Essential Knowledge Needed to Grow a Democracy part 7
Imagine. You Can Change Your World
Imagine. You Can Change Your World by just thinking something differently. The world was a new place after Christopher Columbus had the thought that the world was round, and not flat as everyone else thought. Sometimes it is a new technology that we use that is a game changer, like the printing press, the radio, the computer, etc.
Politicians, all the time, change our world with our power.Wars are started, or responded to by the acceptance of a mere thought. Health Care. Free Trade, Metrication, amoungst other things changed everything by an idea put into law.
But the problem we the people is of who wields the power. In 1993, I was only one of over 110,000 people that went to Ottawa to protest the NAFTA deal, but despite the huge number of protesters nothing was accomplished, or acknowledged; our protest was pushed aside by those who really understood power.
Chretien understood full well that the protesters did not have real power, and that it takes power to overturn power. The fact was, we were the electorate, and our illusion of power was that our opinion mattered. Well it didn’t, because there were not near enough to make a difference in the power scheme, and because Chretien also knew that the deck of power is stacked against the people. We were playing the game by a set of rules that we thought applied (the people have a say) but had no effect because we really don’t. To be players of the game at present you have to be a leader or cabinet member. In Harper’s own word “most MPs are bit players in today’s parliamentary system, with the average backbencher merely acting as… a local sales representative for his/her political party on the big issues”. So, the only ones that hold the power to enact the power of thought for Canada are the PM and cabinet. This is frightening. This is intellectually limited and creativity close to nil. Imagine, the power to enact thoughts for a nation, are placed in the hands of a leader that is power hungry and cabinet members that are severly creative limited in their nature to be yesmen to a leader. To be a yesman abdication is the guiding force. It is the rules of the Parlimentary/ Legislative game, that if you have any hope of cabinet post or membership on a committee (both adding higher pay) is whether or not your leader is pleased with your support to him/her.
Where does that leave the people? Because we have this illusion that democracy is the power of the people, for the people, and by the people we would be lead to believe that we have a say, so we
simply play the game of politics by the rules that the politicians dictate to us, and meanwhile, we do not even know the rules whereby we can play the game successfully, to win. Can you imagine playing Monopoly with experienced players, but you not only are inexperienced, but the experienced players not only do not teach you the rules, but they actually will tell you rules that disadvantage you, and will even not let you take turns, or they have the power to change the rules to confuse you. Imagine, we are playing the game of Democratic Monopoly, but there is no Democracy, though we are told there is, and yet we, the people do not have a say at all in policy, nor between elections.
Canadians will always be disadvantaged as long as we believe the rule “we have democracy and the proof is that we have elections”. If you do the math: If we have elections but still do not have a say between elections then we don’t have democracy, we only have elections.
If we believe that voting for a candidate from one of the major parties is the only way to do politics then we will always be locked into a ruled structurre that we can never win; parties almost always tell their candidates how to vote, and very often it is in opposition to the way the constituents want their representatives to vote. And we pay them to organize against our collective will.
So what is the answer for we the people?
First, our error in 1993 was that we thought that our simple appearance in numbers was enough to make a change. The Occupy Movement gave us the answer; only persistent determination linked to strategy will overthrow the powers that be, and return power to the electorate. The problem back in 1993 was the vast majority of protesters had nice cushy job to go back to, and back we did not And what is the strategy that we have to build on in the next 4 years until the next election: 18 years ago we protested that the NAFTA would take us in a bad direction, but we could never have seen how much a mess the world could get in this short a time. Many of the Occupiers are without jobs, many are homeless, so they proved only a full out and persistent effort would make a statement and impact. They are the living proof that Janice Joplin was right. “Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose”. Projecting down the road in another 18 – 20 years with debt piling up most of us will be there ourselves, and if not us our children will not escape deep economic struggled. Can we sit back and not launch a full out assault on government to take our power back? Thinking about what our childrens’ lives are going to be like, it is supremely selfish for us not taking back our power. Yah, we can take our kids to hockey, or music lessons, or even many will pay for their kids schooling, but we cannot find the time, or the energy to secure democracy for them.
How do we do it?
The problem then is, we have to work through a paradox to get to the paradigm. The paradox is that if we are a democracy then the power is turned upside down and we have to take the power back from the politicians despite being given no say. Now, most people have no idea how to right the system, and that is where we sit today, the people not doing anything because we are not taught about power and politics. While we are treated like we do not have a say, know that we, collectively do if we understand that the politician’s Achilles heel is that they will do anything to be re-elected, and to now our vote allows the politicians to continue the Party System game that continues to give our power to them. Every vote for a party member is a vote to keep things exactly the same.
If we consider the momentum of the people of the world going to the streets, if we do not yet have the incentive to go to the streets, the increase in government debt, taxes, unemployment, and poverty will soon incite us. It will be the power of ideas that will overthrow as more and more “ nothing left to lose” people are created.
Each of us are very powerful when we have the right idea and a plan. Malcolm Gladwell, in his book the Tipping Point said that “Ideas and products and messages and behaviors spread like viruses do.” So when we recognize that we have a problem and start looking for a solution the people will move, and quickly.
Down to the Nitty Gritty.
1. Let’s target the ridings of the party leaders to dump each and every one of them, take no prisoners, to fire a shot across the bow of the Party System, to let them know we want our democracy back, and 2. Simply, do not vote for anyone that is associated with a party. We have to understand that if we rid ourselves of even 20% of the party candidates such a shock would awaken our so called representatives to a realization of their Achilles Heal, they want to get elected, and they will develop a healthy fear of the constituents. 3. After these steps we can get the Government to bring in legislation to allow the constituents to Recall their Members. If we begin now we can be prepared by the next elections. Hey, Ontario elected a minority government, our first chance to act come very soon if we believe, and act.
So that you can see for yourself, there is power in one. Maybe, you are the one that has the important skills to add to others to take a movement over the top, from an almost success to a victory. Now add a thousand people, then a thousand more to the belief that you are important in this struggle. Dreams are only actions away.
Here is an example of one man making a difference:
The full Documentary How to Start a Revolution
Other articles that might interest you.