My computer has been in computer hospital since Sunday. I'm hoping it's now showing paragraphs and slightly larger print.
The Canadian federal election had the second-worst possible result. I'm much relieved at the defeat of Harper. He was a threat to democracy and to any independence of the Canadian nation. He's an ideologue who ignores reality in favour of a belief system. Trudeau is an old-time political hack. That is, he has no beliefs at all. Politics is just a game, and it's only point is to win. Mulcair is a liberal who adopted Liberal thinking because that's the way to win an election – except when you're running against real Liberals. If elected, he would have had no base to deal with the real issues facing us because the Canadian people have been given no idea what the real issues are. He's brighter than Trudeau, though, and does have some principles.
I wasn't crazy about any of the parties. The NDP and the Greens, at a personal level, are, in my experience, people of some, considerable social principles. But the Greens had no possibility of a significant vote. And the NDP castrated itself at its founding, when it softened its principles to attract the support of unions.
There was no significant discussion during the election of environment (except by the Greens), nothing about foreign policy, nothing about our military – its purpose or its deplorable condition -, and not a whisper about the increasing drift of politicians into the pockets of the very wealthy.
And maritimers showed no change whatever in their usual practice of voting for one traditional party, getting mad at it, punishing it by voting for the other traditional party, getting mad at it…...and ever. This week's voted prevented a disaster. But, otherwise, it's just a step back into the past. Trudeau will appoint Leblanc to the cabinet. And Leblanc will become the bagman for New Brunswick, the one who collects money from very wealthy donors. And it will be old days, again.
And that brings me to Alec Bruce's column that appeared on election day. He quotes Winston Churchill on democracy. “…..it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those others that have been tried from time to time.”
Winston Churchill, for all his virtues, is the last person in this world I would quote on the subject of democracy. Born into an aristocratic family of Victorian times, he had all of his class' contempt for the average person, and all of its racism in regard to people of other nations. In fact, his racial views were almost identical to those of Hitler. That's why he never lifted a finger to establish democracy anywhere outside Britain and its white colonies. And where populations of two races – as in South Africa and Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), he invariably recognized only the white part of the nation. For that matter, he was not always critical of Hitler's Germany. Indeed, he recognized Germans as racially quite brothers with the British, and he did not oppose Hitler until, with others of his class, he realized it was becoming an economic threat to Britain.
I don't know whether democracy is the best system because I have no idea what all the systems have been. And we have certainly seen countries that call themselves democratic when real power rests in the hands of the very wealthy.
Obvously, if the very wealthy come to control a system, it cannot be called a democracy. But democracy needs more than keeping a rein on the wealthy. It also needs accurate, unbiased, and full information from its news media. We do not get that from our privately-owned news media. The examples of intelligent, informed and honest news media in this world are very, very few.
We need commentary to stimulate our thinking – not to tell us what to think, but to encourage us to think. We need a population willing to think and to demand information and we need to discuss it in public. New Brunswick doesn't have that. New Brunswick's idea of commentary is pretentious, high school humour by Rod Allen. In fact, I found it unpleasant to watch most post-election commentary on TV. Most of it had to do with the tactics of winning the election (Trudeau looked good on TV, that sort of thing.) There was very little about how this election is likely to affect Canada. Most of the commentators were old-time political hacks who saw the whole election process simply as a game.
I was astonished to see an old friend from my radio days who was appearing on TV to give his expert analysis of the election results. He's a nice guy. I always liked him. He gave informative and amusing little talks on radio about the entertainment world. But he knows nothing whatever about political issues or current events.
Oh, yes. To have a democracy, we also need a population that is literate. And intellectually alive.
We live in a world in which whatever democracy we have is collapsing, a world in which uncounted millions are dying of war, of starvation, a world created by our mainstream political parties. Yes, those are really people and children and babies huddling in rain without food or shelter on the borders who countries that won't let them in. (And they're not on our borders because we won't let them get even that far.).
World disorder is spreading because we are helping to create it. The disorder has spread throughout the middle east, into Europe ( where it's going to get much worse). And it's going to spread here, within our own societies. The U.S. is working on spreading it to Asia by holding fleet exercises in waters claimed by China. (However, I don't think China will take that bait.)
Most of this disorder could have been prevented. It could have been prevented in Israel, in Iran, in Syria, in Iraq, in Libya, in Afghanistan. It wasn't. And that's because big money didn't want it to be prevented. We are drifting very quickly into a world controlled by big money which also controls whatever 'democracy' is left to us.
There's no hope the Liberals or Conservatives will deal with that. For them, from their origins, it has always been a big game and nothing more.
The Greens are attempting to break that. The NDP should be going back to its origins – and stop acting like Liberals and Conservatives.