If elections would change things, would have been abolished – Mark Twain
On September 22, the second morning after the last election, my dear friend in Ottawa Justin T. emailed me a post-election message – very informative ! Justin’s has his elves keeping me in the loop daily, often more frequently than that, but when he can spare a moment he emails me personally. Sophie, his wife keeps in tough too. Anyway, it is sweet to hear from the PM and I feel sorry for the hoi polloi who have not had the good fortune to be on a first-name basis with a PM. His last message is short (234 words) yet, Justin repeatedly recognizes that “We have worked so hard over the last few weeks and years to shape Canada’s future for the better.”
He stays short of pronouncing the populace “ungrateful” for denying him the “majority” he was after. But he forgives the electorate and (if let) he will cary on doing on us what he knows, but we do not realize, is good for us. It is not the first time people show ingratitude for great “leaders” ...
If you would send me a self-addressed stamped envelope and a dime fo cover copying, I will send you a genuine simulated copy of that email (suitable for framing print is a nickel extra) so you too can forever after can join in the joy.
Cheap slapstick? Ok, so let’s move on to sad stuff.
Salivating at the triumph of John Horgan and other Premiers who exploited the Pandemic electoral “opportunity”, Justin edged toward doing for Canada what some Premiers did to their provinces. The public response to Justin’s scheme was uniformly negative but Justin just could not resist the temptation to profit from the Pandemic. But doing it has scary moments. In a moment of election-phobia, John Horgan dangled a $1,000 bill in front of each BC voter. Neither the police nor the electoral officer took notice of it and it worked fine for him. Incidentally, Horgan would likely have won without bribing us, but why take a chance?
Trudeau pondered copy-catting Horgan. But paying $1,000 Canada-wide sums up very big and Justin feared it could trigger a WE Bribery public “misconception”. The clever chap he is, he tinkered with the trick. He would pay $500 on the barellhead to voters aged 75 or older (it buys 10 bottles of Scotch and cigars to pair them with). For additional punch Justin billed the bribe a “free gift” because in the Dad-Trudeau’s “Just Society” we live and are taxed in, gifts are non-taxable. Of course grandparents have votes and offsprings, grandchildren have grandparents and in-between are parents, all coming together to spread the “free-gift” gratitude Canada wide like soft butter on hot toast. Cleverly thrifty, eh?
On August 15 the past , Trudeau trod through the garden path from “his” TRideau 22-room TRideau Cottage to TRideau Hall for a cupa and some chit-chat with his neighbor, Julie Payette .... oops! Mary May Simon I should have said, the GiGi. The two decided to fire the 338 MPs whom the people of Canada had hired to govern on our behalf our society.
Please do calm down, don’t be appalled by the heavy-handed action of the Trideau-nean pair because the blame for the recent election ordeal, most of it anyway, should be directed to the 338 MPs, those who lost their “good job, if you can get it”-class jobs and to their predecessors since confederation. They all capitulated to the bullies whom the populace meant the MPs to control and all surrendered the peoples’ parliament to political party-bosses. That is how “gangs” have come to own each patch of the fragmented Parliament House where they engage in a perennia infight, each seeking to expand their respective patch. This has resulted in a parliament resembling a choir singing from a dozen different books, simultaneously. This leaves the PM to “govern” us unfettered by the “peoples’ representatives”. Thus he can do his thing on us, quietly from his PMO which stands across the street, on the South Block. The parliament is no longer the peoples’ governing agency, it has become a racetrack for bullies seeking power over the society, that is to say, an anathema to democracy.
Astute Trudeau had discerned the peoples’ dissatisfaction with the state of the system and immediately after metamorphosing from MP to PM in 2015, he appointed Maryam Monsef Minister with the task to eliminate Canada’s “Democratic Deficit” – or was she to fix the optics of it? The Minister quickly discovered that “Democratic deficit” was an illusion. She broke the news to us and, in her Ministerial wisdom, told the nation to rest easy and let Trudeau “govern” us thoroughly “democratically” with the certified “flawless” political system, that which had made Trudeau and Monsef Ministers, the former “Prime”, the latter “Plain”.
Anyway, on August 16, 2021, as coincidence, had it, Chrysta Freeland “superstar” (so classified by MacLeans mag), began distributing crisp $500 bills to Seniors , thereby freeing Trudeau to take to mikes to sell the election to us. He said he had determined, all by himself, that we needed and wanted to redraw the fragmentation lines of the Parliament. That we are anxious to give him more MPs (peoples reps) and his adversaries less than they then had so that his gang would overwhelm numerically the other gangs combined.
It wasn’t talent he was after, it was “bodies”, or rather “nobodies”(as Father Trudeau had fuddle-duddled them) he was hunting for – scarecrows, if he could take them in, could fully fill the bill. In effect he was asking us to give him the critical mass of MP that would empower him to, entirely “democratically”, eunuch-ize all the peoples representatives in our Parliament to render the House into his harem. He sought power to defang the “watchdogs”, those whom we selected, elected and mandated to guard our society against the prospect of “bullies” getting to “govern” us.
Trudeau sugar-coated his quest for power and his drive to castrate the parliament for reasons easy to imagine. He was out to fool the people we must conclude, for any alternative interpretation would be more unflatering to Trudeau. The option we have is to deem his conduct selfish and his actions a deliberate breach of ethics and violation of principles. Trudeau must be called to account for that, too. Deliberately misleading the electorate is a serious matter, it amounts to stealing freedom from the people and this allows no more than zero tolerance.
Perhaps, for the sake of the incurably naive like me, I should quote a Jean Chretien’s inadvertent, I think it is, confession:
“To be frank, politics is about wanting power, getting it, exercising it, and keeping it. Helping people comes with it naturally, because you’ll never be elected if you treat people badly.”
Here we have it from the mouth of the babe. Power is making people do as you want them to do when this is different from what the people would do if you would not exercise power to suppress their own preference so as to supplant yours for theirs. In respect to “serving” society, Jean suggest the power holder must be careful not to add to the camel’s burden the proverbial “straw that would break the camel’s back”.
Let’s not entertain illusions that tyrants would , by the good of their heart, give up tyranny. Freedom is not given, it must be taken, by definition.
Trudeau’s contention that he, virtually alone, had identified and gauged Canada’s urgent need for an election is preposterous. In a “Representative Democracy”, the opposition is expected to oppose the wrongs a government may attempt. The role of the opposition is not to rise up, utter twice or thrice “I oppose!” then sit down and shut up.
Opposition is meant to be effective in averting clearly wrong action a government may be attempting. If it cannot do that, there is no meaning to its existence and its presence is a burden on the society and worse really. The current opposition proved inept and remiss in their duty to hold the government accountable. The opposition “leaders” did not grill Trudeau for the $610M of our money he was poising to spend for his personal gain. They did no question Trudeau even at the standard a lawyer for a bank would grill the guy who owes the Bank a hundred bucks.
Why should the PM have the facility to disregard the Fixed Election Day Act at pleasure? The answer is traceable to successive waves of “leaders” having corrupted the political system of Canada so much so that the 40M of us could not kick in the ass a person contemplating pilfering from our pockets $610M to “gamble it” in getting more power to “govern” us. Lest we govern ourselves, lest we establish meaningful Democracy.
Yet worse, if you can imagine worse, is that most of us do not notice that. This is not our fault either. It happens because, in a word, we cannot discern wrongs in what we are indoctrinated into and made to live with. In this instance we cannot see democracy for it is suffocating under the thick layer of partyocracy which “they” have superimposed on it.
Even with the shattered parliament that ours now is, the MPs of the pre-2021-election Parliament had the facility to defend the institution, their mission and yes, their jobs. With a modicum of good will and appreciation for their high calling, they could have spared Canada the cost and the pain of that mid-Pandemic election. Let’s look at options they forfeited.
Trudeau had not kept secret his preparation to hit the nation with an election. But his election salivation elicited no insurmountable objection in the House. But, instead of being vitually passive the “leaders” could sidetrack their “differences” for the public good to roll through, for reason to prevail . They could unite themselves into a “Party of the Whole”. The invitation to join issued to Trudeau, too. To fight that back, Trudeau would need the support of at least one other party, but such would come because the people would have been looking ...
If the “party of the whole” was realized without Trudeau, the “leaders” would inform the GiGi that Trudeau no longer had the confidence of the House; and that they jointly had it, which makes them entitled to form a government. This would not likely happen because if contemplated, Trudeau would had readily capitulated and the election would have evaporated. The ensuing triumph of the vox populi would be highly condussive to shrinking the “Democratic Deficit”.
In the unlikely event of these effort failing, the “united leaders” could call in the Raging Grannies to don their flowery hats and lead a public rally in front of the TRideau Hall, to serenade the occupants. It would be a rally the like of which has not being seen before, in a place rarely if ever had seen a protest. It would be eminently correct and correspodingly appealing, I am sure, Canadians would battle for Democracy proportionally to fighting to defend old growth trees, don’t you think?
Yes, I must mention that Erin O’Toole, the prime rival to Trudeau for the Despot’s spot, made his failure to stop Trudeau his top “merit” in his bid for power. More or less, he called on the electorate to punish Trudeau for doing the election and supplant him, Erin O’Toole, in Trudeau’s place, thereby rewarding him for failing to stop Trudeau doing the Election. Clever, eh?
The “Change” Trudeau proclaimed “essential” to governing the country at the current time was denied him. The people said NO, a big NO. And what did Justin said he heard? That the people want him and his retinue to continue “governing” us! To “govern” us full bore, including his personal “right” to send us to the polls, at any time he sees an opportunity to boost his hold on us. Glory, Glory Alleluia ....
But even now all is not lost, we should not be made to suffer passively until the next election. The electorate denied Trudeau’s persuit and has left the pre 2021 regime subdued, if not in disarray. The opportunity for democracy remains as potent, more potent really. The MPs can unite for the duration of the newly elected parliament, proclaim no confidence on Trudeau and restore the purpose of Parliament to govern the society. Just for this extraordinary term.
The logistics of a party-less parliament are discernable – the benefits unimaginable.
It is a great opportunity for Canada to show the world what a party-free Democracy can be and do. After all, we Canadians are from the World, let’s do that for the World. We all will feel better for that.