“Smile!”

I went in to renew my driver’s license, today.  On holidays, my family and I invariably put several thousand kilometers on the car, so I need to have a valid license…!

Within the past year, I’ve also obtained a new passport.  In both cases, I’ve been asked to take off my glasses and not to smile.  This is new; it’s not quite as new in the case of obtaining a passport (it’s been like that for about a decade now, it seems to me).  What unnerves me about it is that I can only guess the reason for this measure is that I’ll look like someone you’re less likely to care about should I end up as a wanted person by the police… no smile, looking straight at the camera – this guy must be a criminal!  (Images are powerful!)

I’m pictured in the files of the federal and provincial governments, and have been as long as I’ve been applying for government-issued identification.  Why no smile?  I like to smile in pictures!  Does it make for an easier conviction should I be charged with something?  I’m am still innocent until proven guilty in our justice system, correct?  (…heaven forbid I should find myself on that side of the law.)

In a tough on crime agenda, making a case to limit the freedoms of people who seem to be a threat to ruling powers is everything.  I worry about that with our current federal government, as well as the current provincial government.  I’d rather see them both advocating for a better social net: how about health and education available and accessible to all?  …that kind of priority would certainly make me smile!

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Posted on July 14, 2010, in Tyler's occasional web log. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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