Apr 122011

We have an old and corrupted system of governance.  We can to better for ourselves.

We’ve shared information on the mobilization to create the new system.

The following exchange is with persons in Fair Vote Canada (FVC).  (I am on the Board of the Sask Chapter.)

FVC is a Canada-wide effort to create awareness of the problem with the first-past-the-post electoral process.  FVC Chapters are especially active now, using the Election as a vehicle to drive change.  You will find the “Declaration of Voters’ Rights” and other good material on the website,  http://www.fairvote.ca/  — from a great group of volunteers working hard for the benefit of all of us.

I submitted resolutions for the Green Party of Sask’s Annual Meeting in May, to begin addressing a new system of governance provincially.  Among other things we need a Citizens’ Assembly that will do the consultations, information-gathering and sorting to move us along toward implementation.

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On Sun, Apr 10, 2011 at 10:14 PM, Sandra Finley wrote:

I know there is a benefit to focusing on one aspect, reform to obtain some form of proportional representation.

However, I believe that if other factors are not considered, the “remedy” is not going to achieve the results we need.

  • An ADVERSARIAL system is inherently divisive.   And it creates monsters out of some people who are otherwise nice Canadians.   With the added effect of undermining respect for politicians.   An adversarial system also promotes and is attractive to a particular personality-type.  Not all, but to some extent.   The particular personality-type in an adversarial system is not a recipe for finding solutions to problems.   As a system for governing ourselves, an adversarial model is a very poor choice.  Surely we, as a society, have the wherewithal to create a new system that is cooperative.  The Northwest Territories does not use an adversarial system.
  • The PARTY system also needs to be evaluated.  I was happy to see it mentioned in Carolyn Bennett’s remarks from Hansard:  Commentators said that the result reflected the electorate’s skepticism about political parties. The lack of transparency and democracy in every political party deterred people from voting in favour of the referendum question.  ( http://www.facebook.com/FairVoteCanada#!/topic.php?uid=39315431246&topic=15592 )   The Territories do not use a party system.

 ·       George Soros, “the best fund manager in history, a stateless statesman, and an original thinker”, turned philanthropist.  From his book, “Open Society  [Reforming Global Capitalism]“, published in 2000 by PublicAffairs:

p. xi,  “Perhaps the greatest threat to freedom and democracy in the world today comes from the formation of unholy alliances between government and business.”

There has to be a separation of powers between the commercial and political spheres, for the same reason that church and state are separated, the judicial and legislative functions are independent of each other, etc.   The commercial (corporate) agenda is now the business of the Government.   It is the perfect and known recipe for corruption.  (Please see the appended citations.)  The corporations have too much money.   Just as we have learned not to concentrate the power of church and state,  surely we can see the necessity of separating the power of commerce from governance.

Public-Private-Partnerships are a poison pill for democracy.

Corruption has not been addressed with a change in Government (Liberals to Conservatives).  Corruption means that the rule of law is waning,  – – to the point where Harper and others can openly flaunt the breaking of the rules.  The rule of law is critical to democracy.   The decline of democracy will and must continue,  no matter what system of proportional representation might be developed, if we do not understand that it is the concentration of money and power in the hands of corporate leaders working with some Government officials that is a root cause of the decline in Canadian democracy (to corporatocracy).

  • The new system should contain elements to balance the current system’s extreme weakness in relation to the longterm interests of our grandchildren  (I think that has already been said).  I am wondering whether it might be worth talking about what might happen if all elections were not in the same year on the same day?



(1)  We have Justice Krever, Commission of Inquiry on the Blood System in Canada, 1996

Industry can’t be regulated by government – and for environmental and health reasons they must be – if that government is in bed with them.”

(2)  John Ralston Saul, “Health Care at the End of the Twentieth Century”,  1999

The Panel identified… serious concerns about the undermining of the scientific basis for risk regulation in Canada due to… the conflict of interest created by giving to regulatory agencies the mandates both to promote the development of agricultural technologies and to regulate it…”

(3)  From John Kenneth Galbraith’s “The Economics of Innocent Fraud – Truth for our Time”, published in 2004 :

“… As the corporate interest moves to power in what was the public sector, it serves, predictably, the corporate interest. That is its purpose. …One obvious result has been well-justified doubt as to the quality of much present regulatory effort. There is no question but that corporate influence extends to the regulators. … Needed is independent, honest, professionally competent regulation … This last must be recognized and countered. There is no alternative to effective supervision. …”

4)  Mae-Wan Ho, Genetic engineering – Dream or Nightmare?, 1998

To reassure us, they lie to us, and then treat us as idiots by insisting on things we all know are untrue. Not only does this prevent a reasonable debate from taking place, but it also creates a very unhealthy relationship between citizens and their elected representatives.” 

(5)  Jane Jacobs’ “Systems of Survival, the Moral Foundations of Commerce and Politics” sets forth a framework for understanding that the system of governance will succumb to corruption if we fail to appreciate the functional roles of two separately evolved sets of ethics, one for the commercial function in a society and the other for governance (guardianship).  But,

Societies need both commercial and guardian work … the two types are prone to corruption if they stray across either their functional or moral barriers.”

(6)  George Soros, “the best fund manager in history, a stateless statesman, and an original thinker”, turned philanthropist.  From his book, “Open Society  [Reforming Global Capitalism]“, published in 2000 by PublicAffairs.

p. xi,  “Perhaps the greatest threat to freedom and democracy in the world today comes from the formation of unholy alliances between government and business.”

“Changing a country’s electoral system often represents a far more realistic
goal to work towards than dramatically changing the culture’s view of women”

June Macdonald
Women for Fair Voting– Fair Vote Canada

From: June Macdonald
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 5:36 PM
To: Sandra Finley
Subject: Re: [FVCchapters] THe House dialogue (Hansard) identifies: there is a problem with the Parties that has to be addressed

Hi Sandra

you may be interested to know that proportional systems are sometimes referred to as consensual voting systems. Arend Lipjhardt has written a classic on this:

summary here:   http://wikisum.com/w/Lijphart:_Patterns_of_democracy

And there is one on our website as well:  http://s.fairvote.ca/files/Lijphart_summary.pdf?q=files/Lijphart_summary.pdf



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