As the Parties parade their wares on the Election runway
I kept quiet during the election campaign period for the very simple reason that I had nothing to add that would have been better than my silence. Of course I could have written about the need to switch from partyocracy to democracy, but that would have been ink wasted because most of us were busy trying to make sense of the election.
In SSI we are lucky to have Elizabeth May. One can vote for her with confidence on her integrity, every facet of it. She is a dynamic person and an achiever. But there are limits to what a small party can do in a partyocracy, and this becomes even more difficult when combined with the FPTP electoral system, as ours is.
This column focuses more on the parties and reflects less on the individuals who are drawn into that vortex, some seeking access to the trough, most (I would guess) aiming to overcome the monumental odds against being effective – hope springs eternal. And a few dream of becoming David when they encounter Goliath and we should appreciate them because most of us settle for being pragmatic and need a nod to make us ambitious.
The above lead me to question Brian Mulroney’s characterization of the Members of Parliament as “trained seals”. Likewise with Trudeau The Father fuddle-duddling the “peoples’ representatives” and calling them “nobodies”, sadly nobody dissenting. Surely such name-calling, even if uttered by a pair of Rt Hon PMs, is excessive.
It is excessive, at least prima facie because, there is a silver lining to it. Be it knowingly or inadvertently done, in making these pronouncements Mulroney and Trudeau were in effect indirectly aiding the cause of Democracy. For “It is the system, stupid”, as that clever reminder in Bill Clinton’s den encapsulated. The “system” in our instance being the prevailing partyocracy. It is the system that rounds up those inclined to serve society and neuters their minds to render them, by and large, impotent to represent their constituents and drives them to dedicate themselves to serving as mercenaries for the parties.
Supplanting subserviency-to-a-party for loyalty-to-constituents and dedication-to-reason, renders the political parties akin to cult groups. The mentality “my party, right or wrong” manifests itself from the start of any election race. Sit back and try to remember something, other than regurgitating the official party line, that an “ordinary candidate”, in your or any other riding uttered on the campaign trail. Ever.
But let’s take it further, let’s take it to the party “leaders” level. What did they say? Who, other than Elizabeth May has shown himself (all other are males) having qualifications, formal and/or informal”, to govern a country?
Please come and show us any original and important ideas tabled in the electoral race by the bosses of the parties, by the leaders of the parties, or by the candidates of the parties .....
Must we assume that all involved in the “Governance Industry” are of sterile minds? I would be inclined to believe that that is not the case. But I would guess that the industry harbours plenty of people whose true objectives are not fit for public consumption.
On the election trail, some “leaders” are seen lying and hardly move to deny it. All of them come out every morning to utter what the pollsters discovered the previous day and the party strategists have kneaded during the night into voter bait to be cast the next day by the “leaders” they serve.
None of these “leaders” sought meaningfully to ask the people to contribute to the making of the society’s agenda. None thought to tickle the creativity bone of the people, to impregnate the minds of citizens to produce ideas and develop them through open debate, into the tools for the realization of the potential of a society, the tools with which to “forever seek to excel”. Instead they fed us antiquated ideas that prevent us coming to terms with a most complex transition of civilization that we are now swept through.
The PRopaganda blown our way from the parties is the clatter of the parties each trying to beat the other to the trough of power over the society. The well-being of the people and the future of the society are merely collateral to the parties’ quest for power, this target being their main concern.
It is sad that no “leader” made any attempt to contest the others on the field of brainpower, either. In a past election, the Liberals wanted the nation to reject Joe Clark because Air Canada lost his suitcase! The example gauges the level of intelligence at which the political parties do ectioneering. This instead of leading society to come to terms with the substance of the issues. And demonstrating possessing the acumen to meet future challenges, unimaginable now, but which are certain to arise soon and later, at any moment.
No, I am not asking for the impossible, what I am pursuing is doable, despite future challenges being unimaginable and happening unexpected. All it takes to prepare these future eventualities is to create an environment friendly to innovation. To stimulate creativity; and to provide the forum for the propagation of ideas and the facility to evolve and mature to adroitly answer the challenges the society would face on the road to the future.
In a word, all we need do is implement the Ideas Bank. It is “democracy” I am talking about, that is all ...