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, 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! 


Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Something to think about.....


James Hamblin kicks off “Clean: The New Science of Skin” with a confession: He virtually stopped showering years ago. Hamblin, a physician and staff writer for The Atlantic, still sprinkles water on his head from time to time, but shuns shampoos, conditioners, and the cavalcade of other products that march across American shower shelves.

In polite company, Hamblin’s confession tends to land like the Hindenburg, which reveals just how obsessed we’ve become with surface notions of cleanliness — and how reluctant we are to disavow them. But Hamblin thinks the sensible-sounding idea that we should scrub up regularly is both simplistic and wrongheaded. When you take a soap-slathered loofah to your greasy pelt, he says, you’re actually destroying an interdependent microbial universe, or microbiome, on the surface of your skin........

But what soap hoarders and hawkers overlook is that wiping out our symbiotic microbes may make us more vulnerable to other, unexpected maladies. First-line eczema treatments, for instance, include topical antibiotics, cleansers, and drugs that dampen immune response, but some researchers say these approaches can make the condition worse in the long run. “Perturbing the skin barrier by washing or scratching can change the microbial population,” Hamblin notes. “That can rev up the immune system, which tells the skin cells to proliferate rapidly and fill with inflammatory proteins.”

By scrubbing up regularly, the author argues, we stymie one of evolution’s best strategies to shield us from disease and keep out invaders. This observation lines up with an older one that kids raised in highly sanitized environments are more prone to allergies than farm kids like the Amish. Wipe the body’s microbial slate clean too aggressively, the theory goes, and the un-seasoned immune system roars back with a vengeance.

I will admit to embracing this regime, perhaps first learned in my youth from living in a cottage with no running water were the weekly bath was a major operation involving carrying buckets of water from the water supply to the house and heating it on the stove top before filling the metal tub brought in from the shed and placed on the kitchen floor. In my 70 plus years I have never been particularly fanatic about regular baths or showers and have rarely had any sickness beyond a few sniffles once in a while and cuts and scrapes heal quickly with little attention, so perhaps there is something to be said for this once common practice which continues to this day in some small rural communities!

The ever increasing prevalence of children with severe allergies may well be a result of society's insistence upon it being necessary to shower every morning, maintain a spotless house, keep kids out of the dirt and generally avoid being 'contaminated' by anything by some folks. Something to think about in the current pandemic situation.

In no way is the forgoing intended to encourage or condone those that do not take precautions against spreading the most recent and dangerous virus that is killing thousands of individuals world wide. 


Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Assault on democracy?

  A parliamentary e-petition sponsored by Conservative Calgary Nose Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner that calls for the federal government to scrap its firearms ban has been certified with more than 230,000 signatures  The petition asks the prime minister to immediately scrap his "firearms confiscation regime," calling it "undemocratically imposed without debate during a pandemic while Parliament is suspended, [and] an assault on Canadian democracy."

The ' assault on Canadian democracy' is not the banning of these weapons of massive firepower but the support by an elected Canadian member of parliament for the continued availability of such weapons to the general public is questionable! It should come as no surprise to the average citizen that both the petition and the support for it is largely from the Alberta conservative U.S. loving crowd.

 Heidi Rathjen, a gun control activist and survivor of the 1989 Polytechnique massacre, pushed back against Rempel Garner's petition, saying the banned weapons are "designed to kill." "There's no ​​​legitimate justification for allowing that kind of power in the hands of ordinary civilians. These weapons belong to the military. These are weapons of war," Rathjen said. 

"They're not needed for hunting or even legitimate target practice … these are civilian versions of military weapons that, you know, many, if not most, have been put on the market in the last couple of decades." Following the Polytechnique massacre, Rathjen said students of the school garnered more than 500,000 signatures on a paper petition, signed by hand and gathered through regular mail, over a period of four months........

In May, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a ban on 1,550 makes and models of "assault-style" weapons in Canada. "These weapons were designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to kill the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time," he said at the time.

There are currently an estimated 125,000 or more of these weapons available to various Canadian citizens, it is unclear how many of these weapons are properly registered, and stored and how many are owned by those who own them for 'less than legitimate reasons' (is there a legitimate reason for other than military or police to have such a killing machine?)


Support Democracy - Recommend this Post at Progressive Bloggers