Aug. 19, 2021

We need to get back to democratic basics - Part I

As we head into an election we did not desire, it is painfully apparent that we have to choose the lesser of evils; we have the option of choosing the political party we judge will do the least harm.

We need to employ strategic voting to prevent any party from acquiring a majority. Acquisition of a majority of the seats in parliament has become the holy grail of competing parties.

Politicians discovered long ago that the commitments and promises made during a campaign need not be kept once the election is over. Once in power, they will rule as they wish.

Local candidates no longer represent the people in their electoral district. They campaign based on the party platform as a signal of loyalty to the party. They have no choice as voicing an opinion contrary to the party platform will cause controversy, leading to lost votes and gains for opponents. We are offered a choice between political party commitments and promises with no depth or meaning and will not be taken seriously.

Minority governments work. The party with the most seats is allowed to govern but is constrained by working with one or more opposition parties to pass legislation or face possible defeat and another election. This is particularly important when a minority government presents a budget. It is our sole protection against the runaway spending of the last six years. Debts and interest never go away.  

Ideology trumps common sense and reason. Political parties have become so accustomed to spending tax dollars to entice people into supporting them, they do so unconsciously. Without the checks and balances of a healthy parliament, they have to date impoverished us, our children and grandchildren.

We do not have to wonder what the Trudeau Liberals have in store for us. The censorship bills that died when parliament was dissolved indicate their aim to throttle all criticism of their governance. That initiative should be rewarded by voting for other parties. We cannot allow any party to infringe on our freedom of expression as it is a pillar of a free democracy.

Free expression means we will hear, read and see things we dislike or find offensive. There is no reasonable protection from feeling offended. We must not be governed by people who announce they find something offensive. It takes no talent to be offended; people are free to feel offended but cannot  demand that expressions they judge to be offensive be throttled or banned. That is censorship.

The bickering and one-upmanship on display in the campaign is meaningless drivel. He who throws mud loses ground. Disputes over the best approach to daycare or the Afghanistan debacle will not affect rebuilding our nation, reducing unemployment or restoring financial security.

Promising to create hundreds of thousands of jobs is meaningless. Governments do not and never have created jobs. They waste enormous amounts of tax dollars supporting friends in business, while our largest employers are small business owners who thrive despite government bureaucracies.

We need to get back to democratic basics and governance from the bottom up. Top-down control has proven to be a disaster. The residents of the Prime Minister’s Office are not an oracle to be trusted. The collective experience and wisdom of the MPs elected to office are ignored much to our detriment.

Please make a personal commitment to vote in this election and ensure we will have another minority government. Casting a ballot for the CPC or NDP will almost certainly result in another minority. We need a change, and either party will form a more rational minority than the incumbents.

I respectfully suggest that you consider applying for a mail-in ballot. Read through instructions before applying. It helps if you have a JPEG photo of your driver’s license or other identification saved to your computer to upload during the application process. Stay safe, and make your ballot count.