Canada's non-voting idealists

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Slumberjack

Gaian wrote:
 Tabula rasa, the blank slate, has nothing to do with Skinnerian visions of human "motivation" - that's known in the world of labs as "ratomorphism." Try to sort it all out before throwing out something called "human nature" for consideration.

I think its clear you've misunderstood the article in the context of Tabula Rasa vs behavioural genetics.  My bad for not explaining it to you.

Slumberjack

dp

Slumberjack

Gaian wrote:
No, but we know that the ratomorphists can't explain the ease with which the laid back excuse themselves from participating in the democratic process, even when the fate of the earth is at stake. All have "reasons," some of which appear in this thread, based on what they have heard, read, seen, and "reasoned through" to come to their position, the permutations of which don't bear thinking about, if this thread is at all representative. :)

It's been explained only too well through the general political excuse, which coincides with and appears as an integral part of the overarching economic excuse. It's a similar song with a different pitch that people are sick of hearing.  Explanations of and from the inexplicable are essentially all there is to work with. But I don't really know at this point how many more times we have to go back to the same 'laid back and lazy' argument that can't advance from being hobbled with fallaciousness. It's a deflection and a straw man that by now, even the crows should invite us to mock.

Slumberjack

At first I thought ‘the three mouseketeers,' but with further reading another entertaining and hysterical trio came to mind.

Fidel wrote:
It's not laziness that causes large percentages of voters in those ridings to refrain from voting - it's our uncompetitive, mathematically absurd electoral system that is the source of their frustration. And then there is the remainder who do vote only to have their ballots to be wasted.

I think we have to be a little more specific here in saying that although the electoral system is weighted against a realistic expression of democracy, this can't very well be the reason because you attribute to the non-voting segment more distain for a largely hidden mechanism, silently functioning in the background since the 19th century, than toward the more visible elements of the system that come with faces and who also speak their absurdities.

Gaian wrote:
"I applaud the young Canadian activists who stood with their back toward Environment Minister Peter Kent as he spoke his anti-Kyoto rhetoric in Durban...attuned to the environmental threat to our planet, they are our heroes. "I urge others of their cohort to join them because their parents' generatin (55-plus) seems incapable of steering this once great nation toward being a safe, healthy, compassionate land."

Again, generalizations about population segments, put forward by someone passionate about the fate of the earth. And will "urging others of their cohort" move more than a handful? No, but we know that the ratomorphists can't explain the ease with which the laid back excuse themselves from participating in the democratic process, even when the fate of the earth is at stake. All have "reasons," some of which appear in this thread, based on what they have heard, read, seen, and "reasoned through" to come to their position, the permutations of which don't bear thinking about, if this thread is at all representative. :)

The fifty-five plus describes power and its support base. This is not a generalization because it is specific everywhere. The urging of ‘others of their cohort' means everyone who has a wrench and the desire [and here no ageism exists...its come one come all], to wield it according to their own manner, in the full realization that one can't avoid being hit with the disasters that have been flung one's way. It's a question of desire that cuts across generalization but that invokes capacity, that calls to it in desperation. Of course we could talk about the things that conspire over time to drain away human capacity, the cumulative external on the internal that is, but I fear it would just confuse the discussion at this point. :)

6079_Smith_W wrote:
Well I'll say it. I have met enough of them. Though to be fair, I'd say apathetic and uninformed rather than lazy.

Yeah, those lazy voter discussions keep cropping up, only to be forgotten that they ever occurred. It's not insulting or anything...don't get me wrong. With that I'm just saying it betrays either a superficial analysis or a reactionary partisan bias, examples of which don't appear to be very far from us, because it seems we're being provided with both.

6079_Smith_W

@ Slumberjack

Have I not made the distinction clear enough? Or enough times? 

Yes, there are many people who do not vote because of principle, or because they are disgruntled. 

But to deny that there are many people who just don't care is willful blindness. Sorry, but I have met far too many of them to pretend otherwise.

And as for bringing up the issue, you perpetuate it more than anyone - as a foil to imply that your opponents do not understand, or are maligning non-voters. 

You started right in on it in your first two posts. And "lazy" is your word, not mine. So let's not pretend that has been a serious and overriding argument against your position. 

 

Slumberjack

6079_Smith_W wrote:
@ Slumberjack Have I not made the distinction clear enough? Or enough times? Yes, there are many people who do not vote because of principle, or because they are disgruntled. But to deny that there are many people who just don't care is willful blindness. Sorry, but I have met far too many of them to pretend otherwise.  And as for bringing up the issue, you perpetuate it more than anyone - as a foil to imply that your opponents do not understand, or are maligning non-voters.  You started right in on it in your first two posts. And "lazy" is your word, not mine. So let's not pretend that has been a serious and overriding argument against your position. 

The issue that occasionally surfaces as a topic is the reasons for not voting. We've heard before in previous threads the 'lazy' argument, which I had hoped to clear from the outset in order to make some progress toward the more substantial reasons for voter apathy. But we keep being brought back to it, and all subsequent attempts to steer clear of the hurdle have failed to this point because it keeps getting thrown in the way. The short answer that says people don't care is just left at that [the condition itself being all there is to see apparently] keeps returning instead of focusing on the deterioration of politics.  I have to admit that it does represent an irritating, if not understandable tactic, because otherwise we'd have more room to discuss the role of political parties in the general lethargy.

6079_Smith_W

Then maybe don't start the conversation by bringing it up. 

Though any discussion of non-voting is going to touch on it because that is part of the issue for some people. It is not a tactic, it is a fact, and if you find it irritating that is unfortunate, because I am not going to pretend that it does not exist. That is why I responded to Fidel at #49 as I did.

And on the other hand, even mainstream media do not deny that part of voter apathy is caused by disappointment in the system, and the actions of politicians.  

(edit)

The article and study we are discussing was published in Canada's largest newspaper. It begs the question of who is in denial.

I would recommend realizing that there is not just one cause, not all people stop voting for the same reason, and anyone who looks at the issue seriously realizes that. 

And in particular, no one here that I am aware of disrespects your position, even though some of us disagree with it.

 

Fidel

Slumberjack wrote:

At first I thought ‘the three mouseketeers,' but with further reading another entertaining and hysterical trio came to mind.

Fidel wrote:
It's not laziness that causes large percentages of voters in those ridings to refrain from voting - it's our uncompetitive, mathematically absurd electoral system that is the source of their frustration. And then there is the remainder who do vote only to have their ballots to be wasted.

I think we have to be a little more specific here in saying that although the electoral system is weighted against a realistic expression of democracy, this can't very well be the reason because you attribute to the non-voting segment more distain for a largely hidden mechanism, silently functioning in the background since the 19th century, than toward the more visible elements of the system that come with faces and who also speak their absurdities.

I'm saying that millions of non-voters refrain from voting not because of laziness, but because their votes are not counted. Whether they realize it or not, their votes have no effect on the outcomes of Canadian elections period. Their reward for voting is to have their votes flushed down the pike, thrown in their faces, and to watch as their votes disappear into a ballot box that works a lot like a shredding machine.

However, overthrowing the bad system is not a mathematical impossibility. It just means we have to fight twice or three times as hard as the status quo in order to change the bad system.

 Whether your vote counts or not depends on where you live in Canada and which party you vote for. 

Electoral fraud is built-in to our obsolete electoral system invented before electricity. 

And where laziness comes in to the picture is a general malaise not to want to do anything about it. I think we have to inform more and more people of why they lack enthusiasm for voting. Right now millions of Canadians probably do not fully appreciate the root cause of their electoral malaise.

One Canadian should equal one vote. Worst past the post is a rotten door waiting to be kicked in by the true majority. I'm saying that the bad electoral system is a significant weakness in their heavy armour, and we proles have to try to exploit that weakness like piranhas after a wounded fish. The fish is democracy, and the proles must eat in order to survive.

gerrymc

I seem to recall that it was the Governor General who allowed Harper to prorogue parliament not the Supreme Court. It would be interesting however if someone could have the Supreme Court rule on whether our current electoral system does in fact discriminate against a large proportion of the Canadian electorate. Probably isn't going to happen because half of the population have given up on voting and the other half seem to want to perpetuate the 19th century oligarchy that was legislated in place by the British in 1867. I guess that we should thankful that our betters have decided that voting should be secret and that women and native peoples can vote. But just because more people can potentially vote doesn't change the fact that the electoral system is still fundamentally antidemocratic. Why is it that others have been able to change their voting practices but we seem incapable of doing that here. The fact is as I stated before, we are one of the few countries in the world that still has this system of voting and it doesn't look like there is any prospect of changing it. Most Canadians are probably unaware that in three provinces, Ontario, Manitoba and BC you can actually go to the polls and vote not to vote which means your vote is actually recorded. If this were done federally and it was well publicized it would be interesting to see how many people would take this opportunity to record their displeasure with the current system. But being who they are many Canadians would go on voting as their antecedents did because like sheep they can be counted upon to follow their shepherds

6079_Smith_W

@ gerrymc

Hold on a sec. If you are in favour of proportional representation, I am with you completely. That's not the same as rejecting the democratic process,

And no, the GG's decision with respect to proroguing was not a ruling on the constitutionality of anything. In fact, she went by the book, as she probably should have. No matter what she decided, someone was going to be screaming blue murder about anti-democratic decisions because she is appointed. So even though it was a significant historical moment, I don't think your point is well taken.

 

jerrym

gerrymc wrote

But being who they are many Canadians would go on voting as their antecedents did because like sheep they can be counted upon to follow thier shepherds

 

It is interesting that all around the world, in South Africa, South and Central America, the Middle East, Burma, the Balkans, and so on, people have been literally dying for the last forty years for the right to vote because they have seen the alternative. With a"mc", I suspect you are, like me, at least part Irish. I do not think there would have been the millions of deaths created by the Irish Famine if all the poor had the right to vote at that time. As imperfect as Canadian democracy is, and I agree that it is, its like old age - it beats the alternative.

 

 

takeitslowly

I used to think PR is the answer, but the people in Spain or many european countries that are forced to listen to the IMF and big banks do not seem to have a voice in their democracy anymore than we do in Canada...

 

so now i am thinking voting is really useless..

Fidel

How does Canada's electoral system violate the right to vote?

Quote:
These two principles of ‘parity of voting power' and ‘effective representation' are what the right to vote means in law under the Constitution.

FPTP was entirely legal at one time when there were no better alternatives. A better alternative has existed for a long time.

Today it is not the former Soviets who are "backsliding on democracy." The backsliders are right there in the halls of powerlessness. They want us to believe that powers of resource allocation are in the hands of the banks and foreign bondholders. And that's a lie. That's not how democracy is supposed to work. What they've been pulling on Canadians and Americans, Brits and Europeans is oligarchy.

Freedom 55

jerrym wrote:

As imperfect as Canadian democracy is, and I agree that it is, its like old age - it beats the alternative.

 

Sure, if the alternative to FPTP was a military dictatorship like Burma, then yes, our system looks good by comparison. But, of course, you've presented us with a false dichotomy.

Fidel

It's better than Puerto Rico. For now.

Slumberjack

takeitslowly wrote:
I used to think PR is the answer, but the people in Spain or many european countries that are forced to listen to the IMF and big banks do not seem to have a voice in their democracy anymore than we do in Canada...

so now i am thinking voting is really useless..

The evidence is in everywhere that voting is a one shot deal occasionally offered up to legitimize worsening conditions on behalf of profit driven oligarchies. New strategies are needed to try and counteract the entire range of ever imaginative devices employed against populations. To begin with, we need to stop investing in a contemporary politik offering up their usual zero rate of return. We should stop worshiping mediocrity as the only game in town by rejecting the selfish agendas of today's crop of social democratic apologists. Their every self-serving gesture should be mocked and then ignored....including those media hand puppet shows who carry such messages while expecting us to take them seriously.  Spreading this message should be the new campaign of the occupy groups and associated allies.  "Que se vayan todos."

Gaian

Yeah, break out the battle axes, sojers. :) And in the name of peace -omnia vincet amor - if that isn't totally bent thinking.

Slumberjack

No.  We don't need any more martyrs.  It was once said that reaction is allied with domination.

Slumberjack

Fidel wrote:
I'm saying that millions of non-voters refrain from voting not because of laziness, but because their votes are not counted. Whether they realize it or not, their votes have no effect on the outcomes of Canadian elections period.

Whether they realize it or not?  So which is it?  Do they refrain because they know their votes are not counted, or because they know their votes have no effect?  Perhaps we should attempt to formulate the most plausible reason before attributing it to anyone.

Quote:
And where laziness comes in to the picture is a general malaise not to want to do anything about it. I think we have to inform more and more people of why they lack enthusiasm for voting. Right now millions of Canadians probably do not fully appreciate the root cause of their electoral malaise.

Malaise is different than laziness.  Being worn out from being worked over is something else entirely.  They appreciate the root causes well enough to stay away.  I wouldn't be so quick to sell them short on that account.

Quote:
One Canadian should equal one vote.

Ideally, but it would depend on what people are voting for.

Fidel

Slumberjack wrote:

Fidel wrote:
I'm saying that millions of non-voters refrain from voting not because of laziness, but because their votes are not counted. Whether they realize it or not, their votes have no effect on the outcomes of Canadian elections period.

Whether they realize it or not?  So which is it?  Do they refrain because they know their votes are not counted, or because they know their votes have no effect?  Perhaps we should attempt to formulate the most plausible reason before attributing it to anyone.

200 safe ridings. The majority of Canadians live in them and realize by learned helplessness that their votes do not determine the outcome of elections. Their votes are mathematically eliminated from being expressed in elections by virtue of where they live and which specific parties they vote for. And so millions either refrain from voting, or are enduring through the process of casting wasted votes - millions more of them.

An environics poll of 2010 says that a large majority of Canadians are in favour of PR - 62% of Canadians, it says. Similar results were revealed in national opinion polls of 2001 and, I believe, 2003. This is very encouraging for electoral reformers across the country. The PR side knows that there are few public information campaigns to promote PR, and yet when asked most Canadians are in favour of a modern electoral system in general. PR is sold already. PR is not a Meech Lake deal or NAFTA in that the two oldest political parties would not have to lie about their true intentions. PR sells itself according to opinion polls.

Slumberjack wrote:
Quote:
And where laziness comes in to the picture is a general malaise not to want to do anything about it. I think we have to inform more and more people of why they lack enthusiasm for voting. Right now millions of Canadians probably do not fully appreciate the root cause of their electoral malaise.

Malaise is different than laziness.  Being worn out from being worked over is something else entirely.  They appreciate the root causes well enough to stay away.  I wouldn't be so quick to sell them short on that account.

I'm not saying Canadians are lazy. They are far from lazy. What we are talking about here is the fact that millions of Canadians have learned by experience that the bad electoral system is a bad electoral system. And many already do understand why -representative samples of Canadians surveyed over a decade like the idea of a fair electoral system. 

Slumberjack wrote:
Quote:
One Canadian should equal one vote.

Ideally, but it would depend on what people are voting for.

Canadians are very opinionated. They are among the most well educated populations in the world. And most of us would prefer proportional representation in the halls of power according to opinion polls, just like most citizens of all NATO countries were opposed to sending more troops to Afghanistan in 2009. Our phony majority leaders tend to do quite a lot that their citizens are opposed to. We have to at least try to stop  22-24% of the electorate from speaking for all of us on the one day every four years that counts for anything. We need a full accounting of what Canadians actually do want. We need to follow Marx' advice to fight and win the battle for democracy. And we won't do it by sitting on the sidelines.

gerrymc

We are now in the realm of the illogical arguments that are based on "well democracy in Canada may not meet the standard of many other countries but it is better than some Banana republics." This argumernt  has all the logical rigour of defending fighting in hockey by stating that it is less harmful than Cage fighting. Why is it that Canadians think that a second rate constitution, a second rate electoral system and a second rate democracy are about as good as it gets or can ever get? Are we truly such sheep that we can't even invisage a Canada other than that handed down to us by the shepherds. Are a PM appointed Supreme Court and Senate essential features of a Canadian tradition that ought to protected forever just like fighting in hockey.

By the way I think I erroneously stated that BC was one of the three provinces that allowed voters to reject their ballot I should have said Alberta. Lets think of what could be rather than defending the indefensible.

gerrymc

"Many of the prime minister’s powers are nowhere written. These “prerogative powers” are simply traditional: the power to pardon; the power to declare war; the power to summon, prorogue or dissolve Parliament. It was silly for the opposition to go squirrelly when "Mr. Harper prorogued Parliament for strategic purposes. His right to do so was absolute, his reason irrelevant. Our constitutional monarchy is inherently hierarchical. It encourages consensus but does not require it – and gives us stable government in return. Democracy is for elections; governing is something else altogether. Yet, Mr. Harper holds his powers, elaborate as they are, only with the consent of his own colleagues. MPs are nobodies, Pierre Trudeau once said, when they’re 100 yards from Parliament Hill. Assembled in the House of Commons, though, they retain a superior power – in a parliamentary sense, the right to regicide." NEIL REYNOLDS The Globe & Mail 12/11

Just a timely reminder from a right wing commentator for those who might have any illusions about the kind of constitutional structure we have in Canada. This is is a good summary of what a 39.2% PM can do. Remember this the next time you vote perhaps if some other party can get 75% of the vote we might get another government but I wouldn't bet on it

Gaian

Fidel: "Canadians are very opinionated. They are among the most well educated populations in the world. And most of us would prefer proportional representation in the halls of power according to opinion polls, just like most citizens of all NATO countries were opposed to sending more troops to Afghanistan in 2009. Our phony majority leaders tend to do quite a lot that their citizens are opposed to. We have to at least try to stop 22-24% of the electorate from speaking for all of us on the one day every four years that counts for anything. We need a full accounting of what Canadians actually do want. We need to follow Marx' advice to fight and win the battle for democracy. And we won't do it by sitting on the sidelines."

Right on, Fidel. Wish I lived up north so that I could thank Charley Angus for his marvelous opposition to Steve's cretins. At least the leadership campaign allows him to perform as only he can, in defence of the people of his riding.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And what has voting done? Among many other things, it produced the governments which repatriated the constitution, recognized womens' suffrage and native suffrage, and turned down proportional representation.

If that's your list of the greatest accomplishments that voting has brought about in Canada, I must say it's pretty thin gruel.

It's not even accurate to say those things were the result of electoral participation; firstly, repatriation, women's suffrage, and native suffrage were not on the ballot; secondly, social pressures and changing social attitudes had much more to do with effecting those changes, and for that we have to thank popular activism and labour campaigns far outside the polling booths of the country.

I also wonder why, if those accomplishments were made by Liberal/Conservative governments, do we need the NDP?

6079_Smith_W

@ M. Spector

No, I just didn't want to fill up a page with examples of times when an electoral decision has made a significant difference, seeing as this thread is about the opposite principle. I did say "among other things" after all. 

I have never said that public pressure and activism do not matter, but believe it or not, the people who we elect to run the government have a little bit of influence too.

If you want a hard example of that, consider the things which we are dealing with right now which likely would not be on the table if it were not for the majority which Harper enjoys.

(edit)

And I assume your question about the NDP is rhetorical. It makes no sense to talk about the importance of activism in one sentence, and discount the influence of third parties in the house in the next. If nothing else, they are important because they are elected to reflect the will of the people who voted for them.

We both know, after all, that representative democracy is not the same as direct democracy. It's not like we have California ballots with 50 pages of voter initiatives on every issue under the sun.

 

 

Gaian

quote: "I also wonder why, if those accomplishments were made by Liberal/Conservative governments, do we need the NDP?"

Why not put that question to the people of Attawapiskat?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

It makes no sense to talk about the importance of activism in one sentence, and discount the influence of third parties in the house in the next. If nothing else, they are important because they are elected to reflect the will of the people who voted for them.

Really?

So I suppose it "makes no sense" to talk about activism in the USA, where there is no third party in Congress.

And isn't everyone in Parliament "elected to reflect the will of the people who voted for them"? What's so special about the "influence" of third parties?

Especially third parties that merely react to social activism (if they don't ignore it altogether) rather than lead it.

Gaian

Gaian wrote:

quote: "I also wonder why, if those accomplishments were made by Liberal/Conservative governments, do we need the NDP?"

Why not put that question to the people of Attawapiskat?

Still hopeful of an answer from MS, when he's done travelling the world. A note from the real world of need, at this moment.

6079_Smith_W

@ M. Spector

If you are going to start picking sentences apart, you should be careful that you correctly understand what I said.

My point was that activism IS valid - here, in the U.S., and elsewhere. And opposition parties are just as important, even though, like activist groups,  they do not usually hold the balance of power. 

6079_Smith_W

@ Slumberjack

That would be your paradise, not mine.

 

Slumberjack

There was a time when we couldn't talk about third parties, because of the other two parties.  Now we can't talk about the first two, because of a third.  We can at least long for a day when we only talk about any of them in a historical context.

Gaian

But Charley Angus performs for people in today's world, the real, not abstract world.

NDPP

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ M. Spector

If you are going to start picking sentences apart, you should be careful that you correctly understand what I said.

My point was that activism IS valid - here, in the U.S., and elsewhere. And opposition parties are just as important, even though, like activist groups,  they do not usually hold the balance of power. 

NDPP

or, as is the case with the NDP, frequently don't even 'oppose'...

Slumberjack

Someone once said in looking at what reality has achieved, we shouldn't mind talking about utopia.

6079_Smith_W

@ Slumberjack

Fair enough; I don't have a problem with visionary thinking. My point though was that your idea of utopia is probably not that of everyone else's.

And further, I don't think we are every going to live in a world where everyone supports exactly the same political and social values. That is part of the reason why we have partisan politics in the first place, and why I don't think they are a bad thing in all respects.

(edit)

And frankly, I think we have achieved a thing or two, despite our broken system.

 

 

Gaian

Youu're all avoiding Charley's work, like the abstractionists you finally are.

(Make that obstructive abstractionists.) :)

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

M. Spector wrote:

I also wonder why, if those accomplishments were made by Liberal/Conservative governments, do we need the NDP?

For those having such diffculty with reading comprehension, I will explain my above rhetorical question: We are urged to get out and vote because it leads to such wonderful revolutionary changes as letting our own plutocrats have the last say on constitutional change, instead of British plutocrats (aka "repatriation of the constitution"). But since those wonderful things enacted by Parliament over the years were all done by Liberal and Conservative governments, what difference does it make whether we voted for them or the NDP?

Did they do these wonderful things because of "pressure" from the NDP? The only time the NDP has any "pressure" to exert is when it holds the balance of power. We the people are not similarly restricted. We can exert pressure on the government any time we are moved to do so, through social activism. We don't need to wait around for a chance to put a meaningless ballot in a box in order to gain reforms like same-sex marriage.

And shouldn't a proper balance sheet on the utility of voting for members of Parliament also take into consideration alll the lousy things the Canadian government has done over the years, cloaked in the phony legitimacy of having been "elected" by us to do them? If dutiful ballot-box fetishists are are going to take credit for women's suffrage shouldn't they also take the blame for NAFTA, the war on Libya, and the internment of Japanese-Canadians in World War Two?

6079_Smith_W

@ M. Spector

Well I think we can blame the electorate for NAFTA, and with allowances for the flaws in our FPTP system, I blame them for the Harper majority too (especially around where I live). And for that matter, I think non-voters bear some responsibility as well, since they make a choice just like the rest of us. I certainly don't assume that the voters always make the decision in their best interest, any more than individual people do.

But I can't see how anyone can prefer the alternative of an imposed system.

Sorry, but I am with Winston Churchill on this one. It's the worst system there is, except for all the others.

gerrymc

Smith W

No the worse system of all, is the one that never changes even though the circumstances under which it was created have. I would be careful quoting a life long imperialist like Churchill in defence of democracy. You might remember he resisted decolonization of the British Empire right to the bitter end. Moreover there are numerous governments around the world who have managed to bring their democracies up to date. If our constitutional system is as Mr Reynolds says it is and perhaps someone could point out exactly what he got wrong about it in his description, then what has prevented us from changing it. I suppose the current default position of Canadians on the environment, constitutional or electoral change is akin to some kind of Orwellian mantra that equates to "all change is bad and no change is good". Hey it works for the shepherds when the sheep are complacent and don't stray outside the constitutional fences that their "representatives" have put in place lest the grass in the pasture next door look greener I guess some of us who travel to other places in the world regularly find it embarrassing that in many countries our constitutional and electoral systems are perceived as some kind of outdated and undemocratic anachronisms. Who knows for sure whether fairer and more democratic electoral and constructional systems would make Canada a better place but wouldn't it be wonderful to see if that might be the case. What can be so dangerous about making a decision to live in the present and not in the past.

6079_Smith_W

um... 

I'm not sure what you're talking about gerrymc. I am in favour of proportional representation and other forms of electoral reform; never said I wasn't.

If I understand it correctly the subject of this thread is whether one should vote at all - the principle of representative democracy - which is a different matter.

And I don't care how big of an old war criminal Churchill was, but thank you for your words of caution anyway. As far as I am concerned he hit the nail on the head with that one.

Fidel

@88 Yes I blame non-voters and old line party voters for NAFTA, and for the privatization of money supply by 1991. And even though they were lied to by both Liberal and Tory parties in 1989 and 1993 elections. And the fact that voter turnouts have declined across Canada since those betrayals on trade and bank bailouts were rammed through Parliament sans democratic debate is no excuse either. I still blame those who were kept in the dark and those many Canadians who still don't fully realize the implications of those betrayals which they either did not knowingly vote for or made aware of then or anytime since. Blame the people not our lying-liar leaders or the deeply flawed FPTP system equivalent to electoral fraud every four years.

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:

If I understand it correctly the subject of this thread is whether one should vote at all - the principle of representative democracy - which is a different matter.

Ask the jaded non-voters if they will volunteer to tear up their provincial health cards, and move to any U.S. right-to-work state where there was never any political influence by a CCF-NDP effective opposition party. Ask them to abandon the "socialist enclave" of Canada and experience what it is they say is no different than here where they claim the CCF-NDP and its affiliated civil society groups have made so little difference in the quality of lives of Canadians. It's my guess that they will soon lose faith in their convictions and choose to remain here  as non-voters sans medical bills in the no difference country. I've seen Americans with food stamps in hand lined up at grocery checkouts on the U.S. side. They don't look very prosperous. They appear beaten down and demoralized if you ask me. And the right wing Obamacrats will be scaling back even that bit of socialism for tens of millions of desperate Americans not living very well.

The question should be framed along the lines of, do Canadians have anything worth fighting for? I think we do. I think our right wingers are not as bold as their's in that country. I think our right wingers are governing in Ottawa like they still have a minority and hiding from the NDP and press even as the NDP is bogged down with leadership campaigns. The already controversial Harpers are breathing easy by comparison right now, and yet they still cower from the public and the NDP. And that's thanks to the official opposition NDP breathing down their necks even while hampered by leadership issues. The leadership issue will be resolved, and the Reformatories with 24% of the eligible voter under them willl be entirely beatable in 2015.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

But I can't see how anyone can prefer the alternative of an imposed system.

We already have an imposed system, and you seem to be the only one who prefers it to anything else:

Quote:
Sorry, but I am with Winston Churchill on this one. It's the worst system there is, except for all the others.

Which is just another way of saying our "democratic" FPTP system is the best system possible. Churchill may have you fooled, but not me.

6079_Smith_W

@ M. Spector

You complain about imposition, yet you try to put words in my mouth (which to be clear, I do not believe) twice in one post. 

Anyone reading this can see your accusations in #94 are nonsense, and a contradiction of what I just said. 

You are embarrassing no one but yourself. 

I know we're crawling up on 100 posts, but are actually interested in talking obout the question, or making poor attempts at scoring points?

 

NDPP

gerrymc wrote:

Smith W

I thought the point I was trying to make was that voting under the present electoral and constitutional framework is like aiding and abetting. Is accomplishes very little while it allows those who milk this system for their own interests to pretend that they are participating in a "democratic" exercise. What if a considerable percentage of Canadians simply refused to participate in this fraudulent practice until the process was made more fair and democratic.

Lets just assume that by some electoral miracle the NDP were able to achieve two members short of a "majority government" and the conservatives returned with a  "real majority" of 39% would it make any real difference and would that result be anything better than what we have at present?  There is something inherently repugnant about a system where 61% of the people who voted did not vote for the 39% majority government but that government can fundamentally remake the country evoking  its "democratic mandate" from the people.  If this kind of government's walks, talks and acts like a dictatorship then let's not pretend its some kind of unique Canadian form of democracy. I know that you are aware that all of the candidates who run in our elections must be sanctioned by the party leaders who sign their nomination forms. Even the PM is selected by the party and is voted on only by those voters in a riding where it is already established he can be elected.

Perhaps I am one of those pie in the sky idealists but I can no longer be a participant in this kind of deception because it simply gives a false sense of legitimacy to what is a form of democratic fraud.

NDPP

and you're not the only one gerrymc - well said!

Fidel

gerrymc wrote:
What if a considerable percentage of Canadians simply refused to participate in this fraudulent practice until the process was made more fair and democratic.

We just had the lowest participation in an Ontario election since 1867. And about 40% refrained from voting between 2008 and 2011 federal elections. Apparently they can't be embarrassed into scrapping our obsolete electoral system. It's broken, and that's just the way they like it.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

6079_Smith_W wrote:

@ M. Spector

You complain about imposition, yet you try to put words in my mouth (which to be clear, I do not believe) twice in one post. 

Anyone reading this can see your accusations in #94 are nonsense, and a contradiction of what I just said. 

You are embarrassing no one but yourself. 

I know we're crawling up on 100 posts, but are actually interested in talking obout the question, or making poor attempts at scoring points?

Nobody can take anything you write seriously because you say ridiculous and indefensible things, and then when called on them you immediately pretend you meant something entirely different. Life's too short for this shit.

gerrymc

Smith W

I thought the point I was trying to make was that voting under the present electoral and constitutional framework is like aiding and abetting. Is accomplishes very little while it allows those who milk this system for their own interests to pretend that they are participating in a "democratic" exercise. What if a considerable percentage of Canadians simply refused to participate in this fraudulent practice until the process was made more fair and democratic.

 

 

Lets just assume that by some electoral miracle the NDP were able to achieve two members short of a "majority government" and the conservatives returned with a  "real majority" of 39% would it make any real difference and would that result be anything better than what we have at present?  There is something inherently repugnant about a system where 61% of the people who voted did not vote for the 39% majority government but that government can fundamentally remake the country evoking  its "democratic mandate" from the people.  If this kind of government walks, talks and acts like a dictatorship then let's not pretend its some kind of unique Canadian form of democracy. I know that you are aware that all of the candidates who run in our elections must be sanctioned by the party leaders who sign their nomination forms. Even the PM is selected by the party and is voted on only by those voters in a riding where it is already established he can be elected.

Perhaps I am one of those pie in the sky idealists but I can no longer be a participant in this kind of deception because it simply gives a false sense of legitimacy to what is a form of democratic fraud.

 

6079_Smith_W

Spector. 

I support proportional representation over FPTP. Did I not say that clealy enough? 

And yes, I do prefer our system of representative democracy to one in which all government decisions are imposed without input from the public.

 

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Spector. 

I support proportional representation over FPTP. Did I not say that clealy enough?

Yes? 

And what about this?

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And yes, I do prefer our system of representative democracy to one in which all government decisions are imposed without input from the public.

Have you mistaken our system with one where governments actually seek input from the public on federal level decisions? 

The large majority of Canadians voted for parties that expressed opposition to an expanded NAFTA in 1993.

106% of Canadians were never consulted about the criminal bank bailouts in the 1980s and especially not the big bank heist in 1991.

They didn't consult with ordinary Canadians or the opposition NDP in 2005 when switching military roles from one of peacekeeping in Kabul to that of US-style combat in Kandahar. They consulted with Uncle Sam, though. Or were they simply following orders?

Canadians were never consulted with when 170 pieces of repressive anti-labour legislations were enacted since 1982.

Canadians were never consulted even once when the feds rubberstamped more than 1400 foreign takeovers of Canadian corporations and valuable crown assets since 1985.

And we were never consulted with on SPP or today's border security giveaways of Canadians privacy to Uncle Sam and the Military dictatorship running that country since 1947. 

They consult with ordinary Canadians and public committees very little in fact, and never mind the democratically elected opposition parties who they treat with contempt in Canada's Parliament.

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