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, October 18, 2020

Political Polarization “damaging for democracy.”


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, fresh off her landslide reelection victory, warned on Sunday that rigid political polarization could be “damaging for democracy.”

Ardern, asked what the takeaway for Americans should be from her victory, said people throughout the world should work to move beyond partisan infighting.

That can be damaging for democracy, regardless of the side of the House that you sit on,” Ardern said, according to The Associated Press.

As can be clearly seen the above is very true as can be seen in a number of so called democracy's including not only the USA but Great Britain and a number of other European countries. We here in Canada are not free of such damaging 'partisan infighting' initiated purely for political purposes which is encouraged by our 'winner take all' electoral system. 

Enough said! 


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The Disaffected Lib said...

It was uplifting when I read that Ardern, despite or perhaps because of her government's majority is reaching out to other parties to try and forge a coalition. That is wisdom on a plane above what we see in other countries, including our own.

Anonymous said...

I spent many hours yesterday reading the New Zealand press concerning Ardern and New Zealand politics. Because well, Ardern is a phenomenon and her huge win warranted my interest.

The country is fairly backward and conservative, having no capital gains tax for instance, and in the face of opposition, she backed away from a pledge to implement that during her past stint as PM, and during her campaign this time. That's an economic taxation hole you can drive a truck through.

The health system treats people disabled by accidents very well through some privately owned entity like a sort of Workmen's Compensation Board writ large, but similar disabilities caused by genetics or illness get short shrift, so there's not universal health care as we know it. Many stories on families not receiving help for disabled children and going bust trying. The gap between rich and poor is high and worsened over the last few years under her administration, and so on. Ardern is a Blairite (she worked in the UK for him years ago) neoliberal, and a free trader -- the Brits are all set to press on and get a trade deal with NZ now she's won. No rebel she.

The BBC, using a NZ opinion writer said: "In fact, child poverty and homelessness have worsened under her government.

Although motivated by a belief in social justice, Ms Ardern has a conservative disposition which makes her reluctant to embrace the kind of radical policies needed to address structural inequality."

That conservatism is what got her all those extra votes this time from regular citizens used to voting for the old governing conservative National Party (typically 40% vote share), who went rather "nasty" and rightish to combat the shift right that Ardern represented during this campaign. What Ardern has in spades is personal empathy, and star appeal from that big toothy smile, yet a pretty strict Covid-19 response, more like what we have in the Atlantic Bubble than the rest of Canada. But let's not kid ourselves that she's a social democrat in the usual sense we used to think of them in Europe; that's not the New Zealand way.

The general congrats she's got from around the world show she's no screaming reformer, because all the usual suspects immediately gave her accolades. No threat to the Western status quo. So do-nothings like Trudeau and Boris the Bozo both said they looked forward to working with her on climate change! Good God. We're waiting for Trudeau and Boris to do a damn thing about climate change that really counts. Britain even imports wood chips from the USA to avoid burning coal for electricity to make the figures look good -- biomass vs coal looks good at first glance on an official page of self-congratulation.

Whether Ardern includes some of the Greens in her cabinet is purely speculation at this point - they propped up her previous coalition administration, and they think they're going to be rewarded given a hint from her, but she also said she was going to "crack on" governing with her big majority.

She's got a couple of weeks to form a government before their Parliament re-opens, so we'll see if she plans to be a bit more socialistic and all-embracing, or indeed whether when the chips are down, she does bother to turn to the Greens and let them in government. If so, I'll award her a giant clap of applause, and hope they don't turn out to be fake Greens like those who propped up Horgan in BC on the Coastal Gas LNG Pipeline, and the screwed-up overbudget Site C hydro dam. I was a May Green myself at the federal election a year ago, but am put off by the new lot of twits, who seem like a GTA style labour municipal council party now, not that interested in the environment but subsidized housing.

Really interested to see what happens now in NZ.


Rural said...

Obviously many of those folks who actually live there do not agree with you BM, do hope you feel better after that little 'rant'!