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 24, 2021

The Third Force.....

Garret Keizer, writing in Harper’s, theorizes that the problem (denial of any problem) goes deeper than the inevitable tension between liberals and conservatives. He argues that there is “a third force seeking hegemony over this world: stupidity.” 

William deBuys in a lengthy article published in the canadiandimention brings our attention to the sad state of our world, particularly but not limited to that currently rampant in the U.S. of Eh. I will not replicate the article here but do recommend that you read it, sadly one small paragraph grabbed my attention more than the rather depressing truths about the condition of our world. As someone who does not subscribe to Facecrap or Twitsplace I cannot speak with authority about those insidious platforms but from what little I am forced to see in my daily News Cruse this little bit of his commentary struck a cord with me..... 

Powered by social media, bullshit now travels at the speed of light. A Facebook algorithm is always available to help you segue from funny cat videos to anxiety-inducing clips about QAnon and chem trails. The main objective for Facebook and its advertisers is to keep viewers amused and aroused, to keep them plugged in. For many Internet users, real threats like global warming just can’t compete with the loony 

As someone who daily views a number of news and opinion articles online I find it increasingly difficult to find articles that don't veer off in to the bizarre and totally without merit commentary. I am not at all sure anymore that the internet which I have been using continually since its very early days is an asset or a curse for the line between truth and fiction is increasingly becoming harder and harder to discern..... 

 Now in what is (hopefully?) my last quarter century on this life giving planet we are busy reducing to a lifeless pile of dirt I can but hope that my children (and their children) find a way to filter the BS and support our world as it has supported us over the past millennium.... or will disease and war reduce mankind's population to the point where the planet is able to sustain itself despite the ignorant portion left to inhabit it. 

Me cynical? …....yep!


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Sunday, October 3, 2021

Political Polarization

As various writer dissect our recent election some observers are looking at the bigger picture....

Political observers have been warning that the increasing polarization of Canadian politics is turning respectful disagreement on issues into open hostility. Examples of that trend were evident during the 2021 campaign..............

One of the earliest warnings came from former clerk of the Privy Council Michael Wernick. He warned a Commons committee in February 2019 about the "vomitorium" of social media and "the rising tide of incitement to violence" — the ordinary people suddenly using words like "treason" and "traitor" in public debates on the direction and leadership of the country..........

"My point that I make (in his book) is that the price of entering public life has gotten higher. The price of staying in public life has gotten higher. And over the course of several elections in several years, I think we are going to see fewer people wanting to come into political life and serve their country."

More https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thehouse/the-house-election-anger-1.6196142

As someone who is NOT on ANY social media (gasp) but daily reads a variety of news and opinion pieces I cannot help but feel that much of the intolerance and over the top rhetoric is due to the ease with which users of these platforms can spread their thoughtless biases across such a broad spectrum of readers so quickly. That many are able to do so completely anonymously further increasingly encourages such unthinking rhetoric, any control of such content by the owners or by government is promptly classed as censorship and an attack on free speech by many of the users. I do not know how, or even if, such antti democratic speec and actions should be controlled I just know that the ever increasing political polarization and unwillingness to even consider the other point of view is very troubling to those like myself who try to find middle ground.

Its pretty clear that across the border to the south things are much further down the road to a very dark future and with more personal firearms than citizens that is very troubling with our shared border. Whilst I do not advocate mandating national service for all here in Canada I do wonder if the following U.S. veteran has a valid point in regards to deescalating the problematic polarization......

It hits me that either encouraging more national service or, better yet, mandating it, is the most important solution we have to one of the most fundamental challenges we face: repairing the divisions in our country, and fundamentally strengthening the fabric that binds all of us together. This fall, as Congress discusses including all women in the Selective Service — let’s go a step further, and begin to discuss how to include all 18-25 year olds in a national service program.

Service can take many forms, such as joining the military or AmeriCorps, working at a non-profit, joining a Parks system, or teaching in an underserved school. What matters most is not just that the service helps strengthen our country and its citizens, but that it is designed so that young Americans work closely with teammates with meaningfully different lived experiences, serve in locations different from where they came, do work that is larger than self, and accomplish difficult feats.

Elizabeth Young McNally is a veteran of service in Iraq in the US Army.

See - https://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/politics/575030-a-year-of-service-for-all-the-key-to-rebuilding-the-fabric-of


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