Well a couple of weeks ago the entire thinking portion of Canada spent their day out protesting the way little stevie keeps shutting down parliament when it does something he doesn’t like. It’s true he is not the first PM to pull this off but it does seem to be becoming a bad habit and should be discouraged as much and as soon as possible.
That being said lots of people worry that such protests and demonstrations don’t do anything to really bring about change and in this they are of course correct. Certainly the civil rights movement in the states had lots of marches and rallies and those are the images that we see over and over. The fact is though that there was an enormous amount of work going on behind the scenes. Registering voters, fighting discriminatin laws in court, education and recruiting of local activists to help bring out the voters and ensure the final victory.
What does this mean for us now in Canada. Simple if you really feel that stevie is abusing his powers and that he is a threat to democratic process then you have to follow up the demonstrations with some of that dirty gritty local action in the political process. It is not enough to just go and vote when the elections are actually called although even that would be a good idea for the half of the population that never bothers. If you really want to have some impact in how our democracy and our government progresses then you have to hold your nose, grit your teeth and get involved with POLITICIANS.
It is perfectly reasonable to not wish to do this because lets face it there is a certain tawdry glamour to getting near the sex trade or drug smugglers but there is really nothing but revulsion when considering our political parties and what they do and stand for. As a way to help you overcome this aversion I will give you a brief history of how we got into this mess.
Back at the dawn of time we all know governors were essentially the strongest noble in the area and he did what he wanted, when he wanted, how he wanted. Anyone who objected would be jailed, whipped, executed, or worse, so there was no real opposition till things got so bad that the peasants would revolt. Whenever they did they usually slay the local noble and put up someone else in his place and the whole procedure was repeated for a few thousand years.
Then in 1215 King John signed the Magna Carta and democracy began. Over the next few hundred years there were minor refinements like allowing the population to vote on what they wanted and getting things changed without necessarily resorting to death but none of that is of any real importance. The important thing is that people got to choose who would go to the centre of government and represent them there for the good of the population rather than the enriching of the leaders.
Usually in choosing the representative the population would look for a local man who had proven over several years that he had what it takes to be a good politician, without actually being one. This often meant that men who had perhaps been reasonably successful in their chosen vocation would be approached locally to run for the school board etc. If they found he was good at sucking money into the local economy at this level he might then be asked to run for alderman or major even and again if he proved successful at the sort of graft, arm twisting and cajoling required at these jobs he would be asked to run for parliament and carry forward the desires of his community to the national stage.
This meant of course that virtually everyone who showed up in parliament was an experienced, creative and generally amoral sponge who had spent countless hours figuring out how to take advantage of others for the benefit of his riding. Men like this are not easily led astray by flimsy promises and a nicely lacquered hair job. This was also in the time before TV in the commons so it was possible for these pols to cook up whatever compromises were required to get the job done. This is often referred to as the golden age of democracy.
Now however we are given a whole group of smiling, insincere, gluttonous people many of them never in their life doing any useful work anywhere in our society. The kind of work that might lead them to actually understand that cutting welfare hurts mostly children and mothers. The sort of work that might lead some of them to understand that once in a long long while things actually have to be done not just talked about forever.
These are people like stevie who in spite of his attack ads on iffy has been feeding at the public trough for the vast majority of his entire adult life. Now I’m not saying that a man who starts grooming himself for public office from the time he is 7 couldn’t find out about how the country actually operates I’m just saying it’s unlikely.
This allows them to suggest constantly that the problem can be solved by cutting spending. They always insist they won’t cut services but lets be grown up for a moment here and think back to the age of munificence that descended on Ontario after Mike Harris offered the same crap. Pensions can be cut, taxes can be cut, seperation pay can be cut, everything can be cut of course except the power and prestige of these “leaders”
My father, a man wise beyond my understanding at times once said to me. “Everyone lies form time to time. Sometimes to be nice, sometimes to avoid trouble, sometimes just for the hell of it. But try to avoid lawyers, salesmen and politicians. They are professionally trained liars and they’ll beat you at it. “
Well unfortunately if you care how this country and it’s government develops you may have no realistic option than to get involved in this sleazy mess and do what you can to upgrade the quality of the people we elect to represent us.
Heck the effort couldn’t hurt.