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.
Contact us at democracyunderfire@gmail.com

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Small Incident....

.....in Great Brittan is perhaps an indication of where our 'democracy's' are headed world wide, it is a symptom of the over reaction by governments to what is admittedly a troubling tendency of a relatively small group of religious extremists to want to kill those who do not agree with them. Western democracy's must indeed be on guard against such fanatical extremism but this is ridiculous......

Here’s one example of the intimidation of peaceful protest by the young that is happening all over Britain. Nicky Wishart is a 12-year-old self-described “maths geek” who lives in the heart of David Cameron’s constituency. He was gutted when he found out his youth club was being shut down as part of the cuts: there’s nowhere else to hang out in his village. He was particularly outraged when he discovered online that Cameron had said, before the election, that he was “committed” to keeping youth clubs open. So he did the right thing. He organized a totally peaceful protest on Facebook outside Cameron’s constituency surgery. A few days later, the police arrived at his school. They hauled him out of his lessons, told him the anti-terrorism squad was monitoring him and threatened him with arrest.

The message to Nicky Wishart and his generation is very clear: don’t get any fancy ideas about being an engaged citizen. Go back to your X-Box and X-Factor, and leave politics to the millionaires in charge.

There have been many such reports at home and abroad coming not from countrys where despotic regimes rule but from supposedly democratic country's. If we allow our governments, the police and the 'security forces' to get away with this kind of nonsense then those fanatics have already won the war. As has been seen here in Canada its all to easy for authorities to trample upon our civil liberties in the name of 'security', hold citizens for sometimes extended periods without recourse, restrict travel of individuals with no proof of wrongdoing or otherwise circumnavigate our legal system all in the name of 'protecting us from terrorism'.

We now learn the the Security and Prosperity Partnership that previously raised such concern from citizens on both sides of the border was in fact not scrapped but merely carried on behind closed doors and as before with no parliamentary (or citizen) input. Under the guise of making the border 'more open' for trade and commerce a move is afoot to 'harmonize' our regulations with those of our neighbors to the south (read - change ours to suit them), and to create a 'North American Security Border' (read – become as paranoid and restrictive as our American counterparts).

Even when our government deems it necessary to bring such things to the attention of parliament with some proposed changes to laws or regulations it is often buried in the depths of some bill purporting to be a step forward and rarely studied in depth by our parliamentarians. Should it be questioned or further study or debate be needed the all too often it is rammed through using 'whipped' votes where all our representatives follow their leader like sheep right into the abattoir.

As each day goes by with more and more news of abuse of our existing systems both civil and parliamentary I begin to despair whether there is any way off of this slippery slope to authoritarianism. That the elite in both the political world and in the corporate world seem to think that the 'common man' will be forever content to struggle under the ever increasing burden of more regulation and less choice of our own destiny whilst they line their pockets on out dime just rubs salt in the wound. In Europe as governments try to correct their mistakes of allowing the corporate world to dictate their monetary policy, by cutting programs and support to the common man whilst largely leaving untouched the corporate crooks, the citizens are taking to the street in their thousands.

I do hope that we do not reach that point here in Canada but I fear it is not far off, the austerity signals are coming from government already and this coupled with the highly authoritative and controlling regime currently in power is almost certain to create even further hardship and discontent amongst many of our citizens. Unfortunately at this point I am not sure that a change of leadership would make much difference, particularly when the alternative is best described as 'The Same but Different' and both of the major partys refuse to even consider (at least publicly at this time) working with others representing alternative views. It is long past time that these political partys started working for the common man who elects them rather that the corporate interests that fund their back-room deals, but I feel it may well take rioting in the streets to get their attention. They need a profound shake up and getting just 25% or 30% support from the ever decreasing number of us bothering to vote is not going to change a damn thing no matter who wins.

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