Monday, March 26, 2012

Canada's Gatekeepers Conspire to Prevent Greens from Taking Their Rightful Place in Canadian Politics

We are well aware that Canada is considered to be among the dinosaur nations when it comes to environmental matters by the rest of the global community. Some would try to pin the blame on the present Harper government, but the antipathy towards what Greens militate for goes way beyond the confines of one political party.

At the heart of the conspiracy is the manner in which Greens frame politics which is a radical break from the colonial mindset that permeates this country. In short, Greens don't accept the economic dogma that ever increasing gains in economic growth increase the well-being of the population at large, though they cede the point that continued economic growth does very well for the top one tenth of the top one percent of revenue earners

Moreover, even if continued unbridled economic growth were not part of a cancerous ideology, Greens would still oppose the massive exploitation of non-renewable resources as a means to drive this growth. And for good reason. There is a wealth of evidence that demonstrates that continued economic growth could bring about catastrophic climate change.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post.

For those of you who read this blog regularly, you know that I find it aberrant that a million people could vote for the Greens and still be denied any representation in Parliament whatsoever. Clinging to the sanctity of our British roots, we refuse to modernize our electoral system and continue to give representation solely on a geographic basis. In the age of the Internet, we prioritize the representation of rocks and trees over people who live and communicate in a network of shared common interest.

But that's not what strikes my curiosity.

What I found completely aberrant was that we could have an extreme weather event, a heat wave in Central Canada in March, breaking all time record highs by more than ten degrees Celsius repeatedly and the best that the national media could do was to call it "wacky weather."

Let's put this into perspective. Extreme temperatures vary over time and it is not unusual to have a record cold or hot day. However, the new record usually means an increase in the range of less than one degree. More than ten degrees is off the charts. Never mind a black swan, it was a fricken flock of them.

To be expected, the event was normalized and I was treated to the typical images of young bikini clad women sunning themselves as I scanned reports in the National media.

Come on, it's not that difficult to connect the dots between extreme weather and climate change. Kids in elementary school can do it.

Indeed, there are intense discussions taking place in scientific journals. For example,

But that's where the gatekeeper function comes in.

Monied interests are lobbying furiously for a pipeline to carry tar sand oil from land-locked Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico or a Pacific port. Environmentalists are resisting effectively and the last thing that is needed is to give them any ammunition for the fight for public opinion.

The easiest way to prevent people from connecting the dots is not to frame the extreme weather event as an incidence of climate change and to continue filling peoples minds with the latest news-related psychodrama.

The Gatekeepers wouldn't be able to do this if the number of Greens in Parliament corresponded to the level of support they find in the electorate. A single Green MP can be marginalized. Not so for a group of twenty or more.

Not giving a balanced report of events that give credence to ecological concerns is similar in vein to broadcasters shutting out the Green leader from participating in the leaders debate.

Out of sight, out of mind.

No wonder it ain't easy being Green.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Robocalls Show Disdain for Canadians and for Democracy

Slowly, ever so slowly, we are learning about the devious practice of automated phone calls that would prevent Canadians from showing up to the correct polling station to cast their votes.

Underhanded, you say?  It depends on your point of view.  Maybe it's just part of winner-take-all electoral politics and the ends justify the means.

After all our electoral system is not about giving fair and accurate representation to voters.  It's about winning seats in order to form a government that usurps the political power of the majority.  This is not democracy.  It is a feudal system of governance that is a vestige of the British Empire.

So, if you watch Rick Mercer's rant (I suggest that you do just for the humour), keep in mind that Governor Generals and Royal Commissions have nothing to do with democracy.  They are historical anachronisms of imperial power.