to protect democracy from fake threats. Fake threats sound real, they are bogus. Proposed solutions to fake threats must be to move the hidden agenda forward. I started to think about getting ID in November. I read that a 90 year old former US Speaker of the House could not prove who he was when he tried to vote. His fatal flaw, it seems, was being too liberal. If he was a Pentecostal, I am sure, his Church would have organized the ID and drive so his vote would be simple. We supporters of liberalism engage authorities but don’t like being told by authoritarians, especially Christian conservative authoritarians.

When I got the card Service Ontario took my drivers licence. I don’t drive. I could. But with Huntington’s Disease my fast thinking process, which every one takes for granted, is busted. I have to avoid our fast thinking process. That means I use our slower thinking process. I decided by living in a town like Almonte I don’t need a drivers licence. I can walk to everything I need. Having lived in Japan for 7 years walking an hour a day is normal. Commuting by subway and trains results in long fast walks with lots of stairs. Walking is healthier than driving.

I suggest it is better to get used to being without a drivers licence before it is imposed. You can have a life without a drivers licence. But the town needs to help. I was saddened to hear that Mississippi-mills council is reverting to thoughtless thinking that everyone has a car. They are debating encouraging that houses be built on long rural streets. The only place to walk in half an hour is to the end of the street. There is a future cost. As people age and loose their drivers license they need support. As time goes on time driving any distance will become prohibitively expensive for public services. Also isolation, I know, is not good. It’s why I live in Almonte. I suggest the council think of encouraging walking and not hanging on to old ideas that everyone drives. Mississippi-mills could be leading. I suggest there are opportunities for local business if the town goes out of its way to be walking friendly. Instead Mississippi-mills seems to want to be just one more laggard denying the realities of Baumol’s incurable cost disease. Municipal employees or sub contractors travelling some distance in a vehicle is tax money wasted. Baumol promises hourly service costs will rise faster than inflation. Within walking distance makes for less drive time for services workers. Less cost. More exercise. Healthier community. Less isolation. Less cost for health care. Maybe the council should walk and talk more. Their thinking seems dangerously fast.

Don McLeod probably walking to a coffee shop.

Ref. “An incurable disease”

Ref. “Thinking, Fast and Slow”

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