There is a Federal election coming, and most citizens won’t give a darn – we know most citizens no longer can be bothered going through the charade of voting. It is not hard to understand their dismay with the system.
For many citizens, the system is broken beyond redemption: you are played for fools by repeated and demonstrable political falsehoods; the transparent “bribes” offered to you – (the luxury of which you know you will have to pay for) – to entice your vote; the attack ads which have nothing to say about the wisdom of a candidate’s views, denigrating the system to pointlessness; the bubble-heads who trivialize the important matters, and a moment later magnify the trivial, to scrape out a bit more dialogue until the next important commercial message comes along to fill the TV void in our brains.
The integrity of Democracy has become compromised. It has, like Christmas, become commercialized, a parody of what it has long been meant to stand for. Its very purpose has been put into the hands and control of franchised Titans and any effort now to change things only runs up against their vested power. One could readily see the foolishness of conferring upon a business like “Pepsi” or “Coke” the legal power of administering beverages to the masses, appointing one or other of them to the “Department of Soft Drinks”; or appointing “Mcdonalds” or “Wendys” to the “Ministry of Fast Foods”. Such ludicrous appointments would be seen as nonsense, a massive conflict of interest. The “fix” would be in: the wolves guarding the sheep: you know what you would get – it would be lots of Pepsi, Coke, Mcdonalds and Wendys – no mystery. Yet it is accepted as a given by the voters of Canada that this status quô, this spiral downwards to the irrelevant and pointless, is appropriately administered by Corporate Liberal and Corporate Conservative and Corporate NDP – the Titans who are the root and cause of the problem. Things can’t be fixed so long as they are in the way stopping the fixing.
Originally, (as in ancient Greek democracy), individuals could voice a position, and others could embrace and share that viewpoint, and stand together on that particular issue; on subsequent issues, however, the alliance might collapse – there was no obligation to perpetuate the alliance, and the measure of an Orator could be determined by how long he retained influence over his peers. But the majority moved back and forth depending upon who advanced the most persuasive position – only the very wisest of Orators could obtain a lasting reputation. In England’s House of Commons and France’s National Convention in the 1700′s, the elected Representatives simply represented their constituents, relying on their personal standing, reputation, wisdom, charisma – whatever enticed the voters locally. But once in the House, alliances of Representatives would come and go depending upon the matter in issue – on some occasions these men would unite; on others, differ, in swirling eddies of deal-making. In order for a law to be made, most elected Representatives had to freely concur upon its form, whether or not they were the same roster of Representatives who may have previously passed a law together – because, case by case, most of them thought it was the right thing to do. The actual majority who thought a law was best, passed the law.
Now, however, we have “Parties” – Dr. Frankenstein’s perversion of Democracy, a monstrous parody of the “Idea of the Expression of the Popular Will” lumbering forward, pretending to be what it is not, forcing itself upon the terrified youth and maidens of our villages.
No principal of Democracy ever decreed “thou must have Parties”. Parties evolved from some early set of independent minds, who recognized that “Power” could be held onto not merely through commonality of purpose, but with enforced teamwork. Instead of merely a temporary alliance, called upon law by law, case by case, argument by argument … rather, now, a permanent alliance, for all matters regardless of the specific merits. Admittedly, the alliance would be formed with like-minded men – friends: the burden of compromise would be a modest inconvenience compared to the benefits of unity. It was, however, just the thing for “lazy Collectivists”: it spared all of the nuisance of articulating a logical and wise position capable of persuasion. Persuasion is such a difficult and bothersome process: it requires two brains and a convincing argument – force has always been a so much more efficient tool of control. With this realization, the Party “Whip” was invented; the Party Disciplinarian whose job it is to compel elected Representatives of the people to vote a particular way, as demanded by the Party Leader.
Do you wonder why Parliament ["place of parley: to freely talk"] has been reduced to insults, baby-talk, non-entities belching rudeness for the camera? The battle lines were drawn over a century ago. What is there to talk about, after all, once there is a Party majority? Courteous, reasoned debate is no more welcome in our Parliament than a far-away whisper of thought. And we accept this?
During our lifetimes, Parliament [that is, the Parties] passed a series of laws to retain their grip on power: these are generally spelled out in the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act. The basic thrust has been, and remains today, that “Parties” are entitled to draw funds from the public [tax money] to support themselves and retain power. People can make contributions to a Party, and receive a tax deduction in return [s.127 ITA]; the Party obviously gets the money… thus everyone else not directly supporting the Party, are supporting the Party through their taxes! Also, once a Party receives a certain number of votes, it gets tax money [s. 435 & 464 CEA]. So Frankenstein not only has the run of the village, but takes money from the villagers (who don’t want him around) to maintain that place of power. [So bear in mind, those attack ads you hate: they don't waste just the Conservative's money; they waste your tax dollars].
Such laws artificially propping up the Parties have been, and are today, in place in Canada. The courts have had occasion from time to time to shoot down the laws as unconstitutional [see for instance Figueroa v. Canada, 1999 43 O.R. (3d) 728, in which ironically the Communist Party successfully argued against our form of Statism]; but such laws keep coming back, because, well, they are the Parties and can readily pass a bad law of these things, and court cases are slow and expensive means for people to fight back. And of course not all Judges see anything wrong with Parties.
It may become an election issue this time around, since Harper has enough money in his Conservative Party coffers to go to war, and his opponents don’t. [see for instance, the National Post, Jan 14/11, page A4] Thus, it now makes obvious good sense for Him to get rid of the Law which juices his opponents’ war-chests. He is right: but for hypocritical reasons – he wouldn’t propose this if he was short of cash. The other Parties in turn will argue that it is “undemocratic” not to have all Canadian tax-payers forced against their Will to support and subsidize the dissemination of Liberal, NDP or Bloc policy swill. They say it’s important to the system for Parties to be able to afford to fight – for their positions to be heard by you. [As Jack Layton of the NDP said "a key element of democratic reform was to make sure political parties represent the ideas of Canadians" - what nonsense: the key element was to make the public pay for the luxury of his soapbox].
I just don’t see it. I think they are out of practice making a sensible, reasonable argument, because their Power doesn’t require it of them. I think they just want the coin. These are exactly the same Parties who pass laws to shut up – and shut down – those candidates without Parties, or with as yet small (less-financed) Parties. Is public money for the Parties necessary for Democracy? Rather Hypocrisy… all it does is tilt the scales in favour of the status quô. How on earth did Democracy ever survive these thousands of years, without the Canada Election Act around to force public funding to prop up the Parties?
The Parties, those franchised Titans, have absolutely no interest in you hearing, considering… and God forbid- voting for anything but them. They will strive to continue to take your money from you, to impede you being offered other choices. Frankly, they would love it if you just stayed home on Election Day.
If you cave in to this, and decide not to bother voting, you should be ashamed of yourself. If you still remember to wear a poppy on Remembrance Day – for those hundreds of thousands of Canadian boys who fought and died so you could vote – if their deaths mean something to you besides a minute of silence once a year … don’t you be a hypocrite too: you too have to fight for this, even if it costs you a precious half an hour of your time on Election Day.