Monday, May 24, 2010

Is "Democracy" a Winning Campaign Issue?

I was going to write something about capitalist imperialism, the Congo, Honduras, and the need for solidarity with the people of Greece.

But in response to Alison's post about the harpercons' recent assault on parliamentary oversight, I commented: "I guess the opposition doesn't think that democracy is a winning electoral issue. "

And it struck me that that's what this is really getting down to.

Sending Canadian soldiers to die defending an corrupt, fraudulently elected government of drug-dealers and pedophiles? That's difficult to attack without being accused of not "supporting the troops" apparently.

Canadian soldiers being forced to hand over prisoners (including innocent peasants) to a government that practices torture on a regular basis while our government covers it up? Apparently the "Tim Horton's crowd" aren't easy to fire-up on the issue of war crimes and human rights.

Harper abusing his powers to shut-down democracy and democratic oversight? B-o-o-r-ring!

Harper provoking yet another constitutional crisis (trying to overturn CENTURIES of democratic victories) to avoid being accountable for torture? Who could get excited about that?

Harper putting poison pills into the budget to destroy environmental assessments? How can Canadians be expected to care about that?

Harper follows up his attempted contempt for Parliament with a rule to make sure that Parliamentary Committees can't interview anyone? Obviously, there's nothing there.

Look Liberals, NDP, ... I know you're fresh from you political triumph of keeping the Auditor General from seeing the expenses you're frightened of letting her see. I know that Michael Ignatieff is an unpopular, neoliberal elitist with the charisma of a dead fish. I know that the NDP has a leader undergoing cancer treatment and that the party has become afraid of it's own shadow. But sooner or later, you have to realize that this government is a goddamned monstrosity and it has to be killed.

Do you really think that DEMOCRACY isn't an issue to campaign on? Do you really have so little faith in the Canadian electorate, your own convictions and your own ability to run on a platform of restoring respect for democracy?


Marky Mark said...

Hi thwap. FYI re: Jack Layton's prostate cancer, I chatted with him at the April Harry's run off in support of prostate cancer research and Princess Margaret Hospital, and he looked really good. I don't think his treatments involve chemotherapy or anything else that would cause him to be unable to perform his job (but I concede a national campaign with lots of travel would be tougher for him than in the past--yet I think still doable).

Anonymous said...

Toronto Star columnist Chantal Hébert said on last week's The National's At Issue show that former prime minister Jean Chrétien and former NDP leader Ed Broadbent are having coalition discussions.

Well Dear Leader may just go for a new GG by July 1st, because he knows this possibility exists. I'm only now just coming to the realization the NDP/Liberals are NOT going to fight for Democracy.

Anonymous said...

oops...that first paragraph is a direct quote from the Hill Times article entitled - Liberals 'in chaos from a leadership point of view'

Skinny Dipper said...

I will agree that campaigning on democracy could be quite boring. I would suggest that any party willing to do it should tie it with other issues. How would improved democratic institutions improve the economy, environment, and health care? While one may wish to mention proportional representation, stay away from the nitty-gritty of MMP, STV, and other acronyms. Just relate democratic reform with other issues.

thwap said...

Marky Mark,

I agree that Layton seems fine. Which makes me wonder why the NDP are being so craven. If he's capable of doing interviews, travelling, and doing the odd speech, he and the party ought not to be afraid of facing the harpercons under these circumstances.


I thought I heard about Broadbent talking about such a thing a long time ago?

I'd support it. If they'd support democracy.

Skinny Dipper,

Campaigning for proportional representation would be boring, but for democracy - plain and simple - I don't think Canada is really so apathetic as to disregard an appeal to protect the foundations of our political system.

my wv = "scorn"