Tuesday, November 07, 2017

An Election Should Never Become a Defeat for the People.

Sure, there are winners and losers in an election, but that should be confined to politicians and parties. The people should never be vanquished.  The public should never lose an election. Yet they routinely do.

That's especially true for what we in Canada endure today in our multi-party, first-past-the-post system where a party can garner scarcely 40 per cent support and yet receive a powerful majority. To "rule" with 40 per cent support and consider that some sort of mandate to do whatever you fucking well like is, frankly, despotic. It's the antithesis of democracy. When, as in the case of the current regime, that minority/majority was won on empty promises, it's that much worse.

Canadians have become accustomed to that. We acquiesce in it. They got 36 per cent, you got 38 and so you're the master of the universe until we get a chance to see our will defeated again in four years. Fuck That!

When governments do that, as so many of ours have, you're not just defeating your political opponent, you're defeating the public, the majority of the people. And, when the majority of the public lose to your false political majority, just what kind of government do we have? It's an illegitimate government whose power is cheap and thinly procedural at best.

What is a government that governs without the consent of its people? I don't know but I know we've had plenty of them. One thing it's not, it's not a liberal democracy. It's something else and that may vary depending on the whim of the ruler of the day.

That ruler, not leader but ruler, may be benevolent. That ruler may not be. Democracy becomes a matter of whim and that can ebb and flow markedly even during one term of power. We wind up with rulers, some less authoritarian, some much more. And that's the back door where special interests always insinuate themselves between the public and those elected to serve them. And, when that happens, the real losers from the election are the people. Somebody wins. The prevailing party and the special interests, their patrons. Somebody loses. The people, the nation.

That's why Canada needs electoral reform. We're no longer a two-party system which has come to guarantee that an election spells defeat for the majority of our people. That's obscene.

An election should never become a defeat for our people. Why do we continue to tolerate that?

Trudeau promised electoral reform. He got elected on that promise. He reneged. Ditch him.


the salamander said...

.. a truly harsh, blunt, accurate perspective, thank you. much needed !
Aside from recognizing and appraising that who, what, when, where, why's of political party ideologies. surely not hybrid.. but
ossibly inbred ideologies.. I believe we should and could identify the best analogy or metaphor for what these prehistoric entities resemble.. how they are actually structured to somehow succeed at controlling destinies of Canada and Canadians.

Are they akin to vast Public Relations firms or advertising agencies or mining conglomerates or a union of evil circus clowns? Realistically, they are huge entities operating mainly under the radar.. They pick the people we are allowed to vote for.. and attempt to control who gets to vote and who gets locked out via a wide range of strategies. Even willing to twist electoral legislation, commit election fraud, gerrymander, strategize 'vote moving', commandeer mainstream media. Once elected, we get in camera nonsense, cabinet confidence, omnibus bills.. you name it. Its become 'groom' - game the electorate, whip the elected 'public servants' and cater to vested interests. They are detached from the reality of what are supposed to be doing that its simply mind boggling.. and what they are actually 'doing' is equally mind boggling.

John B. said...

Notwithstanding some of the positions and candidates forwarded by the Confederation of Regions Party during the 1980s, it seemed to have been accurate in its characterization of majority governments in Canada, achieved either with or without majority support, as "constitutional dictatorship".

Anonymous said...

Well put indeed. Although I am not altogether convinced that the powers that be behind both the Liberals and the Cons don't have much the same end game: milking the commoners to corral all the money for just the few, then offshoring it to keep it safe from prying hands. Elections matter less and less unfortunately, when the rich get their needs dealt with promptly no matter what poltroon is in charge.

Someone must have worked out that these newfangled election schemes didn't pass their smell test and might diminish their influence. End of that dream.

If the elite actually disagreed, Trudeau would have modified C-51 after two full years of waffling, etc. instead of giving us steady-as-she-goes Harperism, with but a change in how families get state-paid benefits for their children. Oh and a whuff of weed, maybe, if all the anti-dope forces don't put in 399 regulations regarding its use, most of them dreamt up by pecksniffian senators between snorefests.

Has anyone seen any crumbling overpasses or bridges systematically rebuilt recently with the infrastructure billions? Neither have I.

Propelled forward by the oligarchs behind him smarting from the lashes of the Paradise Papers but naturally totally unrepentant as is their wont (they "fought" for those tax loopholes godammit, with a few well-placed phone calls), our Sonny Boy neoliberal PM is again agitating for the Trans Pacific Partnership. Forget the USA, where logic resides in another dimension in another universe, let's milk our citizens together! Not a moment to waste! Nothing like free trade spats adjudicated by our masters/betters/Kevin O'Leary types that overrule the highest courts in the land. Actual free trade might actually be good, but we'll never see a pact like that. Too open-ended, why there might be actual business risk, and we can't have that, now can we? Keep still while I pick your pocket! Stop wriggling!

I mean, what self-respecting nation wouldn't want such a free trade pact? It's just so now! And your friendly Liberal-Conservative old money agrees!

Really, if you really need five minutes face-to-face with TwinkleToes, buy a $1500 a plate dinner and stuff back all the poached farm salmon and boiled potatoes a la Parisienne you can stomach. That's not influence-peddling, why no! It's a selfie opportunity!


Northern PoV said...

Yeah Jacinda!

In one swell foop she is demonstrating the power of PR/electoral reform and addressing the 800 pound gorilla at the TPP talks (& all so-called 'free-trade' deals)

Take back national sovereignty!

"New Zealand's focus was on improving the investor state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses that allow investors to sue host governments."