Category: Political Commentary Published Date
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.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 18:38
Category: Political Commentary Published Date
War! that’s what the Prime Minister of his erstwhile minority Government decided; that was his choice of words, as Canadian fighter jets were sent to bomb Libyan targets. And what did the supreme power of Parliament, which of course could have reversed his decision, do about his unilateral declaration of war? …. nothing. Liberals, socialist NDP, even the Bloc all agreed with Canada’s war on Libya. Harper was supported UNANIMOUSLY.
As we go into the next election, THIS WAR WILL NOT BE AN ELECTION ISSUE since they all approved of it. Now isn’t that interesting! Ironically perhaps, it falls to a Capitalist to say “wait a minute“, has war really become so trivial a matter in this video-game era? (Have a read of Paul Robinson’s article, Globe & Mail, March 25, p. A19)
To slightly change the concept for a moment, in Quebec back in 2007 there was an incident in which the police seeded a peaceful demonstration with black-ops officers. Their apparent function was, whilst disguised as protesters, to throw rocks, thus instigating an opportunity for the riot police to move in on the (otherwise peaceful) protestors. This is all on Youtube, the trial of the police has occurred [they were let off of course], I am not making it up. Ironically, this kind of tactic was used by Hitler to justify his invasion of Poland in 1939; he dressed up some prisoners in Polish uniforms, shot them on German soil, and voilá, instant justification for German invasion of Poland. In other words, fake the cause – spin the situation to suit your needs.
In 2010, at Toronto’s G20 Summit, it has been fairly readily established that our police were not only eagerly enthusiastic in beating up protestors, coralling bystanders and disregarding ancient rights, but far more ominously their senior officers were thereafter complicit in covering up the facts. The Sun covered this topic with ample irony.
I have written in previous blogs about the cover-ups by the RCMP with respect to an unsettling number of deaths in custody ["shot trying to escape" situations]. That our police can be thugs is a concern, and their alleged errors ought to be exposed at trial; that their chiefs encourage this ethic of violating the law with impunity is profoundly disturbing.
What have these occurrences in recent Canadian fact have to do with our present War on Libya? Well, if I understand correctly, the moral [and whimsically legal] justification for our spontaneous declaration of war was Colonel Gadhafi’s harsh police action against rebellious citizens of Libya. The United Nations says we can attack if we want, to help people in distress.
Well, what’s good for Gadhafi is good for Gander.
If there is a principle of law involved here, would it not follow that the Americans, for instance, would find justification for invading Canada in order to protect our protestors from the ham-fisted cops we seem to be stuck with? Oh no! That’s different, right? Because the standard for deciding what is State oppression and what isn’t, is so clear, right?
Iraq was invaded because of Kuwait: Saddam made the international legal error of attacking over an international border. Hitler was fought not because of his oppression of the Jews during the 1930′s, but because of the Treaty ruptures arising from his invasion of Poland. Rwanda was NOT invaded when 800,000 were killed in 1994, because no border was violated. War, historically, has only been justified on the basis of international infringements; an offence by one nation of another nation’s “rights”. Internal conflicts, civil wars, have been left to their own devices in international law; …until now.
Colonel Gadhafi may be an animal of historic proportions, I don’t necessarily disagree (although inconvenient facts have a habit of surfacing years after the ‘heat of the moment’ decisions). But the Canadian legal principle is that if the law is not broken, we leave nasty people be. And under our Criminal Code, we don’t punish a nasty person unless we are able to prove they are nasty; a person is innocent until proven guilty: they are not supposed to lose because they are unpopular. Remember that rule? That rule is not there to protect the nasty people: it’s there to protect the nice people.
Government exists to protect the people from, amongst other things, internal violent opposition to the established order. Gadhafi’s Government was valid according to Libya’s non-democratic standards. Do you not realize that several of England’s Kings did exactly the same thing, as he has done, to retain their thrones? We have attacked him because we don’t like him; but this is a very interesting precedent. Doubtless it explains China and Russia’s hesitancy to endorse the policy: where will it lead? What other countries shall be invaded because we don’t like them? Russia, or China perhaps? What of communist Albania, or bad old North Korea? What about easy marks like Bahrain, Syria and Yemen? How far are we to take this hitherto unexplored compunction to intervene? And worse, if we don’t intervene, are we by our silence then deemed to endorse some totalitarian regime? Canada will either be perpetually at war, or sooner or later be an international hypocrite!
Or was it really just all about oil?? If so, what if the United States decided it wanted Canada’s oil one day; and what if it saw our daft police beating up innocent people as they seem wont to do? If it invaded, would you understand the justice of their cause? What’s good for Gadhafi is good for Gander, after all.
And if your response is to suggest that things are different: the poor Libyans are freedom fighters trying to overthrow a harsh, “Axis of Evil” regime… well, yes, that may be true in vastly simplistic terms; for all I know they are a bunch of savage rascals too, or more likely there are some nice, some nasty, some kind, some brutal – and we don’t know who will come out on top. How can we know whether things were made better by our presence? What the heck are the conditions of Victory? How will we know when we “win”? Obviously, your Parliament felt there was no need to pursue such trifles as “the Goal“.
But all the patronizing Imperialist jingoism aside, did Parliament ever consider that Libya’s Freedom fighters (if that’s what they are) need to win this, or lose this, on their own two feet?
The history of brilliant British and American law both have depended on centuries of resistance to Authority; sometimes successfully, but sometimes with a decapitated head perched on London bridge… Failure is indeed sad. But once it succeeds, the heritage of earned Liberty rings out over the centuries. Sometimes, after all, it was the King’s head that came off. The result of the West’s centuries-long struggle for Liberty is the greatest system of democracy in history. How can Libyan people be proud of throwing off their yoke of oppression if they must owe their success to “American Imperialists” or NATO? Where is the glory if the price was not paid? Where will be the pride of accomplishment? They may win this rebellion now, with our foreign intercession, but they will hate the west all the more, since history will record that the victory was due to the western powers. I fear we are sowing a very bitter seed.
This attack on Libya is a mistake of fundamental proportions. That none of our Parliament can see what is so obvious is despairing – the quality of your so-called “leaders” is appalling. They are nothing but patsies, with no training in the history of the struggle for Rights. Not one of them could think of an issue to debate… really?
You indeed lack Statesmen with sound ethics. In this new election, as the Liberals and NDP pound Conservative candidates over ethical breaches regarding public funds and so forth in Canada, ask all the Candidates this question: have they any thoughts about War?
Only Governments want war. Capitalists want peace. Next election, vote Capitalist.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 25 May 2011 18:39