Voice of the People does make a difference
Vox populi.Sounds like the latest vacuum cleaner model from Electrolux, doesn’t it? “Introducing our latest model: the Vox Populi 1200! With even more sucking power!!!”
That’s not an entirely inappropriate description of some people, whether unsavory business people, politicians, untalented entertainers or even the Grade 10 teacher you hated in school.
“Hey George, remember the old jerk who taught us chemistry and we failed the course? That’s because as a teacher he really sucked!”It’s times like this it helps to know your Latin. Officially, it might be a “dead language,” but there are many times where certain phrases come in handy.
“ Vox Populi” has nothing to do with sucking or even vacuum cleaners or even poppy species. Instead, the phrase, sometimes spouted by Bill Rowe on one of the open line radio shows, simply translates as “voice of the people.” Specifically, it refers to what “the man in the street,” the “common man,” or as Karl Marx would put it, the proletariat or blue-collar working people.
People should not doubt the significance of the little phrase. For those of us who aren’t elected to government (or appointed by themselves as dictators in some countries), aren’t high-stakes CEOs, celebrities or pro athletes, the “voice of the people” still carries a lot of weight. It’s a trait that we shouldn’t discount: one that can make a difference, either at the election box or en masse, through petitions and public gatherings. If there were some way to access the dead, just ask Dr. Martin Luther King or Gandhi.
Through calling on the vox populi, one transformed the American civil rights movement, the other was crucial in freeing India from the colonial British yoke.
Here in Newfoundland and Labrador, we see and hear the potential of the vox populi on a regular basis. For example, in the central region, people who weren’t CEOs, politicians or celebrities circulated petitions, phoned into call-in shows, wrote letters to the editor and brought their personal stories and concerns personally to MHAs and MPs. The issue in this case? Moose. There are too many in the province, hunting regulations need to change to bring the population down, drivers are getting killed on the highways, said the people.
The response? Government listened to the vox populi and thought about their concerns. The result? Legislation was changed and now more people can enjoy tasty mooseburgers that weren’t scraped off the TransCanada Highway by wildlife officials.
The vox populi was invoked again in St. John’s, as people alarmed by the possibility of a 15-story office building keeping company with the heritage buildings of old downtown. We don’t want our downtown to be ugly like the new office buildings in downtown Halifax, they said. Once again, the voice of the people prevailed and Fortis backed away from its proposal.
And again with heritage, a sizable number in St. Phillips are trying to save an old 19th-century church, not used any more, because of its heritage value as distinctive in terms of ecclesiastical architecture for that period. One argument, not without value, is that “if you tear down historic buildings, you end up with ugly big-box stores.” Again, the voice of the people is being heard.
Of course vox populi can be vindictive. Ask anyone who’s read the comments on media message boards. Some of the comments, especially when the material deals with native affairs, religion or people accused of pedophilia, are downright hateful and moronic - usually written by people too gutless to post with their real names.
In the long run, it all indicates, however, that public opinion is much more powerful than the public itself sometimes don’t really realize. Vox populi can run an accused criminal out of town, save historic buildings, fight corporate developments that could be bad for the environment, or even raise money for charity. It can even get someone elected.
Sometimes members of the public need to realize that no matter how rich or poor, educated or uneducated, smart or slow, they all contribute to the awesome worldchanging power that is public opinion - the Voice of the People. Dear editor,
Let me, as a Clarenville Caribou fan be among the many, many well wishers to offer my praise to the C.B.N. Cee Bees Stars. They are to be congratulated for a fine, fine effort in the Herder Memorial finals.
They had the drive and heart and, that could be seen in all of the games.
Being a freelance photographer for The Packet (your sister paper in Clarenville) I can assure your readers that I was in every inch of The Clarenville Event Centre when they played there. And, they did give it their all and much, much more besides. It was truly a pleasure to have witnessed them play.
Unfortunately I was not present for any of the Mile One Games. But, listening to the games on the radio one could certainly tell that the Cee Bees never gave up. Hats off to them for that!
I would have to say and hopefully many, many others will attest to the fact that the player of the series was indeed Freddy Diamond. It truly was heartbreaking to see him work oh so hard and to have to accept second place in the final outcome.
We Caribou fans are an intense lot, as no doubt so are the Cee Bees fans. Those Cee Bee fans that I met during the two games in Clarenville were second to none.
Even though the Cee Bees were not the final winners of the Herder this season, they truly can hold their heads real high. And rightfully deserve accolades from all of us.
Each and every one of those players and coaches are a credit to their region and especially to themselves. The Herder was truly a series well fought.
Hats off (to the) Cee Bees! Edward (Bud) Vincent
Caribou fan Harcourt, Trinity Bay