Sunday, May 1, 2022

Democracy and all that

In the West, "democracy" is held up as the epitome of all political systems. From a young age we are told to defend our democracy at all costs, or lose our freedoms.

Going to the ballot box with our vote is promoted to be the civic duty of every citizen. And if you don't do it, there is no cause for complaints against the outcome of an election. Period.

As usual, the devil is in the details: In a representative democracy like Canada you are voting for a name on a ballot attached to a political party 99% of the time.

And that party is usually controlled by a small group of "apparatchicks" that say yay or nay as to who the approved candidates for office are. If some of them don't like you, forget it.

In my area here in West Central Alberta, Canada, former County Reeve Tim Hoven found that out the hard way recently when he attempted to submit his name as an alternate candidate for sitting UCP MLA Jason Nixon in the upcoming provincial election in 2023. Jason had too many friends inside the party.

So, in effect, the 'democracy' we live under is controlled by small cliques of people waving a banner in front of us all, all the while practicing oligarchy instead.

That is very much true on the national level as well, where the dudes in the office of the prime minister effectively run the show while the parliamentarians enjoy their talkfest at our expense.

"Democracy" comes from the Greek and means "people rule".
In Greece that effectively meant a relatively small elite who used slaves captured in wars to give themselves the good life.

Not much has changed since then.

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