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How and when did democracy fail?


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19 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

The criteria for determining someone's intelligence is whether or not they agree with me.

There is an instinct towards that, yes. But I rarely agreed with Pierre Trudeau. I didn't think he was an idiot, though. I likewise rarely agreed with Jean Chretien. I didn't think he was a fool. I thought he was lazy and lacked ambition. I though the same about Harper, though to a lesser degree. Justin Trudeau is the first PM I've thought was elevated well past his intellectual capabilities. And down south, we have two senile old men vying for control of the world's most powerful nation state. Admittedly, Trump isn't the first President whose intelligence I doubted. I didn't think much of Reagan or Bush junior either. Though both are MENSA candidates compared to Trump. And while I loathed Kathleen Wynne I didn't think she was an idiot or a fool.

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I disagree that democracy has failed in Canada. It is true that the best and brightest are deterred from politics because of the gruelling attention from social and mainstream media, but the crew we have now is a good reflection of the country as a whole.

Shallow and self-absorbed, you mean? Perhaps, but shouldn't we seek leaders who are among the best and brightest?

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So, while we do not have  governments of great minds or outstanding integrity, they aren't that bad and they are a reflection of ourselves.  That is what democracy is all about. 

I disagree. Democracy is about having the people choose who will be the best at leading. Choosing dull, self-serving people who are 'just like us' is not the best choice for leaders. Otherwise we could simply grab a dozen random people off the street and shove them into the job. Theoretically, at least, you don't get to be a general by being ordinary. Ordinary junior officers never rise that high. To get to the peak of the military, to be a three or four star general  you need to have been judged extraordinary. Should we not have extraordinary people leading us?

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I think the increasing media spotlight has a lot to do with it, it puts a ton of pressure on politicians and their families.  What sane and reasonable individual would want to go through that?  Put th

Been talking to a few people in RL about the lousy choices we seem to be offered for political leaders lately, here and elsewhere. We're a country of 37 million people, and it seems to me that none of

Democracy hasn't failed...it has been a victim of its own success.   Ideologies, media access, and the messengers have been democratized by technology.   So called leaders don't matter as much when th

16 minutes ago, Argus said:

Perhaps, but shouldn't we seek leaders who are among the best and brightest?

 

William F. Buckley once said, "I would rather be governed by the first hundred names in the Boston phone book that a hundred Harvard professors." ...or words to that effect.

I would love to be governed by the best and brightest, but if Rona and Lisa don't want the job, do we force them? 

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8 hours ago, Argus said:

Socialism is not a vision. It is a doctrinaire political program which has failed everywhere it's been tried. Latching onto Socialism by trying to buy votes is not a vision.

It's working just fine in Canada. It's capitalism that's been failing and falling down on the job as evidenced by the way this crisis has just about knocked it completely off its pedestal. Thankfully socialism was there to catch it and save it from complete humiliation.

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8 hours ago, Argus said:

 ...And down south, we have to senile old men vying for control of the world's most powerful nation state. Admittedly, Trump isn't the first President whose intelligence I doubted. I didn't think much of Reagan or Bush junior either. Though both are MENSA candidates compared to Trump.

 

...and the nation state "down south" got that way because of democracy's successes and failures....long before Trump, Bush, or Reagan....and reflected very early by Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America....for its strengths and weaknesses.    Can't have one without the other.

 

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6 hours ago, bush_cheney2004 said:

...and the nation state "down south" got that way because of democracy's successes and failures....long before Trump, Bush, or Reagan....and reflected very early by Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America....for its strengths and weaknesses.    Can't have one without the other.

OTOH having too much of either is of no use to anyone.

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On 5/23/2020 at 7:53 PM, Argus said:

So how come? What happened? Why do we get such losers in politics? Why don't more talented people have any interest? Is it TV and its breathtakingly shallow imagery? The fact most people pay almost no attention to what's going on before voting? Do we blame the lumpen masses for chewing their cud while obediently voting for the usual crew? Is it the lack of time people spend on politics or that they have less time than was once the case? If the voters demanded better candidates would they get them? And what's a better way of indicating lack of enthusiasm about candidates than simply not voting, as more and more people have chosen?

I think the main reason is rich people's kids. What I mean is, you have a person who is a talented leader, a visionary and innovator. They are able to do effective things that bring about positive results. This individual is the reason things advance in society. After a time of course the individual must pass on... what happens next is where the problem comes in. People are loyal to their leader. The leader's children are considered good candidates as replacement, surely they are like him.

Next up you have a generation of rich people's kids running the show. They have the financial backing and connections. They become a "political class". Yet, they didn't have the same upbringing that gave their parent the experience and wisdom to be who they are. The children of the rich were born into comfort and security, and never wanted nor had to struggle to achieve, let alone know what it means to fail. Now from this platform of ignorance they are the leaders of the country.

It is not unlike what happens in industry with a large company built from the ground up by one man, the founder, and subsequently fails when his son becomes in charge. For we run our political system much in the style of corporatism, where a board of governors unseen are making decisions who is in the party and who isn't. Then we the people can choose what they present before us. Now, none can arise from non-elite society to become a leader, without having that connection.

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17 hours ago, dialamah said:

1.  What would a redesign look like?   
2.  I really believe the adversarial system we cuurently have does not serve us at all well - the opposition party is almost forced to kneejerk an objection to the ruling party's policy so "lying" becomes a requirement.  They just take turns telling the same lies, it seems. 
3. That was the main reason I hoped for some kind of proportional system that would force the political leaders to develop solutions that let most Canadians feel they'd "won" to some degree.  I'm willing to consider such a hope was naive.  :)
4.  I'd give us a grade of around 75%.  Too many people are still shut out of economic success, of education past Grade 12 and of adequate and timely healthcare, often for reasons beyond their control.
  But then, maybe these aren't things government can "fix" anyway.  What would a truly evolved, fair and just society look like, I wonder? 

1.  I think that the redesign would involve pilots that would be fine tuned and rolled out.  The pilots would be tasked with creating 'publics' in the mode of the original design of government working for people, who are interested and engaging on issues.  For me, this would be moderated online discussion at a local, regional and national level and to me it would be nonymous - ie you use your real name.  Don't want to give your real name ?  Then don't join.  Simultaneously, government would have to start getting used to publics looking into their affairs and demanding to know details on things without filling a FOI.  

Start small and prepare for upheaval.  Government, unions and bureaucrats will not like being scrutinized.

2. Question period would make sense if the government were tasked with a small number of items.  As it is, there's no way to deal with the weight of items that need input.  To be honest, I would simplify government - see below.

3. Proportional government would simply shut the Conservative party from power and evoke the worst excesses of the Liberal party, which would become the permanent government IMO.

4. Look at the scope of the points you brought up - they're huge and this is my point.  Fair society would mean you feel like you are listened to, but not necessarily that you have an impact on the end decision.

5. Simplify government - make large parts of government run by all-party committees with input from the general public.  Canada Post used to be discussed in parliament all the time, and now it's not.  It's a Crown Corp.  Can't we do this with EI as well ?

 

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13 hours ago, eyeball said:

It's working just fine in Canada. It's capitalism that's been failing and falling down on the job as evidenced by the way this crisis has just about knocked it completely off its pedestal. Thankfully socialism was there to catch it and save it from complete humiliation.

Capitalism involves business. It's hardly Capitalism's fault when the government forbids business to be conducted. As for what Socialism is doing, it's borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from future generations to lavish attention on Canadians. But someone has to pay for that, and it's going to be done through Capitalism. Capitalism makes the money. Socialism spends it.

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1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

1.  I think that the redesign would involve pilots that would be fine tuned and rolled out.  The pilots would be tasked with creating 'publics' in the mode of the original design of government working for people, who are interested and engaging on issues.  For me, this would be moderated online discussion at a local, regional and national level and to me it would be nonymous - ie you use your real name.  Don't want to give your real name ?  Then don't join.  Simultaneously, government would have to start getting used to publics looking into their affairs and demanding to know details on things without filling a FOI.  

Which would leave a lot of people open to retaliation if their employer (including the government) or union boss, or for that matter, customers or neighbors or just some angry activist group somewhere didn't like what they said. We're in an era of mobbing, where people who offend certain groups get relentlessly attacked, their employers tracked down, reports and complaints made.

1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

2. Question period would make sense if the government were tasked with a small number of items. 

No. Question period would make sense if the government was actually required to answer the question, rather than dancing around it without ever actually responding, which seems to be the norm now. Maybe we could call it Answer Period instead.

 

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Here's my thoughts on democracy and Canada;  It was during the election of about 2000, and it was Chretien Vs. Stockwell Day.  Day was pushing for referendums on several issues and claiming that the Canadian people wanted more say in the democratic process.  Chretien went on National TV and stated that Canadians didn't want that, that they wanted a leader to make their decisions for them, he spoke in such condescending terms toward us that it was shocking.  I expected an outrage...or least a backlash against Chretien.  The media interviewed several people and the overwhelming sentiment was that Day was out of line for forcing people to go out and vote on independent issues and that Chretien was right...people interviewed all sided with Chretien and said "no, we elect a leader to make our decisions for us" end of story.  Chretien won the election.  At the time, I was more of an independent voter and didn't really care that we were again a Liberal gov't, but i was absolutely disgusted that Canadians were so weak minded and lazy that they would willingly leave every decision to one person. 

 I know it's anecdotal, but this taught me a lot about Canadians.  Democracy requires effort, effort to think and effort to act.  Canadians have given away their democracy because it was simply the easier route.  Twenty years on and we don't even question censorship, forced speech, surveillance, removal of firearms or any other dictatorial measures put in place by Trudeau. 

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2 hours ago, Argus said:

1. Which would leave a lot of people open to retaliation if their employer (including the government) or union boss, or for that matter, customers or neighbors or just some angry activist group somewhere didn't like what they said. We're in an era of mobbing, where people who offend certain groups get relentlessly attacked, their employers tracked down, reports and complaints made.

2. No. Question period would make sense if the government was actually required to answer the question, rather than dancing around it without ever actually responding, which seems to be the norm now. Maybe we could call it Answer Period instead.

 

1. Well, you have a good point.  But - to be honest - maybe this is the kind of thing that would need to make people understand that diversity of opinion is a thing.  If I go on a board and say I should have the right to distribute Holocaust denial material online, then I may lose my job but if I stated that Trinity University should be allowed to apply Christian values should it happen then ?  Maybe this would make people understand that we are allowed to have opinions - and alternately that there are costs to having some.

So I don't have an answer.  I think that a true 'public' needs to be nonymous, but maybe standing as a person with an opinion has costs.  Like being a political candidate but lower.  I have to stand up for conservative opinion


2. Well ... there are too many questions was my point.  Also you can't make politics illegal any more than you can make politicians speak plainly and frankly.

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3 hours ago, Argus said:

Capitalism involves business. It's hardly Capitalism's fault when the government forbids business to be conducted. As for what Socialism is doing, it's borrowing hundreds of billions of dollars from future generations to lavish attention on Canadians. But someone has to pay for that, and it's going to be done through Capitalism. Capitalism makes the money. Socialism spends it.

Society came before capitalists - it wasn't economists that led our species out of the trees. As for the debt it's always been measured against debt that other countries are incurring and everyone is now so who cares? You'd have a point if Earth was competing with aliens and there was a battlefleet overhead demanding payment of all the other debt before we borrow more.  Otherwise it's all just so much scrip for what money's worth.

All my life we've been told the debt the debt we're all doomed wah...I don't recall a lot of whining when it came to printing trillions to fight goat herders or to bail out banksters.

Society is responsible for capitalism you want to find that out the hard way?  By all means foreclose on hundreds of millions if not billions and see what happens.  There's a reason why they say social welfare is for the benefit of the rich.

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46 minutes ago, eyeball said:

1. Society came before capitalists - it wasn't economists that led our species out of the trees.
As for the debt it's always been measured against debt that other countries are incurring and everyone is now so who cares?
 
2. Society is responsible for capitalism you want to find that out the hard way?  

1. Right, but is your point that we don't need economists ?   We need to listen to them, maybe listen to their discussions when they disagree.  If not, then maybe some of us can listen and the rest can listen to the ones that listen.
2. We can also discard it.  Well, like every system we will discard it one day.  Mainstream publications are starting to point out that the system isn't working.  ( There was an article post-covid and this one last year that got attention.  The things that you keep is meritocracy, incentive to contribute, and so on.  But that's pretty basic stuff, even leftish socialism has it.

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On 5/23/2020 at 10:38 PM, Moonlight Graham said:

I think the increasing media spotlight has a lot to do with it, it puts a ton of pressure on politicians and their families.  What sane and reasonable individual would want to go through that?  Put their families through that?

First, the cable news 24/hr news cycle, and now the recent social media landscape is so brutal.  Politicians are under constant scrutiny.  40 years ago that just wasn't the case.  Even 15  years ago you didn't have daily twitter freakouts.

I think we've become so politically correct that this is combined with social media and 24/hr news to create outrage that his vocalized non-stop.

I think if we continue this outrage it will become just noise, a lot of people will become desensitized to it, and people will start ignoring people's outrage consciously or unconsciously.

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5 hours ago, QuebecOverCanada said:

Governments are less and less important, while the private sector pays more and attracts people who are sane.

How do you know the private sector didn't always pay far more than being a politician? I would think $178k for an MP ought to be competitive for most people, especially given the few responsibilities they have.

I wonder if the few responsibilities and the lack of freedom to say or write what you want is a factor...?

Over the last thirty odd years the PMO has shut out most MPs from almost any real input or power, an abrogated most of that to itself. Even ministers have no real authority or freedom aside from doing whatever some punk assistant to the assistant in the PMO tells them to do.

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2 hours ago, eyeball said:

Society came before capitalists - it wasn't economists that led our species out of the trees.

Yes, but rural agrarian or hunter/gatherer societies can't support 37 million people. Population growth happened after labour saving methods allowed some people to specialize in certain crafts and trade their expertise for food from others.

2 hours ago, eyeball said:

As for the debt it's always been measured against debt that other countries are incurring and everyone is now so who cares?

No. The debt is measured against what we have to pay each year to service it, and the dangers to our economy and budget were rates to increase. Our ability to repay it, in other words. And if the bond ratings agencies feel we've borrowed too much they drop our ratings and it becomes increasingly more expensive to borrow. Ultimately we can't borrow at all.

 

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4 hours ago, Hal 9000 said:

 I know it's anecdotal, but this taught me a lot about Canadians.  Democracy requires effort, effort to think and effort to act.  Canadians have given away their democracy because it was simply the easier route.  Twenty years on and we don't even question censorship, forced speech, surveillance, removal of firearms or any other dictatorial measures put in place by Trudeau. 

I think part of it is a lack of knowledge. What do any of us really know about our MP? Or about the various candidates for the position? Most of us don't even care. We vote for the party. But that makes all the MPs kind of unimportant. Added to that they have no real power, and they tend to act as ambassador's from the party towards their riding, not the reverse.

So all we have is choosing among the parties. But again, how much do we really know about them? What they tell us in a few 10 second sound bytes and what the reporters say about them. They all offer a ton of programs and policies, and we don't really know much about any of them. We listen for one that seems like it might impact us, and if not ignore it. The media does a lousy job of informing us. And even then, the parties often lie about their intentions and do so without repercussion. That's on us, of course.

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3 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. Well, you have a good point.  But - to be honest - maybe this is the kind of thing that would need to make people understand that diversity of opinion is a thing.  If I go on a board and say I should have the right to distribute Holocaust denial material online, then I may lose my job but if I stated that Trinity University should be allowed to apply Christian values should it happen then ? 

We're seeing people fired for single tweets deemed politically correct. Two Toronto firefighters were fired for sexist jokes. A Canada Post employee got fired for dissing management on Facebook. A school councilor was fired for an Islamophobic tweet. And these are unionized government employees. Employees in the private sector are much more vulnerable to retaliation, even from their supervisor, if he/she doesn't like your political/social view. Hell, there was a lot of effort to associate Scheer with white supremacists last election. Suppose you say something about how you like Scheer and your boss fires you because he says he doesn't want a white supremacist supporter working there? And that doesn't even get into the retaliation from neighbors or slight acquaintances, or internet mobs. We would, in other words, have to have that belief in diverse opinion BEFORE we required everyone to go by their real name.

3 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

2. Well ... there are too many questions was my point.  Also you can't make politics illegal any more than you can make politicians speak plainly and frankly.

I watched a couple of videos of Poilievre questioning two Liberal cabinet ministers trying to get a simple, basic,  yes or no answer as to whether they were going to give the auditor general the extra money he said he needed, and they didn't even remotely answer it. A rule change which required cabinet ministers or the PM answer a given question unless they can show to the speaker's satisfaction that the answer fell under certain protections like confidentiality might help there.

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15 hours ago, Argus said:

No. The debt is measured against what we have to pay each year to service it, and the dangers to our economy and budget were rates to increase. Our ability to repay it, in other words. And if the bond ratings agencies feel we've borrowed too much they drop our ratings and it becomes increasingly more expensive to borrow. Ultimately we can't borrow at all.

And their feelings will be completely unaffected by the fact that just about every country on the planet is doing the same thing in the face of a global emergency? They're just going to say "We don't feel good so everyone will just have to roll over and die, sorry but them's the rules?"

It's ludicrous.

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Democracy is dying in Canada now as Trudeau is bargaining  Parliament and Democracy away in a deal with the NDP for 10 sick days (which is a provincial responsibility.    A real leader doesn’t abdicate his responsibility to hold the executive to account in exchange for pieces of silver. Get back to work Mr. Singh. Shame on you, Parliament and democracy is not to be bargained away.  

 

It  shouldn't happen but you just know that it will. A freakin'  minority gov't is going to shut down Parliament and give Trudeau the dictatorship he's always wanted, free reign to spend with no oversight, no votes, no accountability

 



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4 hours ago, scribblet said:

Democracy is dying in Canada now as Trudeau is bargaining  Parliament and Democracy away in a deal with the NDP for 10 sick days (which is a provincial responsibility.    A real leader doesn’t abdicate his responsibility to hold the executive to account in exchange for pieces of silver. Get back to work Mr. Singh. Shame on you, Parliament and democracy is not to be bargained away.  

The country's unemployment is shooting up to near depression levels. Our deficit is by far the worst in our history. Debt is exploding across the country. And the Left wing parties decide this is a time to add another expensive govenrment social welfare program which will have to be paid for with borrowed money.

4 hours ago, scribblet said:

It  shouldn't happen but you just know that it will. A freakin'  minority gov't is going to shut down Parliament and give Trudeau the dictatorship he's always wanted, free reign to spend with no oversight, no votes, no accountability

And they can get away with it because the people of this country have no respect for parliament anyway. No more than their leaders do.

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17 hours ago, Argus said:

The country's unemployment is shooting up to near depression levels. Our deficit is by far the worst in our history. Debt is exploding across the country. And the Left wing parties decide this is a time to add another expensive govenrment social welfare program which will have to be paid for with borrowed money.

And they can get away with it because the people of this country have no respect for parliament anyway. No more than their leaders do.

Obviously they don't because no one seems to be getting too worked up about it, Canadians seem to be quite happy to have Parliament shut down and replaced with a Covid Committee.

Trudeau and his Liberals have nothing but contempt for Parliament and contempt for debate, dialogue and criticism.  These are essential elements of democracy but for the Trudeau regime, they are just an inconvenience.   Each day we seem to be moving closer and closer to full dictatorship  andapparently there’s nothing we can do about it.  

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