Democracy, the concept. A government of the people, by the people, for the people. (Borrowed from one of our southern neighbour’s greatest visionaries).
Democracy, the Canadian reality. A government of the privileged few, by the privileged few and for the privileged few.
You doubt the veracity of that statement? Really?
Under what rock have you been hiding?
Look at obvious, inarguable facts.
Canadian Federal Election Cycle (If you’re easily bored or short on time, skip ahead to the heading ‘No. Here are the some of the reasons why.’)
When are federal elections held in Canada?
Since May 2007, the Canada Elections Act provides for a general election to be held on a fixed date: the third Monday of October in the fourth calendar year following the previous general election. As the last election took place on October 19, 2015, the next fixed election date is October 21, 2019.
That said, the Canada Elections Act does not prevent a general election from being called at another date.
General elections are called when, on the advice of the Prime Minister, the Governor General dissolves Parliament. The Governor in Council (the Governor General, acting on the advice of Cabinet) sets the date of the election.
The Canada Elections Act (section 57) specifies that the election period must last a minimum of 36 days and a maximum of 50 days.
Canadians are currently expecting the next federal election on October 21, 2019 unless the sitting government chooses to change that nebulous date.
How do Canadians participate in the upcoming federal election?
Generally, by following the rules and regulations of Elections Canada as prescribed on the elections.ca website and according to state.
To summarize, eligible candidates who wish to contest for a seat as a Member of Parliament enlist the support of 100 voters in a federal riding and submit their application to Elections Canada for review and ratification.
Most candidates choose to align themselves with a federal party to take advantage of the benefits of ‘showing their colours’ and supporting values, principles and policies common to the leadership and membership of that particular federal party. Those federal parties each have their own rules of eligibility to participate in the upcoming federal election, subject to compliance with the additional regulations imposed upon registered political parties by Elections Canada.
Some of those regulations are sound, reasonable and practical.
Limits are placed on the amounts of money any individual can ‘invest’ in his/her preferred political party and candidate. That way, the richest Canadians have little more power, on paper, than the poorest of us.
Campaigns are regulated and financial statements are issued after the election to ensure that the candidates, their campaigns and their parties remained in compliance .
Seems reasonable and straightforward, right?
No. Here are some of the reasons why.
A new federal political party, such as the People’s Party of Canada is hindered in its ability to compete ‘on a level playing field’ for a variety of arcane, deliberately partisan reasons, created absolutely, unequivocally for the purpose of discouraging new players from entering the political contest for the votes of Canadians.
- A newly formed political party not only needs to register with Elections Canada but must also run a candidate in at least one (1) riding usually in a by-election in order to make officially registered. This, of course, takes resources and organization on a ‘trust’ basis as members must trust that the political party has the wherewithal and conviction to be a legitimate contender. In itself, not a bad thing, since it would be a cluttered mess for voters to face an endless list of ‘political wannabes’ who are intent mostly on enhancing their status or potentially sabotaging the process.
- A newly formed political party must comply to recently revised federal regulations (October, 2018) Bill C-76 which overall protects the status quo concerning existing parties and inhibits new political contenders through limitations on third party advertising, including on social/digital media, that would improve the distribution of a new party’s message. The overall effect of C-76 on the upcoming federal election is still untested.
- Now it gets Draconian-and partisan. Unethically biased and unfair. In the same October, 2018 time frame, a new ‘Debate Commission’ is established to regulate National Debates leading up to the 2019 election and thereafter.
As with most unilateral, partisan driven initiatives, the Debate Commission concept and execution is fatally flawed. To quote CPAC:
‘The Leader’s Debate Commission would also determine which leaders would have a podium on the stage next year.Parties would need to meet two of the following three criteria:
- An elected MP at the time the election is called. Since Max Bernier sits as an independent at the moment, technically the People’s Party of Canada does not have a sitting MP, in the strictest definition of the term.
- Intention to run candidates in at least 90 per cent (304) of Canada’s 338 electoral districts. People’s Party of Canada has more than 320 confirmed candidates and meets this criteria.
- four per cent popular support in the previous election or a “legitimate chance to win seats in the upcoming election”. This subjective additional clause creates a political, rather than a rational, absolute criteria-and is fundamentally flawed.
But how to determine which party has a “legitimate chance’ at electing MP’s? Would Max Bernier’s new People’s Party of Canada be included?
Johnston (David Johnston, appointed Debate Commissioner) told CPAC’s Peter Van Dusen that “it has an element of subjectivity” – but that he was “quite comfortable” with the criteria, polling results, party history, and campaign efforts would be the most likely measuring sticks.
Even the existing political parties railed against the method in which the Debate Commission was created and the legitimacy of its mandate.
Nathan Cullen, NDP critic for democratic reform, “This was meant to be straightforward. I’m confused why the Liberals again chose to make unilateral decisions over how our democracy functions”.
Stephanie Kusie. Conservative critic for democratic institutions, “This is silencing Canadians. This is saying to Canadians, “You do not have the right to decide the format you want, to hear from the potential leader of our nation”.
Finally, Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, “It won’t be a real debate if I’m not there”.
“It will be a phony discussion where they attack each other on their superficial differences”.
Pollsters. Main Stream Media.
How else is the system rigged to prevent an electable, therefore frightening newcomer, from participating in national debates and reaching out directly to Canadians nation wide?
Notwithstanding candidates virtually across Canada, almost 320 strong to date, pollsters are not even including the People’s Party of Canada as an electable choice on their questionnaires. Instead, the PPC is grouped with ‘other’. Does this deliberate (or unjustifiably ignorant) omission have an impact on the ability of Max Bernier to participate in a national debate as leader of the PPC?
Let’s go back to David Johnston. “He was “quite comfortable” with the criteria, polling results, party history, and campaign efforts would be the most likely measuring sticks“.
Polling results. Read the words. If the criteria includes polling results and pollsters are not polling and aggregating PPC supporters, how can anyone accurately, legitimately or ethically declare a polling number for the PPC?
We know the pollsters have been compromised, either through deliberate misrepresentation or through implausible ignorance when we hear the respected Angus Reid admit the following just a short couple of weeks ago on Twitter: “People’s Party – we are not including in our main vote question because we don’t know how many candidates they will be fielding in the OCT election. Once we know, where they have candidates, we will include for those ridings. Now we break them out in ‘other’ with a follow up question”.
And another nugget from Angus: “As such, we have data for the PPC. Again, they are in the survey. We folded them into Other because they do not generate more than 4 per cent in any region in the country”.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is one of the most respected pollsters in the country but he can’t see past his nose on this one.
Of course the PPC is not going to poll significantly if you do not prompt people to consider the choice EXACTLY the same way you prompt people to choose one of the existing political parties. Common sense is apparently not that common.
Ask a child this question which essentially duplicates the intellectual vacuum of Angus Reid’s argument.
“Would you rather have a cookie, a piece of cake, ice cream, or ‘other’?”
I’d be willing to bet a lot of money I don’t have that very few children would choose ‘other‘. I can almost guarantee less than 4%.
To Angus Reid’s credit, he did issue this Twitter update: “People’s Party-Thanks for the feedback, folks. We will now be including them on our vote question. I had not realized that they were fielding candidates everywhere. My miss. But they will be on the list going forward. We did explicitly examine favourability of Max. It’s in our release”.
So now, months late, perhaps too late, one (1) of the myriad of polling companies will start asking voters whether they are supporting the PPC.
To reiterate, David Johnston is quoted as saying he will be relying partly on polling numbers – and yet the People’s Party of Canada is not even showing up as a political alternative in the polls.
A deliberate exclusion or a baffling oversight given the preponderance of of PPC candidates Canada wide?
That, of course, leads me to my last observation.
Main Stream Media
Bought and paid for to the tune of $595 Million taxpayer dollars.
There is no question that the MSM is partisan, left-leaning and becoming a willing sycophant of an unethical Liberal government who chose to create their own political propaganda machine by using MSM outlets that are fast losing their hold on their readers, viewers and listeners and thus suffering financially as a consequence.
Another contrived ‘commission’ was established to divvy up our $595 Million in taxpayer bribes to the MSM. How many benefactors will be willing to bite the hand that feeds them?
Additionally, the Main Stream Media steadfastly refuses to report on the People’s Party of Canada, its progress, its candidates and its vision for Canada.
Their logic? Possibly circular reasoning, following the tradition of an ostrich with its head in the sand.
If the pollsters aren’t talking about the PPC, why should we? Of course, the obvious media bias is a greater contributing factor but the pollsters have given many obtuse MSM outlets an excuse, albeit a thin one.
So, the answer to the question that prefaces this article.
Who controls Democracy?
IF we allow them, the answer is indeed the privileged few.
Those who create commissions that are neither ethical, fair nor politically just.
Those who are paid to poll and survey voters but ‘conveniently’ leave out the fastest growing political party in Canadian federal history, the People’s Party of Canada.
Those MSM outlets who accept multi-millions of dollars of taxpayer money to shore up their failing business models, thereby becoming compliant, sycophantic stooges of the corrupt Liberal government.
Weak politicians in established political parties who fall all over themselves to ‘look just like the other’ in order to pander for a few extra votes.
But, in reality, those who control Democracy look suspiciously like the visage you see when you stare into a mirror
Yes, you, the Canadian voter.
Perhaps you may have to work a little bit harder to find out what your options truly are this October as you head into a polling station.
Perhaps you have to do some homework and expend a little time and effort to attend some riding debates featuring all of the candidates who are striving to represent you.
Perhaps you should be emailing or phoning David Johnston, Debate Commissioner, to demand that Maxime Bernier be added to the Leaders Debate in both French and English – so you can hear with your own unfiltered ears what Maxime Bernier stands for, and how he stands up for Canadian sovereignty and our established values in a way diametrically different from his TweedleDee and TweedleDum opponents.
I will close by repeating a Tweet that perhaps sums up our plight best of all.
“In 2015 Canadians took part in a Canada wide IQ test. We failed”.
Let us NOT fail again in 2019.