Populism
2 min

Endemic problems and mob rule

Remember how the Conservatives were having some intense internal issues over proposed changes to the party constitution that would move its decision-making process from a weighted system to a one member/one vote system? Yeah, things are heating up. Last week, Peter MacKay wrote a letter to the caucus saying, Hey, this is all in the spirit of fairness, and it’s hardly fair for smaller riding associations (in places like Quebec and Atlantic Canada) to be swamped by bigger ones in the West. Well, now Scott Reid, one of the Alliance architects of the merger, is firing back, saying the weighted rule was never meant to be permanent, and it’s not fair for those in the West to have their votes weighted in such a way that they don’t count. At which point, I end up sighing and reminding everyone that if you cast a ballot (and we’re not in a dictatorial regime where casting ballots is a mere formality), your vote always counts. Period.

Part of the problem is something that’s endemic to Canadian democracy (not to mention most democratic systems): you get people, such as Reid, confusing the concept of democracy with populism. Democracy is the rule of the people in a rules-based structure, and liberal democracies ensure fairness for minorities. Populism is mob rule, and this is exactly what Reid is proposing. In fact, populism is what the Reform Party was all about, and that mentality has carried through its many incarnations and provided a lot of the fodder in the last election. As long as we keep confusing populism with democracy (and as long as we have political leaders who encourage this confusion for their own gain), this problem will continue. Ultimately, this struggle with populism is a contributing factor to the decline in our democracy and should not go unnoticed.

Despite the perceived view that our refugee system is a free pass for terrorists and other extremists, this piece suggests otherwise. The analysis examined 26 attempts made by terror suspects to claim refugee status in Canada. It shows that our system kept such a close eye on them they couldn’t carry out any terrorist activities while on our soil.

Here is yet another look at the uphill battle the NDP faces if it wants to keep Quebec voters.

While unsheltered homelessness may be down in Vancouver, the total number of homeless people remains the same.


Dear Alberta:

While it’s a good thing that you’re spending $14 million over the next three years to prevent the spread of STIs, perhaps you could start by not making sex education one of the reasons that give parents a “human right” to pull their kids out of class? Maybe that would help, just a little.

Sincerely,

Me


This fun learning tool shows which areas of responsibility fall under each of our three levels of government. Because we all need to know the right person to complain to, right?
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