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, March 24, 2019

I beg to disagree..

Premier Doug Ford says mainstream journalists have become irrelevant because social media allows him to speak directly to Ontarians.

No Mr Fraud, we now need the MSM more than ever with our so called leaders flooding the 'social media' with unsubstantiated spin and highly partisan rhetoric.

Ford said the spin put on political messages by mainstream media no longer matters.

If the MSM reporting is 'spin' what does that make Frauds input …out and out lies?

"But guess what? Now there's social media so we're circumventing the media through our social media."

Well look there, a true statement!

Attacking the media is a favourite ploy of U.S. President Donald Trump, but Ford insisted he's no Trump.

Indeed he is not but he sure admires him and has an equal disdain for our democratic checks and balances.

"People always say, 'Oh, you're like Trump.' No, I'm Doug Ford. I'm not Donald Trump."

These two self admirers in a room patting their own backs, now there is a scary thought!

Enough said

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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Social Media, Good or Bad?

Recent events have brought the effect that 'social media' has upon our society in focus, perhaps it is a good thing that a sick individual has shown that it is possible to spread their sick views and actions world wide in seconds and is a wakeup call for society. The ease and speed with which information and opinions (accurate, inaccurate or plain hateful) can be disseminated is a relatively new phenomenon and largely unregulated, is that a good thing or something that needs to be more strictly controlled in a 'free' society?

If you search the phrase that titles this piece you will find numerous scholarly articles and opinion pieces covering this question and as a 'non user' of said platforms (unless you count blogger and email as such) I can hardly be counted as knowledgeable on its use. Does that make me and objective observer or an ignorant one, I will let you the reader decide!

Whilst the actions referenced above have perhaps brought this issue into focus it is far from the only similar atrocity, I suspect there is a much broader effect that modern communications are having upon our both our perceptions and our actions. Everything done or said by even the most obscure pundit or individual that is unusual, newsworthy, political or otherwise deemed worthy of being repeated is instantly spread via a few clicks on those insidious devices that most everyone now carries in their pocket.

“Social media has eliminated communication barriers and has paved the way for people to connect, collaborate and share their opinions and creations with anyone who is willing to listen. Social media is breaking down hierarchical, regional, age and cultural boundaries by providing a communication platform that spans across the globe and reaches us all. ..... Not being a part of “the movement” and specifically being targeted and/or excluded from such online networks has shown to be detrimental to a young adult’s mental and social wellbeing as it can lead to isolation and depression.” On the other hand given the main focus of my scribbling's over the last 10 years I cant help but wonder how much effect online media of all types have not only on our up and coming electorate but on the decisions all of us here in Canada will be making in a few months.

We are all addicted to the need for knowing what is going on around us (and I include myself here as although not on 'social media' I am no less addicted to google news and the like) as even some of those who administer said tool admit. 'Many studies have shown that the extensive use of social media can actually cause addiction to the users. Throughout their day, they feel to post something on their pages or check others posts as it has become an important part of our life. Facebook's former vice president for user growth, Chamath Palihapitiya, recently said "we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works,” and advised people to take a "hard break" from social media.'

As with is usual in sharing my thoughts with you my limited number of readers (as I said I'm NOT facebook and the like!) I have few answers but I do have many questions. I will leave you with this one....

Is the ease with which the actions of sick individuals who choose to demean, harass, attack and even kill other human beings can be spread on public forums being used by said people either as a guide and / or an encouragement to do the same? Is social media and the 'information age' part of the problem or part of the solution, should it be more closely 'regulated'?

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Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Broken System?

Recent events and reports have made it clear that our system of governance has some major flaws in it as it currently operates, whist efforts to improve the way we elect our representatives have failed it is becoming increasing obvious that those we do elect have very little power to effect outcomes. I will not try to dissect the current cluster fk that is occurring in the seat of power, ably assisted by much over the top 'reporting' and 'opinion pieces' from various sources on line and off but will comment upon what I view as what is perhaps the root of the problem.

We all know that irregardless of the possible desire to enact change for the better by those who elect to put their names forward to represent us in the halls of power this wish and attitude is quickly suppressed by the realities of how the 'system' works both publicly and privately. Events in recent weeks have highlighted how those at the very top of this unstable pimarimid attempt to maintain strict control over the actions and public utterances of those below them be they 'in cabinet' or simply warming a seat on the government or opposition benches. Expressions of difference of opinion from 'the party line' are strongly discouraged, understandingly given the importance and power we seem to give to the idea that, although incorrect in theory, that we are electing a representative of a Party not an individual to represent us the public residing in his or her district.

Let us be clear here, this behavior is not limited to any particular Party or for that matter to federal or provincial politics, it is replete across out entire electoral system. There is little we, the public can do to change this, for with perhaps the exception of one particular party who currently has but one seat and has not had the opportunity to show us how they would govern, the only choices we have is to vote for one of these 'party representatives'! At this point the best we can hope for IMHO is a minority government where there will at least be some need for all concerned to at least try to govern for the people not the party. To say that I am not optimistic and should be considered highly cynical in my published scribbling at this point is putting it mildly!

The only thing I am sure off at this point is that the BS issuing out of political commentators both official and unofficial is going to get very deep by fall. Get your hip waders ready!

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

Much ado about nothing?

Does anyone believe that most, if not all, large national and international companies seeking to do business with overseas entities such as Saudi Arabia do not provide 'incentives' to the principals involved?

Does anyone believe that without such 'incentives' said companies would not receive the contracts but would be passed over in favor of those that do 'grease the wheels'?

Does anyone believe that all governments, past, present and of any political stripe do not 'encourage' and / or turn a blind eye to such practices when large contracts that benefit Canadian companies and jobs are at stake?

Does anyone believe the the opposition Conservatives who signed a deal with said corrupt overseas government for a London, Ontario company to supply military equipment to them will not pretend moral outrage at such actions.

Does anyone believe that JWR was not under immense pressure to find a way to avoid having such a large employer of Canadians be effectively removed from carrying on government related business in Canada?

Does anyone believe that JWR was not removed from her post as AG in direct response to her unmoving decision regarding the SNC-Lavalin prosecution?

Does anyone believe that much of the 'outrage' by both the Conservatives and the NDP is not politically motivated and will be kept 'in play' right up to election time?

Does anyone believe that the AG's role should not be separated from government control and influence and any political influence and not be a member of cabinet?

The whole fiasco is not over yet by a long shot and I predict that the court proceedings will drag on till AFTER the election at which time, irregardless of what party is then in power, a way will be found to 'rescue' SNC-Lavalin and save Quebec jobs.

'A deal to allow SNC-Lavalin to avoid criminal liability could still be on the table amid a furor over whether the Trudeau government tried to meddle in the prosecution of SNC-Lavalin, the Star has learned.

My understanding is when criminal proceedings are ongoing that that option is always available,” Public Services and Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough said in an interview.

The requirement to continually assess the strength of the prosecution case, evidence, witnesses, and changing circumstances are “an ongoing obligation” within the DPA (deferred prosecution agreement) regime, as in any prosecution, she said.'

Enough said!

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