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, February 26, 2017

The Twit and the Future of Democracy in the U.S.

With a blog focused upon democracy my regular readers may have been wondering how I could not write about the real and ongoing threat to democracy occurring to the south of us with the installation of a authoritative but unstable narcissist elected president. I simply don’t know what to say that has not already been said and am still in a state of disbelief that so many people can be so brainwashed as to elect such an obvious racist twit.

That said I came across this article (extracts) from The New Yorker written back in November a few days after the election which pretty much predicts his future actions and makes some uncomfortable comparisons.
Whilst his policy's may appal many of us the recent attack upon the press and his constant use of 'alternative truth' is much more troubling with regard to American democracy.

(The Twit) sailed to the presidency on . . . lies and exaggerations, and there’s no reason to think he’ll discover a new commitment to the truth as president,” Stephen Walt, the Harvard foreign-policy realist, writes in a new article in Foreign Policy. “The American people cannot properly judge his performance without accurate and independent information, and that’s where a free and adversarial press is indispensable.”

But, as he demonstrated during the campaign, he is also perfectly willing to attack journalists personally, boycott shows that run segments he doesn’t like, and bar entire news organizations from covering him. Through his Twitter and Facebook accounts, he has a personal “fake news” network with enormous reach, which he can use to circumvent the mainstream media. And in Steve Bannon, his former campaign C.E.O. and now his chief strategist, he has a skilled and unscrupulous propagandist.

The comparison with pre-war Germany has been made by a number of observers and cannot be dismissed.

 Referring to Franz von Papen, the conservative German politician who, in January, 1933, persuaded President Hindenburg to appoint Hitler as Chancellor, Hans-Joachim Voth, an economic historian at the University of Zurich, wrote recently, “the Republican leadership sounds awfully like former Vice Chancellor von Papen and friends. They famously thought of Hitler as the ‘drummer’—a populist whose appeal was useful to them but could be controlled easily.”

Is The Twit a Fascist? Probably not, but some of those with whoom he has surrounded himself almost certainly are and his actions certainly give us a warning as to what is to come.

History, as always, is less a guide than a series of warnings. Fascism was built on the ruins of the First World War, the collapse of the interwar economy, and the failure of democratic political systems to come to terms with these catastrophes. Fascists were also able to exploit a widespread antipathy toward democracy in important institutions, such as the military, the government bureaucracy, and big business organizations. To some extent, Hitler and Mussolini were pushing on an open door. When the ultimate crisis arose, the German and Italian establishments persuaded themselves that they could bring the enemies of democracy into government and hem them in. Of course, once the fanatics gained control of the state apparatus, or parts of it, they used it to consolidate power and eliminate their opponents and erstwhile allies.

I fear that unless he and his 'Alt Right' cabinet and advisers are reigned in quickly that democracy as the American people know it will be but a part of history, the door leading away from it is already unlocked.

The big unknown isn’t what (The Twit) will do: his pattern of behavior is clear. It is whether the American political system will be able to deal with the unprecedented challenge his election presents, and rein him in.

(Note, I refuse to feed the Twits ego, and that of his cheer leaders, by printing his name in this article)

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Monday, February 20, 2017


So..... Have you noticed how Ontario Premier Wynne always starts a response to a difficult question in a particular way? So...... Have you also noticed how the answer is invariably a predetermined, canned, non answer to the question asked? So....... at first I thought it to just be a strange habit of Wynnes speech but then I noticed several federal ministers replying to an interviewer in the same manner.
So...... is this an affliction that is spreading among politicians and when we hear an answer started this way we can simply ignore the following sentence or two. So......... does this mean that promises made after this word, like the promise to lower hydro prices, something that is supposedly set by the “independent” OEB, is just bafflegab?
So........ Thus far I have only noticed the affliction in our female politicians, are the male bafflegabbers immune from this or does it just present differently in that portion of our MPs and MPPs? So..... watch out for this signal that you are about to be fed a pre-programmed response. So...... does that mean that you can ignore what you have just read here, sure go ahead it makes just about as much sense as some of the answers given elsewhere of late!

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Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Lament For The World

First he said that he would make America great again.
And the naive believed him.

Then he said he would create more jobs.
And the out of work cheered.

Then he said stop the Mexican immigrants.
And the bigoted flocked to join him.

Then he said he would relinquish control of his companies..
And his followers believed him.

Then he was elected by those who could not see.
And the world held its breath.

Then two million women world wide protested his policies.
And he ignored them and exaggerated his support..

Then he elevated millionaires and ideologues to cabinet positions.
And the rich and powerful cheered.

Then he spread lies calling it the 'alternative truth'.
And the press revealed the real truth.

Then he called the real truth 'fake news' and attacked the press.
And the world realized he was mentally unstable.

Then he banned immigration from Muslim countries.
And the bigoted racists emerged from hiding.

Then he trashed the media, retail giants and the courts.
And the Judges said that he was wrong.

Then the American people and the world began to see what had been wrought.
And visions of 1933 and 1945 came to those not blinded by his lies.

Let us not repeat the mistakes of the past.

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Sunday, February 5, 2017

A No Win Situation From The Start

This week there has been much rhetoric about the failure of the Liberals to move forward on electoral reform, apparently this is all Trudeau's fault and no blame can be laid at the Conservatives who did everything they could to side track the committee studying the possibilities with their cry referendum, referendum, referendum! And what pray would you have as a question, “do you support electoral reform?” yes/no , what would that solve. Perhaps “do you support changing to a proportional system?”, but what type of proportional system? If the government decided upon a specific system to be put before the public, as the committee basically said they should, they would be accused of selecting a system to suit themselves. This was a no win situation right from the start, it was not helped by the tight time line to study alternatives and the failure to ask the committee to come up with a SPECIFIC recommendation, there is no doubt that Trudeau had every intention of introducing a new voting system by 2019 and made several missteps along the way to achieving that but as for broken promises.....they all do it!

His main error was promising something that he could not deliver, have you heard a politician say “we will try to.....” or “we will introduce legislation to......” or “we hope to....” in an election platform. No, 9 times out of 10 its “WE WILL” despite knowing that in Canada there is a process to go through before any legislation can become law, we are NOT the U.S where apparently a single leader, supported by a few want to be oligarchs, can change the country into a reflection of his warped mind with the stroke of a pen. The whole exercise was an interesting discussion that drew very little public comment outside of a few vocal organizations who were determined that their choice of a system had to be chosen and which was generally turning into a very divisive undertaking.

Let us continue to try and find a better system to elect those who would represent us in the House but understand it will take MUCH more study and someone to design and put before parliament a specific proposal, be it to directly vote on or put before the people in a referendum. Perhaps a more urgent matter should be Parliamentary Reform and the creation of some hard and fast rules to replace those unwritten 'traditions' that are ignored when it is convenient. The party line still overrides the individual MPs opinions, to paraphrase Orwell “All MPs are equal but some are more equal than others”.

I am getting very tired of the 'He broke his promise, He broke his promise, He broke his promise' rhetoric this week and the failure to understand that you cannot have a referendum on anything until you have a definitive question to consider. ” Tabling legislation to ram through a preferential ballot (or any other system) without parliamentary support would have been seen as transparently self-serving.”
As I said above its a no win situation for the government.

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