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, April 22, 2018

Weeding the Garden

"You have to tend to this garden of democracy, otherwise things can fall apart fairly quickly. And we've seen societies where that happens,"
Former president Barack Obama
And we have now seen how quickly that can happen by simply looking to the south of us, no one should think that we here in Canada are immune from the kind of democratic decline that electing the wrong leader can bring in just a few months. With a provincial election coming shortly to Ontario and a small war started by politicians to the west be careful which weeds you allow to flourish.

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Saturday, April 14, 2018

An Exelent Compromise.....

British Columbia premier, John Horgan, has an eminently reasonable solution to Justin Trudeau's and Rachel Notley's pipeline fetish - refine that cruddy bitumen here and sell it on the Canadian market.

"If they have disposable billions, I would suggest a better course of action would be to invest in refining capacity so that we Canadians can benefit from the jobs and we Canadians can benefit from this natural resource rather than sending it in raw form to another jurisdiction," Horgan told reporters Thursday. 
"I think it's a reasonable way forward and I would be absolutely delighted to participate." 
Federal Green Leader Elizabeth May has touted the same plan to avoid shipping more bitumen off the coast, and even suggested branding the gasoline “Fort Mac Strong.” 
“There’s not a Canadian that wouldn’t rather put Fort Mac Strong in their gas tank than buying from Venezuela and Khazakstan and Nigeria,” May said this week.

With much Trump like rhetoric coming from  all directions about the proposed increase of flow of toxic tar sand output to the west coast, to be shipped overseas via tankers it was good to read about this suggestion which seems to be the only reasonable compromise to this delema. Expecting Alberta and Trudeau to consider this idea or the other players to invest in the infrastructure needed to bring such a thing to fruition is however dreaming in technicolor I fear. Notley was going on about buying out Kinder Morgan but investing in refining capacity would be a much better idea and more profitable in the long run as unfortunately it will be many years before we are able to get all our energy needs from 'clean' sources.

A tip of the hat to The Disaffected Lib for this one.....
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Sunday, April 8, 2018

Stark choices.....

In a blog dedicated to commentary on Canadian Democracy how can I avoid discussing the upcoming Ontario Provincial election and when doing so how can I avoid being highly partisan in my comments given the increasingly divisive commentary coming from some, if not all, participants? I am not sure that is possible but at least initially I will try and just highlight the dilemma that ALL voters face, not only in this election but in all elections held under our current method of selecting our 'representatives' !
In theory we vote for a local individual who we think will represent our views in whatever legislative body they are standing for, be it national, provincial, regional or even local. In practice however it is increasingly becoming more of a matter of selecting someone who in practice 'represents' the vested interests of a group of 'politicians' (I put that in quotes because that term covers a multitude of sins) who are more beholden to their 'party' than to those who elected them. This is not true of ALL 'politicians' or individuals, there are 'independents' out there but they are few and far between and have little chance of having any meaningful impact upon our legislative process.
Presumably if you are reading this you are at least somewhat interested in our Canadian Democracy and have some knowledge of the individuals standing for office but I wonder how many of us can name those local candidates who are not currently in office, sure we can probably name the 'leaders' who's names are now in the news (the unofficial election period being well under way here in Ontario)? At least the Cons, Libs and NDP may come to mind although the names of 'other' party leaders may well escape us, listening to the evening news one would think there are no others but both the Greens and the Libertarians have quite a few candidates nominated. The delema that faces us all is this, do we vote for the local individual based upon their own strenths, the party which they 'represent' (remember they actualy represent US) or the party platform as regurgitated by the 'leader' of said party which may or may not be instituted if elected? Sorry I have no advice in that regard, I am as conflicted as all the rest of the electorate!
As we are all aware there have been several attempts both provincially and nationally in recent times to make changes to or first past the post winner takes all voting system and whilst there is some movement on a local level the wider systems remain unchanged. The delema of needing a reasonable measure of consensus and compromise to come up with a better system using a system that is highly partisan will forever remain and thus we are stuck with what we now have for the foreseeable future. We simply have to make our choices within the current choices presented, as stark and polarized as they may be!
It all make you want to have an option to say 'Non of the above' but that's not a choice given to us…... Oh, Wait …..
The NOTA Party campaigns for the 3Rs of Direct Democracy – Referendum, Recall and Real electoral and legislative Reforms that give voters control of politicians and parties. Candidates are accountable to their constituents and there are no central party policies or controls of elected MPPs beyond the binding Direct Democracy principles.
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