Prime Minister Layton


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Jack Layton at the start of the 2011 campaign in Surrey, BC.

This is an astonishing election campaign and there are still 11 days left.

The Conservative and Liberal blue/red door alternative spin is weak these days. Jack Layton is by far the most respected federal leader. This week polling has the NDP in the 20s, with Layton the majority preference for the position of prime minister in a coalition with the Liberals.

Jack Layton is peaking right now in his entire political career. He resonates with the majority Canadians who do most of the living, working, struggling, celebrating and aging in our society, except notably for the hyper-rich and corporate elite. NDP policies address the circumstances of the majority of Canadians in a way that the Conservatives are incapable of imagining because their constituency is the rich or those who deem themselves elite.

The very first and still dominant campaign issue for Stephen Harper has been to scare Canadians about a coalition. He is bright. He knows that is his greatest threat, not primarily to his majority government, but his job because failing three times to gain a majority will lead to his forced resignation as leader. He has even misrepresented our constitutional provisions by encouraging the public to believe that anything other than what he wants is some kind of a coup.

Beyond the polling earlier this week, last night some polls were indicating not only that the NDP are tied with the Liberals nationally, but that they are ahead of every other party in Quebec, including the Bloc, which shares many of the NDP’s progressive policy agenda.

But before exploring the credibilty of Jack Layton being our next prime minister, we should explore the unique situation that is Canadian politics today.

  1. By May 2, 2011 we will have lived with minority governments in Ottawa for 57 days less than seven years. We have not slid off the continent or into domestic instability, terrorism and anarchy. We have a stable parliament, aggravated mostly by a destabilizing Conservative government that lives and breathes contempt for democracy.
  2. We have been free from the tyranny of the de facto absolute power of majority governments for these seven years. We have seen House of Commons committees dominated by opposition parties that were elected by the 62.35% of Canadians who did not vote for the Conservatives. These committees are doing the heavy lifting of democracy because a majority government cannot arbitrarily control their deliberations.
  3. The authentic debate and dialogue of a democracy that the prime minister called “bickering” in the English language debate last week is an example of the credible operation of government.
  4. The often reluctant cooperation that the four parties have shown in justifying their jobs by keeping parliament operating to avoid losing their jobs and having to run over and over in frequent elections has been credible. I have disliked the agreements at times, which is healthy, but I know that every resolution is a symbol of a parliament that can work without the whipped voting by majority blocks that are limited only by what the governing caucus will allow their leader to do.
  5. We have seen necessary but extremely uncomfortable growing pains as politicians, the media, the academics and the public learn what they forgot in Social Studies in grade 10: the operation of the House, the Senate, the cabinet, the role of the governor-general, the difference between adjournment and dissolution and proroguement, and previously arcane committee procedure.
  6. We have also seen this year another example of blatant manipulation of the Senate to affect House legislation, the first time since the Canada-US Free Trade Agreement in the 1980s, which while constitutionally valid has a political price to pay. Mulroney added senators to keep the Liberal-dominated Senate from killing the FTA. This year, Harper used his appointed majority in the Senate to kill the opposition climate bill. Mulroney’s government lost 167/169 seats in the 1993 election. A similar political judgement potentially awaits Stephen Harper.
  7. We have also witnessed a new event in the world’s history of parliamentary governments: the firing of a government as the majority of the House found the government to be in contempt of parliament.
  8. This is not a minority government aberration of the 1960s or 1979. This is Canada in the 21st century when the compelling, credible and legitimate power of the dozens of Bloc Quebecois MPs prevents any party from forming a majority government without a practically inconceivable sweep of English Canada.
  9. This is a Canada that is more than a century older than when the first-past-the-post system, a relic of the 19th century, was a useful electoral system in a land of two national parties. Canada allows more than white men to vote now. It is a pluralistic society which demands a more representative electoral system. But we don’t have it yet. Instead we are left with the crumbling decay of majority parliamentary rule on our way to the broad realization that electoral reform is the only common sense solution now.
  10. Canada exists in 2011 within a global context of democratic revolutions in Africa and the Middle East, anti-neoliberal protests in North America and Europe, spontaneous vote mobs, spontaneous movements against prorogation, fierce and stimulating debate about strategic voting as a valid tactic in an illegitimate electoral system, and the stunning awareness that if we let our voter turnout sink below our historic low from last time, then we will somehow be insulting the Africans murdered by their despots as they seek the end to their tyranny.

In this context, we have Jack Layton’s NDP as the only party that seems to have the clarity to navigate the post-majority parliamentary world. The NDP has tabled climate and national housing legislation, for instance, that could have been passed by the House and enacted by the government if all parties respected the credibility of the process. But the Conservatives and Liberals continue to campaign as if they can achieve a majority and that this minority thing will eventually pass.

They operate as relics of the last two centuries.

Last night at home we finished watching the West Wing again. I watched a president walking with a cane who had battled a degenerative disease while trying to maintain the integrity to rule. In Canada today, we have a national party leader fighting cancer and recovering from hip surgery. He uses a cane sometimes. We can relate to that. We can’t relate to a constantly irritated prime minister who goes to great length to express his disdain for democracy by answering no more than 5 questions each day when he’s is in a 5 week job application process.

In another Aaron Sorkin show, Sports Night, we encountered a clever creed, ostensibly Napoleon’s battle plan: First we show up, then we see what happens. Sure it’s a lark, but in the West Wing we saw Matt Santos become president by running a campaign of integrity that allowed him to retain his self-respect, but partially just by showing up and watching circumstances unfold. First the front-runner for the party nomination was caught in a sex scandal, then the Republican candidate was mired in the political fallout of a nuclear accident.

Beyond the horrifying coincidence of the Fukushima nuclear disaster across the Pacific, we have Jack Layton, an engaging party leader with policies that resonate with millions who has shown up to campaign with integrity in a 5-week election campaign where anything can happen.

Anything like a prime minister campaign through the gritted teeth of contempt and an opposition party whose nasty, neoliberal fiscal policies are aligned with the prime minister’s and whose leader has virtually no mass appeal.

I don’t like the politics of horse races, of personality politics. I much prefer issue-based campaigns and analysis. But in any electoral system, people need to relate to their leaders. We don’t have a policy binder sitting in the prime minister’s office. We have a person.

Our leaders have credibility if we believe and feel they are looking out for us. Not promoting the politics of fear to scare us into following them, but leaders who will inspire us, help us see how they will facilitate the excellence in everyone, help us reach a higher place, a place of greater self-esteem and social esteem.

I once wrote about the possibility of Jack Layton becoming prime minister during Harper’s prorogation insult from 2.5 years ago. The argument was that while constitutionally valid, proroguing parliament to avoid a non-confidence motion on Harper’s budget could have led to a coalition alternative with the NDP and Liberals with voting support from the Bloc. Since the Liberal leadership was in flux then and no one would allow an ostensibly separatist party leader to be prime minister, it could have fallen to Layton as a tolerable compromise. I elaborated on that by suggesting that if in that position he ought to pursue the end of the first-past-the-post system to reflect the post-majority parliamentary system in Canada. My arguments for that are still relevant today.

Remember also that 10 months ago, polling indicated Canadians were getting used to post-majority governments since a Layton-led coalition of NDP and Liberals would defeat the Conservatives 43% to 37% to form a consensus-seeking government.

The ultimate point is that against a dour Harper, a bland Ignatieff and an average, though high-performing Duceppe, Layton is winning this election campaign.

And though the NDP’s support has the lowest percentage of completely firm voting support, meaning some support now may bleed to the Liberals as election day draws near, every day the NDP is polling above 20% with Layton 20% ahead of his competing leaders, is an extra day of credibility for the idea that the NDP is a credible alternative to the blue/red false choices which the Conservative-Liberal coalition wants to spin as the only issue.

This is also why all the reporters wanted to ask Ignatieff yesterday about coalitions and voting arrangements. He gave a good civics lesson, but he is losing this campaign as badly as Harper is. Ignatieff needs a minority government to keep Bob Rae and Gerard Kennedy and probably others from forcing a leadership convention. Harper needs a majority to keep his job. The blue/red door framing has been in both of their best interests, but it is simply becoming less credible and more cynical and contemptuous every day.

And while the NDP polling numbers may decline in the next 11 days, we are seeing in front of us a new way of doing politics, brought to us by the one leader who has demonstrated the integrity to try to make politics work, while Harper prorogues parliament and Ignatieff keeps enough MPs out of House votes to allow Harper’s anti-social economic agenda to continue.

And it is inspiring us. And it is giving us a taste of a democracy that we can be proud of as Canadians.

And I don’t know what will happen in the next 11 days or on the evening of May 2 when BC will determine the final seat count, or May 3, or into the following days of negotiations where leaders will try to wrangle 155 MP votes. But I do know that there are 5 weeks worth of nails in the coffin of majority governments in Canada.

First show up, then see what happens?

Jack Layton has shown up. And we are seeing fate, circumstances and cycles of cynicism run their course.

And we shall all see what happens. And I would not be surprised if a man battling cancer and recovering from hip surgery will walk with a cane into the House of Commons and sit on the speaker’s right side.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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21 thoughts on “Prime Minister Layton”

  1. “And it is inspiring us. And it is giving us a taste of a democracy that we can be proud of as Canadians.”

    Are you suggesting Layton is going to immediately make voting in the House free on all issues, where constituents are actually represented?

    We are miles from democracy, representative or otherwise except, of course, in words, in our politican model. Being from the West, the election is always determined before my vote is counted. And unless I get an MP who is keen on personal advancement, and that advancement which is founded on Party ideology also happens to coincide with my own, I won’t get a single second of representation either.

    For centuries the people, particularly the illiterate, have marked their name with an “X”. It is action of personal endorsement. When you vote, your ballot “X” is your endorsement, your contractal acceptance to be governed by the system as it sees fit. I’d prefer to see nobody show up to the polls and expose the illegitimacy of our political democracy for the fraud that it is.

    Will PM Layton be any better for the people than PM Harper? Could he be worse? Or will he be a fraud like Obama, and turn on his supporters in a transparent attempt to retain the seat of power above all else?

    At least the spectacle is not boring despite it being inherently gamed.

    1. nope, i’m not suggesting layton will make everything free votes.

      this election, like the last one, will be bc determining the final seat count.

      preferring no one show up at the polls has resonance with at least one writer on this site. 🙂

      will layton be worse than harper? i think that’s inconceivable. better? i expect so. any voting arrangement or coalition among the other 3 parties would be better than harper.

      1. “preferring no one show up at the polls has resonance with at least one writer on this site.”

        Yes, the social-anarchist type are limited in numbers — said with no specific intention of labelling myself or others.

        “will layton be worse than harper? i think that’s inconceivable. better? i expect so.”

        Hark! This sounds like the “Change you can believe in” rhetoric where there was no way in Hades that Obama could conveivably be worse than Bush Jr. But upon honest inspection of his record, Obama is worse.

        And almost everyone expected Obama to be better than Bush Jr. Almost everyone except, I would speculate, the social-anarchist crowd. 🙂

          1. Without question Obama is worse, on most any front. The list is almost endless:

            Obama has increased the power of the NSA, broadened the scope of warrantless wiretapping of Americans and increased the power and scope of intrusion through the Patriot Act; has set a new record for the rejection of FOI requests; has escallated the war efforts in the Middle East; has entered new wars in Libya under the age-old guise of humanitarian relief, and into Pakistan on the backs of the tried and trued illusive terrorism fight; has dramatically increased the wealth of the Wall Street gang at the expense of the working people, doubling the debt in the process while the funs meant for recovery sit untaxed in the hands of the Banksters who caused the housing collapse in the first place; has expanded America’s extraordinary rendition program, and began openly torturing America’s own citizens (Bradley Manning & Wikileaks); has ceased to evidence any knowledge of Constitutional law, or criminal law for that matter, despite his establishment credentials – particularly with regard to the outgoing war-criminal regime, as well as his own hypocritical record; has taken a shocking position on the Israel-Palestine settlement issue through America’s UN positioning; has unemployment efffectively at the 20% mark, the worst since the Depression, and he is now trying austerity since his TARP program etc. all failed to be administered with effect or even competent oversight. The numbers are less than 3% actually went toward job creation; has been a disgrace in addressing the global warming crisis, going out of his way to take the position that there is no urgency at all at the Copenhagen Summit, for example; went out of his way, it appears, to lie about the extent of the BP Oil disaster; has promoted ‘clean coal’ and nuclear energy rather than a sane approach toward renewables; has propped up old infrastructure in Detroit, rather than retool to address the pending future infrastructure needs; has failed ot fight at all for a real healthcare program, offering up compromise after comproimise with the pharmaceuticals, all just an insult to the needy of America, slapping the face of his grassroots backers while effectively lining drug manufacturers and for-profit medical pockets. Meanwhile, those making less than $300k a year are paying more than ever for medical attention; has now implemented austerity for social programs while the military spending expands wrecklessly, well beyond the limits that Bush; has retained the joke that is Guantanamo, despite the campaign rhetoric, with no end in sight; has retained the economic advisors of Bush despite campaigning with more progressive sorts, an about-face that was deceptive if not fraudulent; has expanded ‘freetrade’ to the detriment of the working class while to the benefit of the mutlinational resource exploiters; and broken just about every campaign promise he made, just to make sure you know he is a bought and paid for political crook, just like the rest of them, just like every politician who climbs to the top must be in order to avoid assassination or, more importantly I suspect, re-election.

            Frankly, Layton and his NDP rhetoric, though different, offers zero hope for change in the areas of self-governance and democracy. It is all advertising. It is PR at its finest. He is just another front man for the corporate dollars operating the endebted political actors on all things politic.

            The system is broken if viewed from the eyes of the people, though quite effective in the eyes of the ruling elite — those with real power who do not sit in office.

            Our representative democratic system is neither democratic nor representative us, the people. It, at best, is a system of bribery, with promises offered for your vote. What has ever been accomplished with a vote other than a changing the faces of government?

            Our governance, with our dis-informed consent, is so obviously a sham, a hoax, a fraud and illegitimate, it is absurd that this glaring FACT must be pointed out. But slaying the state propaganda war of the last century, and killing the cultural myths we have adopted after seemingly endless generations and thos enew ones we create (eg, capitalism and economic self-interest), is a challenge for which there is little hope of ever overcoming.

            As Orwell said, “Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

            1. EDIT above: Meanwhile, those making less than $30k (not 300k) a year are paying more than ever for medical attention.

              1. well i don’t see evidence above that obama is any worse than bush. he certainly is no better, but most of what you list is merely a continuation of bush or general american imperial tradition.

                is it your belief that layton is lying about all his promises of change or do you have evidence.

                the ndp introduced and had passed bill c-393 before harper’s senate killed it. ndp policy is senate abolition. the ndp also introduced bill c-304 for a national housing strategy [http://libbydavies.ndp.ca/post/libby-continues-the-call-for-a-national-affordable-housing-strategy].

                so it looks to me like they have a track record already as being progressive legislators, despite being the smallest party in the house.

                i see valid dissatisfaction with obama, but i don’t think it’s valid to graft that criticism on layton and the ndp. yet anyway.

                i agree, though, that structural reform is needed.

                1. “i see valid dissatisfaction with obama, but i don’t think it’s valid to graft that criticism on layton and the ndp. yet anyway.

                  Yes, I am making Layton guilty by association, but not without just cause. Politicians are incapable of fulfilling their promises despite their intentions. The political machinery does not permit them to disobey their capitalist bosses who provide them the money and the facetime on camera to get into office – or stay there. They obey or they are gone (assassination is not out of the question).

                  These leaders have all proven themselves obedient to power or they would not get to where they are. It is pragmatic for the NDP to introduce progressive legislation through the House knowing full well it will fail. It is ‘change you can believe in”.

                  No doubt we can talk more in the future after he’s had some time on the political throne. But remember it was Layton who recently said, “I am ready to be your prime minister and I fully understand what this means.”

                  Perfect. We can soon judge him on his record as he claims full ownership of official acts.

                  1. i think “Politicians are incapable of fulfilling their promises despite their intentions” is a bit of an over-simplification.

                    when you say pragmatic, i think you mean cynical, if you think they knew it would fail?

                    i think introducing c-393 with a reasonable expectation of the senate killing it, delegitimizes harper, the senate and minority governments: all valuable goals particularly for the ndp. it also shows the kind of legislation the ndp would introduce if they didn’t have to worry about the senate: more than a promise.

                    1. “i think “Politicians are incapable of fulfilling their promises despite their intentions” is a bit of an over-simplification.”

                      Really. Despite having a duty to keep their campaign promises, explain why over 40% of political promises are broken by the government once in office?

                      Either they intend to keep the promise and find out they cannot, or they neverintended to keep it but used it as the bribe, the carrot, to lure voters their way.

                      “when you say pragmatic, i think you mean cynical, if you think they knew it would fail?”

                      No, I meant pragmatic. The politician has one overarching career objective: to get into power. If this is not true, then my thinking needs reword. But if true, then whether well intended or not, promises made serve this overarching objective.

                      I doubt many of the polticians generally involved as MPs have any idea about the impact of propaganda, myth, custom and traditions on their world view. Sometimes I think it might go to the very top of politics. It certainly helps explain why the constituents all line up for Skinner Box and endorse them, as the leading politicians continue to woo the voters onvincingly enough for them to retain hope that governance is conducted in their interest.

                    2. “”i think “Politicians are incapable of fulfilling their promises despite their intentions” is a bit of an over-simplification.””

                      “Really. Despite having a duty to keep their campaign promises, explain why over 40% of political promises are broken by the government once in office?

                      “Either they intend to keep the promise and find out they cannot, or they never intended to keep it but used it as the bribe, the carrot, to lure voters their way.”

                      ********

                      It IS indeed an oversimplification.

                      First, there is fact that politicians keep about 60% of their promises.

                      Second, most governments in Canada come into power with around 40-50% of the vote. So how democratic would it be if they ignored the wishes of perhaps a majority of the population and said, “Screw you – we don’t care about your views!”

                      Third, as Jim Laxer (and many others have pointed out): even a progressive government with good intentions has do deal with the reality that their policies will usually be opposed by the corporate elite (and their media) – who have a lot of power to thwart even those with the best of intentions.

                      So, saying that either they do or do not intend to keep their promises IS simplistic.

                      OF COURSE, many politicians – esp. in the two major parties – will promise almost anything to get elected. Many will lie, and so on and so on.

                      But it is not smart to abandon the political system to these reactionary forces. After all, Harper would LOVE it if all progressives would sit out the election. As I said before, letting him have a majority will be a NIGHTMARE, so if going to the polls and voting – with no illusions – for the candidate most likely to beat the Tories is what it takes, how could one in good conscience NOT do so?

                      And then one should go out and organize the social movements that are vital to real progressive change.

                      It is not either/or.

                      N’est-ce pas?

  2. Bravo, Stephen!
    And CBC has just announced, “Polls suggest NDP ahead of Bloc in Quebec for 1st time” – and the other parties as well.

    NOW is the time for progressives and activists who do not vote to do the right thing for Canada. And it is the time for those who are considering voting “Green” should support the NDP and get rid of Harper, rather than wasting their votes (see my:
    http://politicsrespun.org/2011/03/an-open-letter-to-elizabeth-may ).
    Venceremos!

    1. “NOW is the time for progressives and activists who do not vote to do the right thing for Canada”, Peter?

      Pray tell, what is that? It seems to me you do not fully comprehend the philosophical and principled position of precisely WHY people, like myself, refrain from perpetuating the voting hoax, the fraud of representative democracy so many cherish.

      I am afraid you telling me voting in this specific instance is the ‘right thing’ is not much of an argument, and certainly not nearly enough to undermine my understanding of politics.

      Cheers

    2. I might add a little something I just read by Chomsky, below:

      “Support for democracy is the province of ideologists and propagandists. In the real world, elite dislike of democracy is the norm. The evidence is overwhelming that democracy is supported insofar as it contributes to social and economic objectives, a conclusion reluctantly conceded by the more serious scholarship.” …

      Entire essay available here:

      http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/04/21-3

      Anyhow, until there is a candidate you starts, at the very least, talking change that makes sense — that is an about face from our current fcuked up, self-interested, economy driven world; and being a sovereign nation that champions self governance and leads the world by example rather than lick-spittling the US’s political Imperialist scrotum — you can count me out of even entertaining the idea of endorsing this crimewave of governance.

  3. Even though “democracy” in Canada is mostly a sham, and there are serious flaws in this “cesspool of bourgeois parliamentarianism” (Bookchin), it does not follow that one should take a simplistic approach and write off the limited but real power of voting.
    In many situations, putting the most progressive party in power can make a real difference in protecting the environment and in the lives of workers, seniors, women, Aboriginals, and the poor, among others. If Harper is allowed to stay in power, life will get worse for everyone who is not part of the ruling elite. And god help us if Harper gets a majority.
    Besides domestic issues, here’s one obvious example of the life and death nature of political power. When the U.S. invaded Iraq, Chretien refused to send Canadians to fight there, while Harper (and Ignatieff) wanted our troops to support Bush’s war – and would have sent them if he was PM then. THAT is not an insignificant difference.
    More dramatically, if more progressive U.S. voters had held their noses and voted for Gore in 2000, Bush would not have been able to steal that election, and there would have been no invasion of Iraq, and at least a million people would not have been killed. Not to mention all the other suffering that the U.S. created.
    Those horrors are not trivial.
    So people who reject voting are not necessarily being “principled” at all. In some cases, they merely want to feel self-righteous, regardless of the toll on other human beings.
    And remember this: Harper and Big Business WANT you to stay home and not vote (strategically) against them.
    The NDP and the Liberals may only be the lesser evil – but the alternative is giving power to the greater evil.
    As for Chomsky, he votes on occasion, and has written that even a limited democracy can be useful in combating the evil of the corporate state. (See his, “Expanding the Floor of the Cage”).
    The other important (and obvious) point is that voting is only ONE way for people to participate in democratic politics. Social movements need to be organized, public eduction must take place, and so on. While voting isn’t everything, neither is it nothing.
    Those who are relatively privileged might believe that they have the luxury of ignoring the dangers of right-wing zealots seizing even more power, but the rest of us know that we have to fight against them on all fronts.

    1. “When the U.S. invaded Iraq, Chretien refused to send Canadians to fight there, while Harper (and Ignatieff) wanted our troops to support Bush’s war – and would have sent them if he was PM then. THAT is not an insignificant difference”

      It sounds to me, Peter, like you are BSing yourself, intellectualizing an argument so that it avoids doing what is conscionable and right. Canada still had a commanding military presence in Iraq, and Canada supports the invading and conquering Empire on most everything it does (Afhganistan, Pakistan, Israel-Palestine, Libya), including the manufacturing of military arms designed for one specific goal — to murder others. The stats are that 90% of war casualties are now of the innocent, unlike during WW I where it was 10% and WW II where it was 30%.

      How is this for principled? Until the Canadian government stops making excuses for warfare, until it stops explaining away how just a ‘little’ more murder and destruction and conquest of others will solve the world’s problems and make everything better, I refuse to endorse its most horrific acts. Period.

      These acts are accounting for the deaths of millions annually, acts perpetuated by the Canadian people with the endorsement they give by voting. One can claim it it offers some Canadians get a little less grief, other Canadians suffer a little less or receive a bigger piece of change returned to them from Ottawa. But look abroad and see what exactly how our government behaves. If we continue to allow this mutant form of governance to grow, it is only time before the Canadian state starts treating its own citizens the same as ‘foreign terrorists’; A light showing of this was at the recent G20. Of course, it isn’t a problem until it is on our own door, or so our blindness and hypocrisy convinces us.

      Your soft stance on principles in this regard leave you little room to question the principles of others. Do a comprehensive tally, Peter, of this most horrific act known to humanity, and tell me now how unprincipled I am.

      Chomsky may vote on occasion, and I have an issue with his stance on that, despite being an engaged reader of much of his material over the last 25-odd years. However, as you read his work over time, it is becoming clear that he may be resigning to the fact that any support for the benefits of a more progressive government are now lost on the systemic problems of corporatocracy and all it entails.

      What would a good leader do to right the ship we are currently sailing on in the obviously wrong direction? How about lead Canada by setting an example to the world as America’s biggest trading partner.

      A real leader could:

      offer to stop all foreign military acts and engage only when imminent invasion is visible;

      help stop the sell-off of natural resources to cheaper or more efficient labout markets;

      protect Canada’s water rights;

      make clean energy a national priority;

      entrench a free vote in the House on all matters;

      abandon FPTP;

      tax all absurdly excessive money, especially that sitting idle in banks, not being reinvested into the market; prioritize the pay off of all foreign debts and regain full control of its monetary supply;

      become a leading nation in the pollution movement, and not retain with smugness the fossil of the planet award; and

      put in independent oversight over all things military including the RCMP, just to name a few.

      But a leader under our Party system like this cannot exist. Without the fiscal might offered by The Party, taking up the seat of power is currently impossible. The real moneymen, the true financiers of the Party, the MSM, and the force of law propped up by the biased legal industry (heavily in favour of the elite) are on one side; we, the people, are on the other.

      Joining forces with the lesser evil under the current political paradigm, siding with the ‘good cop’ politician rather than the ‘bad cop’ politician, simply so one is returned a few stolen dollars extracted from us all under constant coercion, is a futile plan. This offering by the state might give a voter momentary solace within his own little world, but the bribe is offered with one main objective: to prevent one from rising up against the state — for an obedient and quiet populace is all that the state is concerned with doemstically. In return, our vote is giving the state the go-ahead to carry on with its hegemonic ambitions around the globe.

      We, the people, are ultimately responsible for our government. Until we behave accordingly as responsible and conscionable people, we will continue to receive exactly what we are willing to settle for. Simply out, the current compromise is far too unethical for me to endorse with a vote.

    2. “Those who are relatively privileged might believe that they have the luxury of ignoring the dangers of right-wing zealots seizing even more power, but the rest of us know that we have to fight against them on all fronts”

      For some of the reasons I mentioned throughout this thread, where you think you are fighting the right-wing zealot generals, I think you are joining the right-wing zealot Army.

      1. instead of presuming what people are or aren’t, let’s please stick to responding to people’s ideas.

        most people who comment on this site do not have personal relationships in real life with each other. it is therefore highly unlikely that anyone has the ability to properly assess one’s soul, identity or relationship with their own biases.

        a more socially respectful way of discussing things with virtual strangers is to ask questions that may elicit further respectful dialogue instead of offering conclusions about other people.

        thanks!

        1. There was nothing disrespectful about my comment.

          One idea was some privileged non-voters might have the luxury of ignoring the right-wing zealots, but the regular folks had to fight on all fronts.

          Another idea, a rebuttal, was that voting was not fighting the power regime, it was supporting it.

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