Firstly, I would like you to clarify is how you can genuinely support a political process that is overtly skewed too maintaining the status quo, in favour of the interests of the well-to-do? On the elections Canada web site is says that the object is to create a "level playing field". However on the very same page is explicitly excludes people who can't afford to throw $1000 at the government every 4 years for the privilege of becoming a candidate. This biases the sytem against the poorer members of society and relegates them to the status of volunteer foot soldiers, or mere voters, for the established factions who are paid handsomely for each vote they aquire.
Secondly can you also clarify for me why such a system does not progessively shift the agenda of the entire system (including the quasi-independent subsidiary state organs we like to call "political parties") away from those items that might benefit the interests of those who are relegated to the status of mere voters and foot soldies because it is economically unfeasible for them to field effective competition to the existing state funded (and therefore controlled) political organs?
[ 08 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]
Cueball, if you were to run as an NDP candidate and won the nomination, the NDP riding association pays the 1000 dollars, and not you personally. I just wanted to clear that up for you. So yes, people within the NDP can run who are economically challenged, and yes, they do win nomination races.
Of course. And what of it? That is precisely the point. Persons, especially those from the poorer segements of our society are prevented from forwarding themselves as candidates competing with the established parties. Instead they are relegated to the role of mere voters or foot soldiers.
Of course we will be told that working your way up in the party structure is just part ot the process, but that is irrelevant. The party structure enforces a pre-established agenda, and policy outline already, which persons must, more or less conform too. Not to mention the existance of established power blocks within the party.
Changing the party from within is the bait that is thrown to those who dissent from the adopted agenda. But the fact remains that the party itself depends largely on the largesse, not only of the government, but also those well-to-do donors who keep the party functioning in all its facets in and out of elections cycles, and those persons, quite naturally have interests which influence the party. That is aside from the fact that the well healed have time to go to meetings, attend workshops, and otherwise manage the party so that it does not ever seriously undermine their interests.
So, from top-to-bottom, in the election process, the internal organizational realities of the official parties skews the agenda away from those who are the least well off in our society, slowly and inexonerably toward what we call the right.
You have merely made the agruement, which co-opts those political activists from the lower strata of the society by promising, more often than not, the lesser of two evils on the basis that the worst outcome can be prevented.
"Preventing the worst outcome" is not progressive. Progressive is changing what exists now and making it better.
If the NDP were truly interested in benefitting those who most need the support of our society, they would first and foremost take on those issues that directly affect their ability to enter the political arena as full enfranchised participants by demanding the election deposits be pro-rated for income, or dropped altogether, and making the elimination of the FPTP the central theme of its policy platform, even if this this actually was detrimental to the parties long term prospects. But no, the NDP cynically offers up progressive sounding anti-poverty statements, and worker positive platform positions, aimed at attracting votes from the underclass of our society, rather than energizing them and empowering them to stand for themselves.
Taken from here: Compulsory voting Mark III