Just out of the head recently, without even attempt to exhausting:
- Canada's PM found in violation of ethics multiple times
- Canada's Governor General retired in a scandal
- Ongoing sexual misconduct investigations in RCMP and CAF
- Dismal epidemiological preparedness and response to Covid-19
- Phoenix system disaster
- Hypocritical lockdown behavior
- Consistent failure to achieve any of the set essential goals (child poverty, clean water, climate change etc).
Questions: at which point isolated events become a pattern? And at which line a pattern becomes a systemic problem?
And btw will it get any better?
Just don't credit me, please - all of this was tried before often with certain success (while it lasted). For example, in the great republic of Rome there was a class of patricians and everybody else that is, the regular folk, plebeians (OK let's leave out the slaves for now, times have changed in two millenia).
Very naturally, patricians lived in nice mansions and held top positions in the public administration of all levels, paid for by public taxes.
Understandably, they had priority and higher quality access to public services, paid for by public taxes. Like state of the art hospitals with stellar standard of service run by a multi-million public CEO (paid for by public, you get it). Like better city services. Like high speed Internet in remote cottages and so on. And vaccines in the times of pandemics were distributed, understandably, through the local facilities.
The great system was entirely free and voluntary! Everybody, even a lowest plebeian could one day win a recruitment lottery, be hired into a top (public) management position and become a patrician with a nice mansion and etc. as above.
Understandably, growing in a family of patricians had certain advantages leading to higher academic results naturally translating into chances of being hired into public administrations. But even with mediocre academic results many a patrician offspring managed to get hired into diverse public administrations, entirely through resoluteness of spirit and positive attitude, and despite stringent and unforgiving hiring process (everybody else got the standard "this position received too many applications so a lottery was applied" response).
And the best of all is that the country was the best in the world. Because nobody cared (except for, possibly, bread and circuses), and almost everyone was happy.
And so, why not try it again, if it worked so nicely, two thousand years ago in Rome? Just make it official, less misunderstanding, fewer unnecessary disturbing the public scandals and down with the confusion! Everybody is entitled to their rightful entitlements, out of the common public wealth. Is there anything wrong about it? Anything to be uncomfortable about?
A small town cooperative bid and won contract to run public transport. No multi-million CEOs and billion advertising budgets. Flat three-level organization: novice; specialist; coordinator. Coordinators regularly rotate in operational positions to stay in touch with the reality. Use of advanced technology in highly efficient operation. Decent pay and full benefits. All profit, after taxes, shared between the owners (not Google-style "owners" with microscopic shares but actual owners with share determined only by the time with the company). Part of profit invested into a recreational facility for the owners. Opened to public, run more efficiently than private competition and with better value for the patrons. Expand, open whole new branch, attract more associates and workers and so on. Invest more in the owners well-being and pay more taxes.
Taxes aren't thrown to pay for oversized and lazy bureaucracy but open, lean and efficient public service with real and measurable value to the owners, the citizens. No multi-million... , you get it. Same flat, lean and agile organization. Focus on openness, quality and value to the public. Full transparency. Taxes from private and cooperative economies finance free, dynamic and efficient continuous education for all citizens.
Free essential healthcare with pharmacare for all citizens. Effective coordination and cooperation of public, private and cooperative providers. No artificial barriers to professions, and artificially inflated wages. Elimination of outdated barriers and practices that create and recreate inefficiencies and disbalances in the system.
Citizens are free to move between jobs and sectors sharing the best practices to maximum satisfaction. Upgrade skills or acquire new ones at any time in life and career. No overpaid bureaucracies in PS. Competition abroad and in private sector? Higher pay etc, sure free to go and have someone young and upcoming take the turn. Decent, modest pay, full benefits, fun and meaningful contribution. Raises every X months aren't guaranteed though the service must be affordable to the owners. It's the best recipe for productivity, efficiency and enjoyment, better than fat and lazy bureaucracies. See the Phoenix system, "travel from Wuhan", the return on the billions invested in "rapid response" consumed, silently vanished with no visible response and so on.
A different kind of democracy, certainly. Any chance? ... just dreaming.
Right off the news (CBC): officials around a retirement home in Ontario reported to have jumped the queue in vaccine distribution. Board members, the director and the family etc were ostensibly given the "leftover vaccines" to avoid it being wasted.
Here, our humble public servants yet again in all their caring glory. If this is not the third world, and not somewhere on a remote reserve but right here in the nation's capitals, then what is?
In early December Health Canada approved the first vaccine for use in the country. As early as October national and provincial task forces were assembled and started training in vaccine distribution. Some were shown on TV under serious fanfare. What does it mean? Does it mean that now, February (months on), there is no standard procedure for effective and fair use of remainders, if any? And we have to thank our luck that board members, directors and family only by sheer chance all happened to be in the right place at the right time so that precious elixir was saved?
Iacobelli claims the leftover vaccine with a limited shelf life "would go to waste" and thus "a decision to prevent this from happening was made."
Not funny. Hardly entertaining. Simply disgusting. Looks like Lebanon, or Nicaragua. But who can say, entirely unexpected and not logical and natural evolution, of an entitled democracy?
P.S. It's hard to say this, but maybe in some ways at least we should be grateful for this experience. It revealed so much about ourselves, as we as a society really are in this mirror, not as we want to paint us to ourselves, that wouldn't be easy to find out otherwise - even if we cared to.
Continuing previously raised topics, consider old and well-known parable-paradox of the turtle. See, the turtle can never reach the other end of the pond; when it gets to the midpoint, it would need to cover the half of the remaining distance that would require some time (and public $$$); by the time it gets there the other half still remains and so on, ad infinitum. The unavoidable conclusion: crossing the pond, from shore to shore would require infinite time, and public funds.
Take randomly one of the high or even critical importance goals set out by many a public administrations in the recent and not so recent, decades. Elimination of child poverty? climate change? cleanup of industrial pollution? water quality in the remote communities? waiting times in the public healthcare? purchase of replacement helicopters? Please name one, in many a decade, that has been finished and completed, completely, done, fixed and checkmarked? I'm not aware of one, but paradoxically, it does not prevent the bureaucracy running these programs, or the society that procures them, that is, tries to, from feeling fulfilled and satisfied. An achievement is only an illusion, the eternal movement is the thing, of course.
We have already seen that democracy that has grown complacent; static; stagnant; devoid of will and power to change and renew itself; would inevitably transform into a pseudo-democratic elitist aristocracy; whereas the population would increasingly feel detached; disenfranchised; mistrustful and resentful; and frustrated, creating breeding ground for development of fringe and populist and conspiracy currents. This is not a coincidence, only two different sides of the same societal trajectory - as the "democratic" elites feel warm and cosy enjoying their rightful entitlements, they have neither imagination, nor incentive to ponder how it looks from a viewpoint beyond and outside, there, in the rest of the society.
Even the high ideals, equality and fraternity are transformed and refracted through the ivory prism. The pandemics? One in a century calamity? Sure, and we know exactly what to do; first we will freeze all permanent employment surely to save cherished public funds; then create a bunch of handouts for those who didn't make it - students, $5000 max; resident support worker, minimal wage, no job security, benefits did you mention, pension plan? And we will check if you qualified for the handout, and you'll pay us for checking, complete with benefits and pension plans. Is it really so hard to see? But no, it's not sinking in because it falls beyond the vision field. Need to pay more six digit golden parachutes to "public" CEO and governors-general because this is real and done and was done forever and that, just words and visions that never come true. Never?
Beyond certain point that is probably long in the past, reforming a massive bureaucracy becomes an impossibility. Any, even mild changes create perturbations and perplexions that bring the modus operandi from "do ever less with ever more" (reality check: some countries developed effective vaccines in less than a year; where's any trace, not to mention, implemented solutions of the $1B of public funds sunk into this country's pandemic action plan?) to accomplished chaos as illustrated here. And at certain point we realize that there's no viable alternatives because we haven't thought of, and have not created any. Just wasn't on the horizon, ever.
And so the destination is looming; either the division, detachment and disenfranchisement that grow continuously (because meaningful reforms aren't possible - as seen above) till a populist, clean the swamp and make great again is called to fix the ailing democracy, creating even more chaos in the process or Heaven forbid, worse; or at some turning point in history we suddenly realize that there just isn't enough in the purse to buy these services for the asking price, complete with golden CEO and political parachutes. And we haven't created and constructed any alternatives.
Tell a friend