Saturday, March 19, 2011

Why democracy is ultimately doomed

On Saturday I went in to work for the seventh day in a row in order to finalize our Cisco telephony inplementation (short story: it went well, everything looks to be working well, thus far).

While eating our butter chicken, rice and Naan bread we ordered for lunch from the best Indian restaurant in town, I overheard two of my coworkers chatting about one of the candidates for local office. One guy said, "he seems like a pretty good guy." The other responded, "dude, he taught my nephew karate. I'd totally vote for that guy."

Since I can't keep my nose out of discussions that don't necessarily concern me, I interjected, "What are his policies? Is he conservative, liberal, or what?" My inquiry was met with embarrassed silence, so I pressed further, "So you're telling me you'd vote for a guy when you don't know anything he actually plans to do if he grabs the reins of power? It's enough to think you'd want to drink a beer with him?" A different coworker tossed in the helpful comment, "Why not? It worked so well for the Americans with George W!"

Sadly, this seems typical for most people. They can tell you the intimate details of the latest indiscretions of dozens of celebrities, but they don't know the policies of a politician they'd be willing to vote for.

I guess the one saving grace is that neither of those coworkers are likely to actually vote. Still, it's no wonder that sociopathic assholes are able to dominate in politics the way they have these past few years.


  1. I really like my Liberal MP, honestly I do. He remembers me every time we run into each other, and he is quadra-lingual, intelligent and charismatic. I never vote for him, because I am disenchanted with the Liberal Party and their policies. I can't get past the sneaking suspicion that they will say anything to win my vote; when they get the reigns of power, they are great bureaucrats but poor leaders.
    You know how I feel about Harper, so my vote always comes down to the NDP or the Greens.

    Policies are nice and all, but looking at a track record is still important....

  2. I've never met any of my MPs. Even when I was involved with the Young Reformers, I can't recall ever meeting the guy I was setting up signs and fundraising for. I agree however - it comes down to the policies, coloured by the history of the party that will make me decide who to cast a vote for. The last election was the first and only time I've ever voted Liberal (or non-Reform/Alliance/CPC, for that matter), and it made me feel a little dirty.

    I'm tempted for the very first time in my life to vote NDP. The me from twelve years ago would kick my ass for even contemplating it, but then, I wouldn't mind going back in time to beat some sense into my younger self for being a Refoooooorm Party sociopath and subscriber to BC Report magazine.

    I don't know if I can bring myself to vote Green. I am also unimpressed with the Liberals, especially the way they're trying to position themselves as a slightly nicer Conservative Party. What I really lament, as I posted on your site, is the vote-splitting on the left side of the political spectrum. We need Harper to piss off enough wingnuts to head over to the Canadian Heritage Party and split up the right-wing vote. Hopefully, one more minority government will be enough to accomplish that. At the very least, we need a left-wing party that can get Canadians excited enough about their policies and angry enough at the Conservatives to show up at the polls.

    That said, I'm fearful but slightly curious to see what would happen if the CPC got a majority. I'm certain I wouldn't like the policies that get implemented, but I wonder if the Cons made a sudden shift rightwards if Canadians would punish them at the next election, or if Harper doesn't make enough of a rightward push in order to keep the squishy middle voting for the CPC if the wingnuts would abandon the party.

    I hope I really don't have to find out what Harper would do with a majority, considering how much of a tyrant he is with a minority.

  3. I think the best way to get rid of Harper for good is with a CPC Majority. I think a bunch of fresh new MP's and some hubris would show the party for what it really is.

    The NDP surge might just result in a Con majority, but maybe not if Iggy keeps sliding downward. If I were in BC, I would plant my vote with the NDP, they seem to be runners up in almost every riding...