Monday, May 6, 2013

My Democratic Dreams Were Shattered by Those Who Pilfer the Public Purse in Quebec

Apparently, what I want, I can't have.  I would like to live in a democratic state where I could participate meaningfully in the political decisions to be made. Living in Quebec, however, the most corrupt province or state in North America, my democratic dreams are just that, wishful thinking totally out of touch with the banal reality that surrounds me.

Lately, however, thanks to two public inquiries, the Bastarache Commission that looked into the political influence in play when naming judges, and the Charbonneau Commission that is presently investigating the link between the construction industry and the occult funding of political parties with public funds, I now know why my participation in the electoral process and my subsequent court challenge of the voting system was doomed from the start.

In short, for the last thirty years Quebec general elections and many of the municipal elections have been rigged.

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At the municipal level, engineering firms would find themselves a willing candidate, hire a political organizer, funnel the necessary funds for the electoral campaign, and then recoup their investment when the newly elected municipal council would award the contracts for public works to the engineering firm that in effect had chosen who would become mayor.

At the provincial level, the same engineering firms would oversee a process in which individuals would make the maximum donation ($3000) to the political party leading in the polls, and then reimburse the "donors" who had lent their names to the companies that were by law prohibited to make the donations.  The "donors" were then rewarded by a receiving a tax credit for their fraudulent participation in the scheme. The political party that "won" the election would then subsidize the public works projects put forward by the municipalities.

As witnesses to the Charbonneau Commission continue to expose the workings of this system of corruption and collusion, it is now estimated that approximately 80% of the funding for municipal elections and 70% of the funding for provincial elections came from illegal sources.

In other words, the fix was on.

For those of us who were candidates in those elections, in my case I was a candidate for Quebec's Democratic Action Party in the 2003 general election, a candidate for Quebec's Green Party in the 2007 general election and a by-election in 2008, we were played as chumps; we played by the rules that we thought were in place and contributed to the appearance that a fair election was taking place.

Looking back at my participation in the process, I feel that I have been duped.

The real-politick of the situation is that despite the media's depiction of Quebec elections being a clash of personalities and ideas, they were, in reality, just a manifestation of the bourgeois desire to dip into the public purse.

What makes matters worse is that from what I can tell most Quebecers are largely indifferent to what has transpired.

That they have been played for fools doesn't seem to rile them, certainly less than when university tuition fees were raised modestly.

I guess people here have gotten used to being exploited by a domineering class, first the church, now the business-directed political class.

Bread and Circuses are enough to keep the people happy.

Go Habs Go!

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