To quote Franklin D. Roosevelt “Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.“
I originally published this in December of 2012 and I find it very disappointing that, ten years later, I have to update it. This “trucking convoy for freedom” is an insult to any reasonably thinking Canadian. If you are a true believer in democracy AND the democratic process should really be opening their eyes before these ideologues passing themselves off as “politicians” become true autocrats. I had just published “Democracy versus Politics” a couple of days prior to this publication and yet erosion continues. Between the erosion of healthcare, ideological changes to the Alberta school curriculum which is basically “dumbing down” this upcoming generation. If anything we are now taking a sledge hammer to education and democracy to the point where I strongly feel I need to edit the original a bit and republish it. .
Keep in mind this was originally published in 2012 however there are some similarities to the situation today. Considering the current federal court case involving robo-calls and potential electoral fraud I would like to put more detail into democracy. I find it difficult to understand how a governing party in a democracy like Canada can fight so hard to keep Canadians from discovering if there was electoral fraud created by misleading robo-calls. (Edit – keep in mind Kenney won the UCP leadership through what is now known as the Kamikaze scandal and right after winning the provincial election in 2019 turfed the Alberta Elections Commissioner, Lorne Gibson who had been tasked with investigating this scandal). I find it difficult to understand why anyone who believes in true democracy would stand in the way of uncovering an answer to something as serious as electoral fraud or leadership tampering. So when a political party puts up continual barriers to keep an issue like this under wraps then I question their commitment to democracy.
Democracy is about process and when that process is manipulated as a way to dissuade the voting public then democracy is dying. When a political party can take that democratic process and corrupt it by shutting down Parliament I have to question their commitment to democracy. When a political party can bury far reaching legislative changes in 400+ pages of omnibus bills, not once but twice, then that is abuse of the democratic process which again leads me to question that party’s commitment to democracy. When a political party can force their own appointments, public figures appointed to oversee various government operations, into the court system to obtain the information they require to perform their job then I question that party’s commitment to democracy. And that is exactly what the Military Ombudsman and the Parliamentary Budget Officer have to do.
We have a political party who based their election platform on a transparent and open government then became the most secretive government in recent Canadian history. Just look into the F-35 debacle. We have a political party who ran an election based on strong fiscal management and then took a $13 billion surplus left over from their predecessors and run it up by 100’s of billions in deficit. We have a government who insists on decreasing the size of government and then turns around to spend $1.2 billion on contractors/consultants, often referred to as the “shadow public service”. And while this government goes on about fiscal restraint they use Canadian tax dollars to spend billions on advertising in what can only be described as a poorly disguised electioneering campaign.
This isn’t about politics; it is about the preservation of democracy. And the most important players in the preservation of democracy are the electorate. When less than 61% of eligible voters turn out to the polls then one has to question Canadian society’s commitment to democracy. When a government can convince a country that they have been given a STRONG MANDATE FROM THE CANADIAN PUBLIC by continually repeating that statement but in fact received that mandate with less than 27% of eligible voters one has to question how informed the Canadian public even is. To me 27% or 39% of those that did vote does not strong mandate make. If 39% is a strong mark then I should have graduated on the honour roll. And all of this is being done under the guise of democracy.
Canada and Alberta, it actually may be too late, however it is time to wake up before we have no democracy left! I am often left feeling like I am pissing downwind of a hurricane.
Just one man’s opinion.