The Reformer's Firebrand

*-{The New Canadian Colonist's Advocate }-* A commentary of fiery reformist sentiment from the spirit of it's 210 year old Canadian ghost publisher patron. This will be a home to the new wave of anti-partisan advocacy for defeating Canada's second "family compact" and reinstallation of responsible governance in this 21st century new Canadian democratic dominion.

Monday, May 15, 2006

The "Fetish" of Democracy and the Ottawa Chokers

Acouple of seemingly unrelated items today;

First-> I wish to congratulate Ottawa in doing what it does so well: Taking a viable enterprise with potential and creating a perennial choking loss with it....in this case it's the NHL Ottawa Senators franchise which has now set a record for the most number of play off losses in a row. Up to the conferences 9 times and choked on the first or second round 9 times....congrats on your perfect record and in elevating the art of choking to an art form.

Now more on "choking"...or "gagging" Ottawa style to be more precise

One of my favorite political authors ( William Gairdner) enters the blogosphere and posts these profound observations on the essences of democracy and how the meaning has been coopted into a statist placebo philosophy:

"There was an interesting speech at the conference in which one speaker was complaining profusely and quite justly about Canada’s various “gag laws.” These are laws introduced by various Prime Ministers, both liberal (Chretien did this twice) and Conservative (Mulroney did this once) to muzzle ordinary citizens (and organizations) who want to spend their own money to critique or promote political parties. At one point, the speaker implored the audience to resist all such gag laws in the name of “democracy,” which he believed guarantees “free speech,” and this got me thinking again about the history of democracy and how it is today considered a philosophy, whereas in fact I have come to see more and more that it is not a philosophy (although it may become easily confused with, or mated with one), but rather it is a methodology for deciding who shall rule.

As George Jonas reminded us during a wonderful dinner speech that night, it was democracy that brought us Hitler, and has recently brought us Hamas.

It seems to me we have to be careful when promoting “democracy” as a guarantor of free speech. For there is no reason (no democratic reason) why 51% of the people cannot have a gag law if they want one. Seems to me that free speech is an inheritance, not of the democratic tradition, but of a far older classical liberal tradition.

I was criticizing how democracy has been made a modern fetish, and did I think that free speech was more important than democracy?

The fact that most Western democracies no longer allow “free speech” even to the degree we enjoyed a half century ago (let alone many centuroies ago) and that all now have human rights tribunals and re-education programs of Orwellian dimensions, – all this suggests to me that although we now have more democracy, we are less free "

More democracy and less freedom....how true!

Canadians, (most of who got their education from public institutions which has produced a generation who cannot name the provincial capitols), have been indoctrinated to believe Democracy is a cure-all for tyranny. In reality (an absolute practical paradigm)....Democracy is nothing more than 2 wolves and chicken voting on what to have for dinner. Democracy has been served by the vote and mandate and the Chicken's hideous demise is deemed to be "just" under democratic doctrine. Democarcy is orderly mob rule.....and the "just" outcome from a majority mandate is what ever the manipulators of the mob desire.

As Mr. Gairdner alludes to, freedom of speech is a mutually exclusive function to the process of democracy......it is the cornerstone of free society....the right to criticize, express new ideas, dissent from philosophies and majority fetishes deemed errant by an individual or a free association of individuals... a vehicle for expression that moves a open society forward through public discourse and concensus.

Free speech, along with the other core civil freedoms, was not a direct product of the democratic process, but of eras of armed conflict and spilled blood by our ancestors who fought the tyranny of an autocratic ruling class to secure commoner rights (or more precisely, civil liberty)....a ruling class which claimed authority either by divine commission or patrician mandate....which had to be threatened or deposed to wrest the civil freedoms non patrician classes enjoy.

Democracy (a populist system of chosing a ruler) is only a useful method for a free and vigilant people to ensure that freedom-friendly governments are elected....this breaks down when the voting mob have lost their passion and vigilence to remain free or have been manipulated into surrendering their freedoms to a more statist governing ideal....as they did in soviet Russia and national socialist Germany....or the single party state envisioned by Canada's partisan utopians...all of which by the way have democratic elections.

6 Comments:

Blogger JB said...

I love the wolf/chicken metaphor. So true. Democratic governments can be big, scary, and intrusive too.

May 15, 2006 at 3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best solution I can think of is to tweak democracy to be more like an annual shareholders meeting whereby those who pay the state's bills get a greater say in how the money is spent. A quick and dirty way to do it is via poll tax, another way would be weighting an individual's vote to total taxes paid. I'd argue this may be a more just, more responsible form of government.

The alternative isn't pretty: seems to me that universal suffrage inevitably leads to socialism which inevitably leads to fascism; we're just not far enough along to see it yet. And I don't want fascism.

Speaking of which, check out the disturbingly low scores for Russia and Germany below:

"Just 36 per cent of Canadians say the country is governed by the will of the people, according to a massive new poll that gauged attitudes in 68 countries on issues ranging from poverty to the environment.
...
While the overwhelming majority of Canadians believe in democracy -- 85 per cent -- just 36 per cent said it governs by the will of the people. The country with the highest faith in governance by the will of the people was Malaysia, at 71 per cent. The lowest was Macedonia at 11 per cent.
...
Would you say that your country is governed by the will of the people?

Percentage yes
Denmark - 57%
France - 26%
Germany - 18%
Italy - 28%
Portugal - 40%
United Kingdom - 30%
Bosnia and Herzegovina - 13%
Kosovo - 46%
Russia - 18%
Israel - 49%
Pakistan - 25%
United States - 37%
Mexico - 20%
Canada - 36%

May 15, 2006 at 3:32 PM  
Blogger JB said...

What I feel we need is a return to smaller government, with more power concentrated at the bottom than at the top. I think we might do well to consider the Greek (and specifically Athenian) example; perhaps a loose co-alition of city-states ruled by direct democracy. The problem with democracy occurs when we place "the will of the people" in the hands of a few individuals with their own agendas.

May 15, 2006 at 10:01 PM  
Blogger W.L. Mackenzie Redux said...

JB said...
"I love the wolf/chicken metaphor. So true. Democratic governments can be big, scary, and intrusive too"

The metaphor comes from James Bovard ( a fine American Libertarian writer)...and this metaphor is so illustrative of the failing of raw statist Democracy...you can literally vote a minority into oblivion.....legally (the Canadian Liberal political cartel have done this with Christians, white males, heterosexuals, Anglophones, conservatives, property rights groups, restorative justice groups, and other dissenting groups that oppose the deconstructionist single party state utopian vision)....all with their assumpsit "mandate".

The only thing that stands in the way of this tyranny of the politically manipulated majority (and the defacto assumpsit "state" which presumes to carry out its own agenda in the majority's name) is the enumerated rights and freedoms of the individual in a free nation's founding and reference constitutional documents...but ultimately it is the nature of ALL governments to ignore or "reinterpret" the laws to align with their control agendas and they become tyrannical in repressing the individual...and reality is that the nation's population is comprised of individuals....not the compartmentalized "groups" statist governments have fighting against each other... and it is up to us ( a collecitve of individuals) to force them to abide by their own constitutions and respect our personal freedoms...either enumerated or unenumerated.

My individual rights and freedoms existed before the government and I will ensure they never forget it....others would be wise to join me and make this their prime directive in politics and in democratically chosing governments...because all the false left-right partisan political paradigm has done is factionalize this nation's free individuals into warring "groups"... that manipulated friction along with "democracy" has gotten us nothing but selfish agenda driven elitist governments that constantly erode our freedoms and liberties....while we are diverted in needless partisan fighting....the leviathan grows.

3 Questions when assessing any candidate or party running for public office:

1) Has this party protected my personal liberty in the past and am I more free today than I was a decade ago...Do I have the freedoms my parents or grand parents had? If not, what party and philosophy was most active in eroding them?

2) What does this person believe the function of government is?:

A) to shape, lead, control, and intervene in the lives of the population

B) to serve the will of the majority

C) To serve the majority will but protect the rights of the individual above all.

3) Does the Candidate believe in the absolute right of individual property ownership? (This is the litmus test that cuts the publicly accountable populists from the elitist Plutocrat statists and degenerate Kleptocrats)

These questions raise the paradigm in the political arena above the fractious squabbling of left-right diversionary politics.

May 16, 2006 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

I'm still of the belief this country will collapse someday. We elect so called "conservative" governments, but it just seems to be a pause in the direction were headed. The ultimate goal of all power at the center and restricted freedoms for all mentality will eventually sink us.

Great post Bill .. seems to be a little confusion between "Freedoms" and "Democracy". Thanks for clearing that up.

May 19, 2006 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger saga said...

The only thing that stands in the way of this tyranny of the politically manipulated majority (and the defacto assumpsit "state" which presumes to carry out its own agenda in the majority's name) is the enumerated rights and freedoms of the individual in a free nation's founding and reference constitutional documents...but ultimately it is the nature of ALL governments to ignore or "reinterpret" the laws to align with their control agendas and they become tyrannical in repressing the individual...and reality is that the nation's population is comprised of individuals....not the compartmentalized "groups" statist governments have fighting against each other... and it is up to us ( a collecitve of individuals) to force them to abide by their own constitutions and respect our personal freedoms...either enumerated or unenumerated.

My individual rights and freedoms existed before the government and I will ensure they never forget it....others would be wise to join me and make this their prime directive in politics and in democratically chosing governments...because all the false left-right partisan political paradigm has done is factionalize this nation's free individuals into warring "groups"... that manipulated friction along with "democracy" has gotten us nothing but selfish agenda driven elitist governments that constantly erode our freedoms and liberties....while we are diverted in needless partisan fighting....the leviathan grows.
..............................
the leviathan being the ever greater concentration of wealth and power in ever fewer corporate hands ... the facist threat ... are we agreeing?

March 4, 2007 at 5:40 PM  

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