Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Democracy Lesson Needed For Everyone

All politicians are basically cut from the same cloth. Even David Emerson, who says he really is just a "corporate guy" and is flabbergasted by all the ruckus.

That's because he, along with thousands of other Canadians, think we live in a democracy, which Canada is anything but.

To review, democracy is defined as "the free and equal right of every person to participate in government, done by voting for someone to represent your interests".
(Let's hope David now get's it and enjoys his last foray into politics in Vancouver.)

So what about your democratic rights in this parliamentary system that we have. Are you any better off??

Sadly, without reforms, you still have very few rights, even the right to have your vote count!

Regardless of your political persuasian, it's a fact that our political and social institutions are in need of an overhaul. In fact, the system has grown more dysfunctional over the years; and one that all parties seem reluctant to change, especially once they obtain power.

If you think about it, every other sector of society has changed except our federal and provincial political institutions. Instead of coming into the 22nd century with a government that gives Canadians a system of true democratic representation, they continue to govern as if it was 1875 and use the "first past the post" system which concentrates power in Ottawa, leaving the provinces to fight it out over funding and autonomy to run the programs they are responsible for.

We know obsessed leaders are bad for any democracy, yet we have done little to create the policies required to ensure the power is not usurped from the people in favour of political expediency or awarded as gestures to longtime lobbyists and friends.

We also know that an unelected legislature isn't democracy, and yet we leave our Senate and Courts unelected and allow one man (PM) to decide the future of all Canadians by stacking the senate and courts with friends and those who have contributed richly to his reign as King of Canada.

We know that the word accountability to politicians is a joke, as was evidenced in the Gomery Inquiry, yet we leave the Auditor General powerless and do not have any policies in place to hold them accountable for the flow of money from your pockets into theirs.

If anything, this election has shone a flood light onto the wholly undemocratic process by which cabinet ministers and senate positions are selected and the means by which constituents lose the only democratic right they have left - which is to vote for someone to represent them.

So what can you do? You can start by sending everyone you know to Fireweed Democracy so that they can educate themselves on what democracy is, why we lack it as Canadians, and what we can do as citizens to create the kind of government that we want.

Do what you can today. Our future generations are depending on us!


At Tue. Feb. 14, 02:39:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Justthinkin said...

You know Aiz, I think more people are starting to catch onto the fact that we are NOT a democracy, at least not in practise. True democracy is as unobtainable as true communism, so we are stuck with it, until we get the nerve to try something different, like maybe a republic. OH. Isn't it the 21st century??? heh

At Tue. Feb. 14, 04:18:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Canadian Sentinel said...

Excellent post, Aiz. Very well-written.

I'm in agreement. I'm hoping and expecting, in fact, that the new gov't, despite its disappointing us all in the first week, will indeed proceed to honor its committments to accountability, integrity and advancing democracy. Their doing so cannot be ruled out yet. And the pressure being brought onto them is a good thing, too, as I would expect Mr. Harper to remember why he's PM in the first place: to effect the necessary change of which he's spoken, written and worked towards for so long. Maybe some want to believe he's completely lost it, but I'm pretty sure he hasn't and hope he'll proceed to really democratize the federation like it's never before been democratized. I know it won't be a cakewalk and it won't happen tonight, but we'll be watching. After all, real conservatives take these things seriously. That's why Reform happened; I doubt Harper, a former Reformer himself, has lost sight of this. After all, he's Firewall Harper...

I, although patient and willing to sit back and wait for my leader to honor his most important committments as time and the other parties and the unelected senators allow (nothing's beneath the Libs or Dippers or Blockheads), would, I assure y'all, be sorely disappointed if, over time, they don't even try enough. It's about how hard they try despite what stands in the way. If they try and the others vote it down, then the next election will be about democracy and would lead to a majority, which would make it so much easier and quicker to do what must be done...

And I'm pleased you're so determined to hold his ass to the fire, as it were. Keep these kinds of posts coming.

Oh, and, btw, I agree with the pooping Odie above; it's the 21st Century, not the 22nd. Perhaps you were having a premonition of the long-term future or something and got a little mixed up wrt time...

At Tue. Feb. 14, 06:55:00 p.m. MST, Blogger ABFreedom said...

Excellent post Aiz ... and after today's events I'm beginning to think we've just elected more of the same ... it maybe looks like only revolt will get change ... will see what happens when their in the house ...

At Tue. Feb. 14, 07:20:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Aizlynne said...

Sorry guys ...it's that time travel thing. I am back now ... it's 1990 right?

At Tue. Feb. 14, 08:20:00 p.m. MST, Blogger Junker said...

Good post. Justthinkin beat me to it, but I'll say it again anyways. True democracy doesn't exist, and really never has, except maybe on a very small tribal scale.

I think we need to recognize that we are among the very gifted few human being to ever get democracy, or its real world variant. What ever freedoms we don't have, we still have far more than most others ever had or have.

That said, our oppulence is no excuse to let our guard down. We should always strive for better, and never become complacent, no matter how good life is.

At Wed. Feb. 15, 03:43:00 a.m. MST, Blogger Canadian Sentinel said...

I so wish it was 1990. I had hair, I was a ripped 165 rather than a soft 200 and all... at least I can get ripped again. Speaking of hair... I'm telling you to look at Warren Kinsella's hair... notice the ballcap's gone?

Hair transplant. Warren Kinsella. In Canada. I didn't make this up!

At Wed. Feb. 15, 10:18:00 a.m. MST, Blogger Brian C said...

Yah, great post. That is one funny cartoon you have Aizlynne. The Daily Noose, you're killin' me.

I just hope that the NDP and Garth Turner can get support for floor-crossing legislation. I'll be interested to see how Conservatives vote on this.


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