A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, February 8, 2015

In Government We Trust?

As I review the actions of the Harper Regime since coming to power for my Harper History Series, an undertaking that one must take in very small bites if one is to retain one composure and sanity, I have been thinking a great deal about the choices before us and why we support one lot over the others.

Whilst a great deal may rest upon what each individual or party says they are going to do or has done I am coming to the conclusion that TRUST may well be an increasing part of the reason to vote for one or the other, and mistrust of them all a big part of why an increasing number of folks simply do not bother with it all!

Can we TRUST any of them to actually do what they say they will? Clearly we cannot much of the time, the current lot in particular is adept at telling us they are doing one thing and actual doing the exact oppose. They tell us, and their colleagues, that a piece of legislation will make our elections fairer with better oversight for instance when in fact it it does neither of those things. All to often those promised things that they can do without legislative changes are put off for years, even till after the next election when they may not even be in a position to do it. Unless such things increase their control or decrease access to information of course!

Can we TRUST an individual or party when they say “If you vote for us we will.....” . NO, for one thing this kind of statement is completely false as it relates to proposed legislation as such changes must be put before parliament and only if passed will become fact. Of course if, as is the current case, you have a majority in both the House and the Senate and are prepared to ignore any opposition, cut off debate, and force your MPs to vote as you dictate then perhaps you can say this. But see the previous item on that score!

Can we TRUST any of them to tell the truth when they are caught bending the rules, caught with their hands in the public purse, lieing about their involvement in election fraud or any number of thing that may reflect badly on them. Obviously NO. Our present PM in particular, who is clearly the most controlling PM in our history with a office full of hit men who do nothing without his say so, suddenly turns into Sgt 'I no nothing' Shultz when such things surface.

Can we TRUST them to follow the rules and respect parliamentary conventions. Depends upon if its politically expedient to do so, clearly the current regime has NO compunction in ignoring such things when it suits them, but rigidly enforces them when the opposition crosses the line.

Can we TRUST them to work cooperatively for the betterment of Canada. Clearly NOT, work for the betterment of themselves and their corporate friends, yes. Keep their seat warm until their gold plated pension kicks in, you bet.

Can we TRUST them to negotiate trade deals with foreign nations that do not severely restrict municipalities and government ability to choose to use local goods and services and to ban substances and practices we deem harmful. Too late, its already a done deal with China and others and is in the works with Europe.

Can we TRUST them to allow those whom we elect at a local level, who may be that rare animal 'an honest and ethical MP' to speak his or her mind and express the needs and wants of his constituents when it does not match the policies of the party with which he is a member of. NO, they will be tossed from the caucus if they dare to openly criticize a policy or vote against a piece of key legislation. With a few notable exceptions NOT a chance.

Non of the preceding means that there are not many trustworthy MPs but how many of them can we TRUST to not just spout the talking points fed to them by the party hierarchy when speaking publicly or to their constituents.
In short it is the lack of TRUST that leaves us all wondering who the hell we are going to vote for in order to rid ourselves of the most lieing, cheating, unethical, anti democratic, dictatorial regime in Canadian history. For me in this riding, where the majority of folks have blindly voted conservative for years, the choice is between the up and coming Greens who have little chance of securing this seat and one of the other opposition candidates who have a greater, but still low, chance of toppling the existing Con MP.

I TRUST that the choice will become clearer as we get closer to the election, but I doubt it!

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Owen Gray said...

Democracy can't work without a modicum of trust, Rural.

Parliamentary democracy was built on trust. We have conventions. But little has been codified. If we lose that trust, we lose our democracy.

Rural said...

That is true Owen. I just know after that after all these recent years of our 'Trust in government' being destroyed it is going to be very hard for ANY government to build back trust by the public in our parliamentary system.