Odd Thoughts: Fence posts rule democracy

It’s high time they showed their true colours.

With the federal government promising to bring Canada’s drug policy up to speed, it should be easier than ever to add a bit of spice to the also-promised fixes to our electoral system.

Prime Minister Trudeau, The Second of His Name, may bring in a “more democratic” voting system that sounds similar to one rejected by British Columbians a few years back.

A group randomly picked by then-Premier Gordon Campbell, Campbell’s Amateur Election Reformers, came up with a convoluted brain teaser stolen from a statistician’s nightmare. They called it the BC-Simply Tricky Vote.

Campbell’s big mistake was asking actual voters’ approval for the BC-STV via referendum, instead of slickly handling it like his GST/HST harmonization brainstorm: proclaim it’s “not on the radar” and then announce its implementation right after an election.

Trudeau may have learned a lesson from Campbell as he seems intent on not bothering with the niceties of democracy in his quest to improve democracy. He’ll just let his parliamentary majority hammer it in place.

Even a good majority government devolves into a limited benevolent dictatorship.

The Liberals’ plans to make life better through updated drug policy and improved perception of democracy (can’t have one without the other!) are among the least of concerns Canadians should have about votes in Parliament and provincial legislatures.

Environmental and energy policies (can’t have one without the other!) can flit from treetop to polluted pond and back again in the blink of a smoggy eye when one majority falls to another – as we have seen.

That’s because majorities tend to vote as single entities.

We vote for representatives to fill our Parliament and provincial legislatures, but the representatives don’t represent us – they just become fence posts representing a party leader ruled by corporations, special interest groups, and other election campaign contributors.

The Boss sets the line, and the fence posts hold the line.

If there were honesty in politics, politicians would wear their sponsors’ logos on jackets.

Then, one look at Christy Clark, for instance, would tell us all about the decision-making protocols for the Site C Dam, fracking, oil pipelines, and the spin-doctors’ favourite love-child, environmentally friendly liquid natural gas.



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