The SNC Lavalin affair has led me to think about democracy in Canada. I’m lightweight on this kind of stuff, but this needs to come out.
We do not have rule by the people in Canada, otherwise called ‘democracy’ ( ‘δεμοσ’ – the people; and ‘κρατια‘ – power, rule.)
Look at any election in Canada. The ‘δεμοσ’ are not calling the shots. Justin Trudeau himself was re-elected as the Member of Parliament for Papineau in [the Current Year], with 51.98% of the votes cast in his riding. This was 26,931 votes, out of 78,515 electors, in a riding with 110,750 people. That means 34.3% of potential voters selected him. Those who did not vote are deemed acquiescent to the decisions of his government. The ones who did vote for him are also deemed to agree with all decisions made by the government. The rest…meh.
Nationwide, [the Current Year] vote was 39.47% for liberals, with a turn out of 58.8%. So, 23.21% percent of voters actually voted Liberal. And for that, everything the Liberals do is now deemed to be what the ‘δεμοσ’ wants. That’s great! They get to do whatever they want and blame it on us. And if they screw up, they get punished by losing power and getting high paying jobs in the private sector. They do not even have to fix their mistakes. Sweet deal.
Further, the decisions made in Ottawa by the bureaucracy are also deemed to be ‘δεμοσ’ endorsed. If you don’t like it, complain all you like. The odds of you voting in politicians who will change what you don’t like is nominal. You’ll likely forget by the next election.
What Canada actually has is rule by an aristocracy. A member of the aristocracy, SNC Lavalin, demands the law be changed and applied in their favour. The ‘δεμοσ’ need not opine.
Justin Trudeau, another aristocrat, happens to have the job of convincing the ‘δεμοσ’ this is what they wanted all along (saving jobs of course…maybe…well, the right kind of jobs…in a province that matters.)
So, democracy is not the right to have your voice heard in politics. Your choice is to vote for who feeds you the propaganda that what was decided in Ottawa (which may be hundreds if not thousands of kilometers away) was actually what you wanted.
All this business about Justice Committee hearings and Minister resignations is not about accountability to the ‘δεμοσ’. It’s about deciding which narrative gets fed to the ‘δεμοσ’ about decisions which are largely made by unelected bureaucrats.
I’d be slightly less grumpy if I could say that Canadian democracy at least gets the aristocracy to play by a set of rules, and to play nice with the common folk. But it does not. It’s about getting the common folk to believe they created rules which make them subservient to the aristocracy. I suppose it’s ‘same old, same old’. And the inevitable conclusion is that nothing about an SNC Lavalin level scandal is going to bring down an aristocrat like Trudeau until the aristocrats want it to.