Sunday, July 21, 2013
What Do Harper, Mulcair and Trudeau Have in Common? Plenty.
So why are we doing just that on so many fronts? Why do we keep turning our heads, looking away? I don't get it.
We don't seem to have much interest in shoring up democracy in Canada. No one, except the Greens, is talking about cutting out the tumour before it metastasizes - dismantling the corporate media cartel. No free press, no democracy. Simple as that.
Concentrated, corporate-owned media and politics are mutually corrupting because each can, and invariably will, do the other invaluable favours all at the public's expense. For both of them, it's "win-win." For you it's all "lose-lose."
You can't have a corporatist state and a democratic state at the same time. You can't end corporatism when you have a corporatist government operating under the cover of a corporate-media cartel. Can't be done. You have to start dismantling that anti-democratic cabal and that begins by breaking up the corporate media cartel.
Democracy cannot exist without an informed electorate. To achieve an informed electorate the voting public must have ready access to the broadest range of views and voices: left, right and everything in between. The public needs information to empower them to make informed decisions.
The corporate media cartel in service to a corporatist state doesn't sell information. It peddles messaging, slanted information, groomed information, that is of itself a form of misinformation. That undermines democracy and it has to go.
Now this should be evident to defenders of democracy like Tommy Mulcair and Justin Trudeau. I'm sure I haven't heard them speak out on this perhaps because I haven't been in the right place at the right time. But I'm certain many of you must have heard them bravely championing the restoration of Canadian democracy, right? Right?
And, of course, a functioning democracy operates to bolster the middle class by upholding middle-class values like collective bargaining and equality in wealth, income and opportunity. A viable democracy recognizes that inequality is largely the creature of government policy (read: Stiglitz, The Price of Inequality) that ultimately favours the rich over everyone else. Government crafted inequality is the stock in trade of corporatism. It is government in league with the rentier class against the white and blue-collar working classes. Curiously, I haven't heard Trudeau or Mulcair speak out on this either. Have you?
Of course none of this is going to matter much twenty or thirty years down the road if we don't come up with an effective response to the problems of climate change. Some compare it in seriousness to the nuclear threat of the Cold War. They're wrong. The nuclear threat was just that, a threat. Climate change is no threat. Climate change is the Soviet ICBM already in the air. It's very real, it's here and a lot more is on its way and it portends catastrophe for our kids and grandkids that it is our duty to avert. Fill me in, what do Trudeau and Mulcair have in mind on this one?
You see, here's your problem. Stephen Harper is one of those guys who instinctively looks the other way as these threats draw ever nearer. That's bad, very bad for our kids. The real problem, however, is with the opposition leaders, Mulcair and Trudeau. On all three issues addressed here, they're really not much different than Sideshow Steve. They don't want to act, to make things right. They just want to succeed him.
We have very serious problems in this country. Our democracy is not safe from corporatism. Our society is imperiled by inequality. The future of our children and grandchildren is at serious risks from climate change. Face it, someone who's goal is to succeed Stephen Harper is not going to deal with these challenges.