When people think about bad things they always mutter a little prayer right afterwards that cannot happen to me or that could never happen here.
That’s right. That could never happen to me because when I have sex with my girlfriend without a condom and fail to pull out in time she won’t get pregnant and I most certainly won’t get a case of dick rot. Yes people really do think that. You don’t have to search far on Google to read cases of how stupid people can be with their sex lives. People you see never think it, whatever it is can happen to them. It only ever happens to other people.
But what about bad things happening here and to our entire country or just your community? Well the people in Indonesia, Thailand, etc didn’t think a tsunami would ever strike them like the one in December 2004 but it did. Hundreds of thousands of people perished during the event and afterwards.
Another example is the fiscal melt down in 2008. People were leveraged far beyond their means. Yet upon seeing this what did they do? Well they continued to borrow. I recall driving through Spokane, Washington one afternoon and realized that all around me were Hummer H2’s. I mean on a three lane highway I had one in front, one behind, one to the left and one to the right. The Hummer H2, at the time, was a sign of wealth. People borrowed and bought them just like enormous houses. When the crash came the banks and lending agencies took much of this wealth back.
But what about politics?
Most people never, ever think that a dictator will slowly rise to power in their country. Why? Because dictators always seize power. That’s what Hollywood tells us.
Let me present three examples: Russia, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela. Now just look at these three nations.
Vladimir Putin took over Russia succeeding Boris Yeltsin in 2000. He was a nationalist and ex-KGB but the transition to democracy in Russia looked complete. They held elections and while not perfect they were a vast improvement. A free media operated and multiple parties were present in the Russian Duma. He did his two terms and then became the Prime Minister. During that time he amended the Constitution to allow himself to run for the Presidency again. He did so and has been president ever since. The free press is all but gone in Russia. The west is vilified. Democracy is allowed but it’s maligned as being, again, western. Human rights have been rolled back to the point that the government prosecutes homosexuals that have been beaten because, well, in Russia being gay is seen as very bad. Putin is the ruler of Russia. His friends bask in wealth and his enemies have a habit of dying in accidents, going to jail on bogus charges, or being the victims of random street crime.
Robert Mugabe became the President of Zimbabwe decades ago leading a movement to create a racially equal society. Well it soured quite fast and he’s been in power ever since. Whites have mostly fled the country since he stole their land via government action. Inflation is out of control as is poverty. The government is pretty much based on cronyism and corruption and Mr. Mugabe is still in power despite the fact he’s going senile.
Finally you have Venezuela. Hugo Chavez like Putin and Mugabe was elected to his post. His goal was a socialist revolution via the ballot box. He got that. He nationalized industries, namely oil, gas, and banking. After a while he started a war with the private media and before long, he wiped it out. Fortunately Chavez bit the dust. His successor Maduro is just as bad and just as deluded. The socialist experiment continues with all the repression it can muster.
The people of Russia, Zimbabwe, and Venezuela didn’t have their dictators sweep into power via a revolution or war. There was no coup. Instead they elected them. In the case of Russia they still wildly support their dictator. They refuse to call him as such despite the fact he’s been running the country for just over 16 years.
So what does this have to do with Canada? Well obviously I put the question to you.
Can we get a dictatorship in Canada?
If you say No then you haven’t been paying attention. Bad reader! Bad!
The answer is yes and we almost took a step last week. A few weeks we had Justin Trudeau elbowing Ruth Ellen Brosseau in the tits. His defenders called it an accident. I’ll let you decide. But this whole event erupted not over the Assisted Dying legislation but with Motion 6. Motion 6 would have effectively stripped the Opposition of its powers and role in Parliament. It’s been withdrawn for now. But think about that. If the Opposition cannot do its job then we’re starting down the path to dictatorship.
The Opposition is the only tool that we have that is guaranteed to tell us what the government is up to. Under Motion 6 the Opposition Days in Parliament would have been greatly curtailed. Their ability to ask questions would be radically reduced under universal time allocations. Worse, the government could adjourn Parliament under the power of any Cabinet Minister without a vote. Basically the Minister of Health could get up and assuming she’s got the agreement of the rest of the Cabinet shut the whole thing down, walk out the door, and effectively issue a fuck you to every voter in Canada.
Now that’s not a dictatorship though.
What else do they require? Well they require the means to remain in office in perpetuity that doesn’t get them dragged into court by the functioning institutions of the state. Now how could you do that? Well the first past the post voting system makes it easy to elect and thus throw out a government. Proportional voting makes it almost impossible to get a majority government. What has Trudeau so far suggested? Well that’s ranked balloting. Basically when no one wins a riding with 50% of the vote you start allocating the second choices to the top candidates by some means. We’ve already seen how this shakes out mathematically. The NDP voters that are opposition votes effectively become Liberal supporters.
Now the Liberals could remain in power with super majorities for decades unless the NDP closes up shop or the Conservatives get a really good campaign to knock the Liberals out.
You’ve got two steps to dictatorship there: strip whatever power the Opposition has and ensure you win every election for the next few decades. Okay, technically that’s an oligarchy. I’m sure Liberal partisans won’t see a problem. In my books, that’s a dictatorship that we allowed to occur. In fact, a lot of people will embrace it because like Canucks fans they will root for their team regardless of what it does or fails to do year after year.
Now maybe you think I’m alarmist? I’m not. I’m just posing ideas for you to consider. I’m telling you to never think no it cannot happen here. Why? Because in this world anything can and does happen all the time. I never thought for a nanosecond a man like Donald Trump would be running for President in the United States let alone get the nomination. I never thought I’d see gay marriage legalized not just in Canada but in dozens of countries. I also thought I’d seen the end of the cold war and yet, look at Russia today. Russian jets buzz US ships, their planes enter NATO airspace without permission, and their soldiers invade their neighbours annexing territory.
Here’s my advice. We should choose to live in a world of hope and optimism. We should also be vigilant and ready to act when people that seem good do very bad things.