Friday, November 15, 2019

Try Letting the People Win Some Times.

An item on the CBC web site suggests that Mr. Trudeau may appoint Chrystia Freeland to a new portfolio, perhaps deputy minister.
Trudeau is being advised to leverage Freeland's star power and place her in a role that will focus on domestic concerns. 
One option that has been discussed is naming her minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, making the restoration of national unity a focus of her mandate.
Mr. Trudeau's concern about the health of national unity is genuine but Chrystia Freeland is a poor vehicle to achieve that essential goal no matter how her mandate is framed or what powers she's given. That's a fast track to failure.

What we need is democratic restoration. Our's is a rotten system when a minority of voters, of those still willing to turn out to vote, can, by a margin of 34 to 38 per cent, determine who shall govern the rest and whether that will be by a minority or a majority. That's a formula for disaffection, division and the defeat of the very democracy we supposedly cherish and vow to uphold.

When fewer than 40 per cent can impose majority rule on the other 60 per cent, that's democracy in decay. It's rancid. It's rotten. In the long run it's ruinous. You cannot have democracy and yet so ruthlessly undermine it.

What can it be but arrogant to imagine that we can restore and build what had been such a great nation as ours in this way?


e.a.f. said...

People have no one to blame but themselves. if you don't like the government or how it is run, you get out and vote. when people don't go out and vote, they're saying they don't care. Those who do, vote.

There is nothing wrong with our first past the post system, riding by riding. I have frequently lived in ridings where the party I voted for and supported did not win. However, the majority won. that is what our democracy has always been about, If people have a "product' votes will buy.

Anton said...

I disagree. A minority government does not provide a vehicle whereby %40 of Canadians rule over the other %60. The singular quality of a minority government is compromise.

Rural said...

I agree with Anton, the question then becomes whether our 'elected representatives' know what the word compromise means and if so are they inclined to embrace it.

the salamander said...

.. a most interesting and critical question ..
I view e.a.f's statement differently. I don't agree 'when people don't go out and vote, they're saying they don't care'.. Instead I believe they indeed voted.. and actually 'they are the majority' They have myriad reasons to not vote, not all of them valid or intelligentbut some must be throwing up their hands and despairing.. and not out of ignorance, or no media accessible, no 'news'. They are seeing election dominated by polling, by captured or sold out Main Media.

Like me, I really had no useful candidate, an incumbent Liberal whipl did not really need signs, an upstart NDP who littered the riding eith signs, an impoverished Green.. Hell the most believable and bright was a young Communist and an aged quavery animal rights lady!!
The citizens are seeing and being fed the same old same old. They may know in advance via 'poll news' that whomever is elected in their riding is likely Conservative or Liberal and will act and 'vote' in Parliament, not in the riding's interest.. but as a whipped MP. Or that in many ridings leople 'vote then Party' It would be interesting to compare the % of non voters in Alberta and Saskatchewan versus the % of non voters in the entire rest of Canada.. What if the % is identical ??

Justin Trudeau simply inherited Stephen Harper's captors, the Big Ranchers.. and the various sold out portfolios and herds Harper feasted on. Harper did what he did.. he simply rode and enforced for those Brands.. Big Energy Ranch, Norwegian Farmed Fish Ranch, El Rancho Lavalin, Big Mine Interest Spread, hell, for a while he rode for the The Dead Horse Asbestos & Tobacco del Mar outfits .. imagine his MP ranch hand Dr Kellie Leitch pimped for Asbestos ! Trudeau simply stepped into Harper's saddle. The bronc that neither could ride was is the jughead gelding called F-35.. or the wild bull Afghanistan who's trashed many a cowpoker, even the Russian riders.

Anyway, that's just a taste of why should people vote ! The system is screwy.. and in Canada we are getting a foretaste of where it leads.. via Donald Trump, the GOP.. and their fetid septic tank politics and crashing society & lost values ? What values ? And here in Canada we have a political party called Conservatives who are enchanted by the GOP and Trump... and the great big bag we're all getting stuffed into is the overriding 'neoliberalism' which gets to hold the bag we end up squirming in & voting from every 4 years ! Hey ! Its dark in this bag! What's going on out there ?

Anonymous said...

I presume you are arguing for proportional representation again and for the same reasons many of us have embraced for some years. No quarrel with that whatsoever. Maybe Singh can extort that from Trudeau to get him off his funk pot once again, steeled to do what's right by Canadians. Unlikely as hell.

An intergovernmental panel led by Freeland? To showcase her talents? Whose brain dead idea is this? Because these days, First Nations would want in, and why not? You have nutbar Alberta wanting to expropriate a corridor through BC to "tidewater" as some god-given right, as an idea coursing through their deviated brains. Right through unceded territory. Good one, UCP dopes. A bit like Trump trying to buy Denmark for a price, but of course Alberta wants part of BC for free. Fucking insane.

Freeland has been a neocon champ as Foreign Affairs leader, a full-blown imperialist on behalf of Canadian mining companies, and highly bigoted against Indigenous peoples throughout Latin America. Venezuela -- champion a chosen US dick-tater Guaido over the indigenous people's duly elected Maduro, claiming tainted elections when UN observers unanimiousky said it was not. Chile -- praise the right wing government fighting off a million indigenous people who object to bus fare increases but no corresponding wage increase when they're already dirt poor. Ecuador - here's a good one --approve a coup to boot the duly re-elected indigenous leader Morales out from an election just three weeks ago! The newly appointed Catholic bible thumper dick-tater has advised indigenous peoples to leave La Paz and go back to the jungle and practise their heathen religion there! Further, he told them to leave the governing of Ecuador to the cultured Christian folk living in cities and towns - he's a Don Cherry writ large, and Freeland supports this kind of shit in the name of Canada. What a liberal!

There's already US First Nation response to the deposing of Morales, and the societal failure of a blinkered Trudeau wants to put Freeland in charge of intergovernmental negotiations! Nice one, Twinkletoes. The trilling Freeland would be laughed off the stage as a complete fraud when First Nations got the bit between their teeth.

The things our government, sold-out public servants and diplomats do in our name overseas to indigenous sovereigntists merely wanting to run their own country's show are not emphasized to the public. We think we're wonderful compassionate and caring people. Right. But we are as right wing and reactionary as any old imperialist, routinely dissing the majority peoples in other countries in support of our pillaging business folk. The SNC-L affair is small potatoes compared to toppling a government.

I despise the trilling imperialist colonialist Freeland, and Trudeau isn't far behind to my mind. We're as rotten to the core internationally as America is, but we manage to mostly hide it from public view.

And we expect these louts to sort out our problems at home? Dream on. Just give us proportional representation, and we can boot these two-faced pricks to one side, and get on with some environmental remediation. Man, this country has gone down the tubes fast.


Northern PoV said...

I'm with BM.
I never understood why Freeland is considered a 'star' by the media. That's a purely media-Lib constructed fantasy in which the media promote one of their own and the Libs grin all the way to the ballot box and cabinet table.

Contrast Freeland's veneration of her NAZI grandfather with:

"German billionaire family to donate $11M over Nazi past
A report found that the Reimann family, owners of Krispy Kreme and Dr. Pepper, were avowed Nazis and used forced labor in their factories during World War II. "These crimes are disgusting," a family spokesman said."

The Mound of Sound said...

Anton, I'm referring to Canada, not the place you have in mind. 40%, are you kidding? 40% is a massive majority, not a minority.

The last two majorities we've endured, Liberal and Conservative, were delivered by a vote in the 30s, well short of 40%.

That means three out of five lose their voice. That is not democracy, at least not in the liberal democratic tradition in which government, to be legitimate, requires the 'consent of the governed.'

The Mound of Sound said...

So far have we strayed in our defence of democracy that we have forgotten its underpinnings. Go back to John Locke, the Enlightenment thinker, considered the father of liberalism. Yes, that's a long way back. He died in, I believe, 1704. He is credited with the notion, fairly radical in his time, of "consent of the governed." Locke inspired Jefferson to incorporate the term in the Declaration of Independence.

What then is "consent"? "To be of one mind, to agree." Everyone understands that much, surely. How can just a few points more than a third constitute consent? How can that paltry endorsement be the foundation for a majority mandate, any mandate? You have to stand logic on its head to find that mandate.

Such a hollow, empty mandate is fertile ground for political "capture." It leads to cash-for-access, SNC-Lavalin, KPMG/Isle of Man, the Calgary Petroleum Club and almost certainly other corruption that has yet to surface.

Consent is now manufactured so that the narrow, private interest may prevail over the public interest. Once the vox populi is muffled, other interests take over. Read the 2014 report out of Princeton by Gilens and Page. The authors reveal how democracy died in America to be replaced by the modern plutocracy. Americans still vote but it's a deeply flawed system that insults democracy.

Our system is less obnoxious but also delivers skewed outcomes. It's how we can declare a climate emergency and then, the very next day, push through a massive bitumen pipeline initiative. Oh I could go on and on with examples.

Look how deeply divided we are. We no longer merely disagree. There is a carefully stoked animus between us that erodes social cohesion and delivers us a Lord of the Flies society. Don't you get that, Libtard?

When so the public's voice is not heard it's not respected. We railed at Stephen Harper for that and rightly so. Now that it is Liberal handiwork, it's so much better. Really?

In this last election, if "none of the above" was available on the ballot, who do you imagine would have won?

e.a.f. said...

Freeland, is not going to make a very good intergovernmental affairs minister nor will she do much to make national unity happen. What made her look good in international affairs will not go over well inside the country dealing with provincial Premiers.

Tribalism has taken over Canadian politics. It has gotten some elected and so tribalism will continue to be a factor in Canadian politics. If any one thinks they can get Alberta or Quebec to change their minds about what they want or do, good luck with that. their premiers rode to their positions selling tribalism and how the rest of Canada was not taking them seriously or taking care of their needs.

People might want to have a look at how little the Premiers of Alberta and Quebec have provided for them. The voters in Quebec might want to understand the use of transfer payments in their province which provides them the benefits they have and yes, that money came/comes from Alberta. Quebec politicians have been skillful at selling their voters on the story Quebec pays more than it receives. Perhaps Kenny would be better off going to Quebec and telling people the truth instead of wanting to cut through B.C. Of course that type of rhetoric does go over well in Alberta. it got him elected.

It is tribalism which keeps us with the current voting system. We vote in ridings, so that's our tribe. Then within our tribe, we look for more like us. In my opinion there needs to be less focus on the majority of the votes in an area, and perhaps more on all the others, who didn't vote for the "majority". democracy is rule via the majority, but it ought not to be to the detrement of the minority, which when all combined is the majority.

Our politicians might want to start looking at what their riding wants instead of always looking at what the party wants. I recall Chuck Cadman consulting his constituents, then going to Ottawa to vote as they wanted, not his party. More like him and who knows what we could achieve. Cadman was able to win his riding as an independent also.

As to Liberals being Liberal, not so much. Its just a term they use these days and it sells well.

Voters might want to have a look at independents.