Written in early November and I forgot to post it…..
We are told over and over by those who should know better that Canada is a democracy. And yet we have just been shown again that democracy is a word that does not apply to Canada, and indeed the way Canada was formed did not have democracy in mind at all.
The Magna Carta, signed by King John on 15th June 1215, was the start of and the basis for Westminster styled parliaments since that day. It laid out among other things, rights and privileges designed to curb the Royal power of a king, corrupt or not, and to give power to some of the people – Lords, Dukes Earls etc., and indeed the first parliament was made up of just those people. Rich and influential. But it was a start.
Canada, being a colony of England, was designated a Westminster style parliamentary system as were all the colonies of the old “Empire” now known as the Commonwealth of Nations. Based as it was on the English system there were but two parties, neither of which had the ability to be democratic as the very nature of this system falls apart under the dictates of party lines. Ideally, the purpose of our parliament would be to the betterment of all the people of Canada and Canada itself, however, today that concept is as alien as love thy neighbour.
That being said this just past election was as uninspiring as it was dirty. Fearmongering and smears outnumbered even the wildest promises and unsubstantiated claims were flowing freely. The outcome, a minority government, was predicted amid wild accusations of coalitions and one suggestion by Scheer that the looser of the minority race should immediately resign as party leader. How did that work out for you Andrew?
What we got was three parties showing an increase in seats and two showing losses. The Greens increased to 3 members, the Bloq (a party which puts Quebec first within Canada) regained party status; why did the conservatives describe them as separatists when their base in Alberta and Saskatchewan are openly calling for Wexit and the conservatives completely took over that belligerent western section of the country. The NDP and Liberals both lost seats, but the saving grace for the liberals was probably the inherent distrust of Andrew Scheer who finally owned up to American citizenship (and all that would entail in dealing with half of himself!) the threat of austerity and an increase in belligerence and bigotry as seen in both Ontario and Alberta. By the way, how did a party which was so critical of Mulcair having dual citizenship with France manage to have a US citizen as its head?
A split and dissatisfied country. A country which made climate change an issue; a country struggling with dissatisfaction with the way politics is conducted and yet not willing to go backwards; a country with a general population scared of adventurous voting, wanting change but not willing to bring it about; a country divided into haters and bigots and religious extremists, and those who want a better world; a country with an indigenous population still suffering genocidal conditions in spite of many words claiming otherwise; a country of huge potential being held back by red tape and bureaucracy, jealousies and fear of the different.
In other words, a paradise in the making if we do this right, or a hell just around the corner if we do not.