The mayor of Kelowna is ignoring our plight: the city isn't doing a good job of snow-shovelling the roads.
This morning, a number of innocent, tax-paying, law-abiding citizens slipped and skidded along city roads as if they were on an ice rink. I made a couple of pirouettes in my car worthy of a winter Olympics figure skating medal.
Even worse, if you are a jogger or runner, the city isn't shovelling the local biking and walking pavements, which means that you either have to stomp through wet, mushy and dirty snow, or walk at the edge of the road and be possibly killed by out-of-control drivers.
Most of us pay taxes on time, however the city is letting us down. I want to meet with the mayor to impose my solutions. I am going on an oxygen strike: I will hold my breath until I turn blue in front of TV cameras waiting for the mayor, his deputy and his dog to agree to meet with me to hear my burdens.
I am not willing to back down until my demands are metâ€¦ or the media stops paying attention to my plight. If turning blue is not enough to move the mayor's cold-hearted soul, then holding my breath until I pass out might do the trick.
All residents will be moved by my "slippery no more" movement and will support my grievances against the evil government.
This story illustrates the danger of coercion when people use force, whether that be towards themselves or another person, to advance agendas. In a democratic society, this is not a legitimate form of protest.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper should not meet with Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence because she has been on a "hunger strike," as it sets a bad precedent. Now, people can force the government to do what they want by coercion, manipulating the media. This is the type of action dictators have often resorted to.
Chamberlain tried to accommodate Hitler's demands, met with him and was then confronted with more unreasonable demands. Appeasement was ineffective, a failure.
Democratically minded people should never give into these types of tactics. They deny the essence of democracy: decisions made through legal and rational processes in which the interests of the majority dominate.
Protest methods should not be ones that use force or take away the rights of others, as exemplified by means aboriginals have recently used: blockades of public roads and railways.
Interrupting the daily lives of Canadians is not the smartest way of winning our hearts and minds. By far the most effective method is the use of rational argument, which convinces others of the rightness of the cause.
As a reminder, Attawapiskat is the small aboriginal reserve in the midst of a housing crisis and which was slammed for its misuse of millions of tax dollars and lack of proper accounting.
Methods of protest that do support democratically minded, fair and rational procedures include writing letters to elected representatives, lobbying or entering politics oneself. The method that matches the essence of a democratic state is respect for self, others, process and society.
As Ronald Reagan said, "Democracy is worth dying for, because it's the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man."
However, it is not sustained by giving in to those who threaten themselves or others with deadly consequences.
Salomon Rayek is a Kelowna resident and former executive editor of the Jewish Tribune. Email: