Friday, March 16, 2012

Our Political Dilemma. . . .

Imagine yourself in this dilemma - You regularly go to a certain chess club and often play with one of the primary players of the group. Only this player has a tendency to do all sorts of things to break your concentration and diverting your attention away from the game. You find this frustrating but the ref says that the player is not technically breaking any rules so there is nothing that he can do. Then you find out that this player actually is getting help from a computer (dare we say "robot") in the fashion of prompts for difficult moves in a hidden earpiece. When you bring this to the ref's attention the player hides the earpiece and indignantly calls you out, daring you to prove his wrong-doing to fellow club members. The dishonest player continues on this way year in and year out, breaking both the spirit and the letter of the rules, but he goes merrily on.

So what do you do? Well, a chess club is no big deal really. Convinced that the player is essentially dishonest and a cheater, you just don't play there anymore and you find a new club for your recreation.

Now transpose this rather obvious analogy to our electoral system. Here is the dilemma - you can't simply find another place to go. The Harpercons are cheaters, in both the technical and spiritual sense of the word, and yet they go merrily on. But in this case it seems that crime pays and the cheaters go merrily on.

My contention is this - once the NDP has chosen a new leader I propose he/she have a large public press conference with Bob Rae, as well as Elizabeth May and Daniel Paillé, and tell Canada and the world that they are withdrawing from the Parliament because it has become a sham. To my knowledge such a drastic move has never been done in modern Western democracies and it would be world-wide news. I suggest that the Opposition say that they cannot sit in the House in the presence of an illegitimate government and that they will not return to the House until the government convenes a Royal Commission on voter fraud and implements significant electoral reforms which include a stop to all robocalls, clearer outlines of what constitutes voter fraud, significant restrictions on party spending during campaigns as well as a total ban on spending outside of campaigns, clearer House rules about maintaining proper debate and committee works, and fixed responsibilities concerning press conferences on the part of the Prime Minister. Think about it for a minute. Imagine if all opposition parties refused to sit in the House and refused to take part in an election like they are compelled to do in some third-world dictatorships.

You see, the opposition parties have more or less been carrying on as though, despite the Harpercons malfeasance, it is business as usual. These actions lend continual credibility to a government that not only lacks credibility but which is systematically dismantling the democratic institutions of the nation. Something radical must be done to change the public mind about the gravity of the situation. If not now, when?

2 comments:

doconnor said...

I think you are going a bit too far. A Royal Commission isn't appropriate while a criminal investigation is on going. We should wait until that process is completed. We may find out all we needed to know from that.

All parties use Robocalls and likely want to continue to and I think it is pretty clear what constitutes voter fraud, like misrepresenting yourself and not telling the truth.

The Conservatives undermining of Parliament might justify with-drawling eventually, but there are less extreme steps, like stopping asking questions during Question Period until they start at least trying to give answers. The Liberals have announced they intend to talk about what goes on behind closed doors at committees.

kirbycairo said...

In the lead up to a tyrannical regime people always label those who warn of what is coming as Cassandras, but the history of many countries teaches clearly not only that tyrannies often arrive quietly and unnoticed but also that democracy is as much a cultural things as a legal thing. And what Harper is doing is destroying the culture of democracy so that when we loose the legal aspect of it no one will take any notice. Failure to take extremely bold steps now is simply leading us into out wilderness and it will be too late once your rights are gone. People are reluctant to believe it until it happens.

As for the Royal Commission, it is time for the opposition to demand a mutually agreed upon commissioner who has extra legal powers. Believing that the Police investigation or a Elections Canada investigation is worth anything is really, really naive. The RCMP is in Harper's pocket and EC doesn't have the resources or the power to do what they need to do.