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The leader of Canuck punk legends D.O.A. tells Naked Eye how he'll be spending his July 1st


Up here in Canada, we have a lot to feel good about. Free healthcare, plenty of natural resources, good beer, and lots of pristine nature to sit around when you're reaping the benefits of that free health care and chugging that good beer. All things considered, we're sitting atop a pretty enviable expanse of land.

But nothing is perfect, and for everything we have to celebrate this July 1st, there are also a couple of things we shouldn't be so proud of. Naked Eye asked Joe "Shithead" Keithley of Vancouver political punk legends DOA to give us his Canada Day run down of some of the pressing problems with our nation.

We don't aim to be party poopers, and we sincerely wish everyone a Canada Day full of barbeques and serious celebration, but here are a couple of things that Good Ol' Joe would like us to keep in mind when we're flying L'unifolie high and have our faces painted up all read, white and leafy.


Joe says: "People should think about proportional representation. That's one of the main things to think about in our country. A couple of elections ago, we came pretty close to passing it in B.C., but I don't think most people really understood it. That's a great way for people to have a voice. There are some major problems with the first past the post system."


Joe says: "Another thing to think about is the environment at a local level. If you think about water in Canada, it's kind of crazy because we have the most fresh water of any country on Earth, but even after Walkerton there are still some towns that have horrible water systems. If you think about up North, especially in little hamlets and villages that are mostly populated by First Nations communities, a lot of them have really bad water, which doesn't even really make any sense because they are up in the middle of nowhere so the stuff should be pristine. As a country, we need to work towards improving our drinking water for all our citizens."


Joe says: "I don't do it every Canada Day, but I have on a number of Canada Days watched the movie Canadian Bacon, which is Michael Moore's first movie as a director. I think it's just really funny and it's really poignant. There's a lot of very insightful stuff in there about the political blame game. If you ask me, it's just a really hilarious movie. Watching Canadian Bacon has sort of become my Canada Day ritual."


Joe says: "I think that Canadians should reinforce their sense of politeness. I think that is getting lost a bit as we are getting more Americanized. Not that Canadians are always fair, or anything like that, and we can be just as tyrannical and greedy as other people but there is a certain sense of Canadian politeness that really is being lost these days. It may sound funny, but I think it is true."


Joe says: "The last thing that I think people should keep in mind goes back to representing yourself and taking the time to change things. Change starts at a local level, and when enough people in little towns and big towns get mad about things, then the govenrment has no choice but to respond to them. When you take a real look at the government, most of the parties have no real policies. They are all just poll-watchers and if enough people get mad enough about something then politicians usually have to react to it. So thats why I always say that change starts locally. If you can organize enough people around you, then you have the power to make a difference."

Joe says: "I'm not ashamed to be from Canada. I like it here, and from what I've seen in the world it's a nicer place than most. But obviously some of the stuff is not that great. There are some bad environmental practices going on in the country, and there have been a lot of injustices for First Nations people.

Those are the two biggest issues that are not settled, and may not be for some time. The environmental issue is just going to go back and forth forever, because business is always business and really only interested in money. It's rare that business is truly ecofriendly. I guess there was an agreement between the lumber companies and greenpeace recently, which is cool and pretty encouraging, but we'll see how long it lasts."

DOA recently released their 17th studio album, Talk - Action = Zero. They'll be touring across Canada this fall, so check them out if you want to see the founders of hardcore punk in action.