It has become difficult to know if Toronto politics, Ford Democracy 101 is a comedy or a tragedy. You could say that it is un-Ford-tunate what is going on. Now that I have that out of the way, Rob Ford has taken Toronto, no the World, to new places in Democracy. Because he is such a horrible representative he make himself a great study in Democracy.
With Rob Ford not resigning, and the fact that the people can’t force the unfit Mayor to resign lays bare the lie that our representatives are “servants of the people”. Rather, it exposes the truth of power, and the myth that democracy is “for and by the people”. The lie has it’s end in Rob Ford. If the people had a say and power the public enemies to the Ford Nation would have begun the process to remove Rob the moment that he confessed to his illegal act of smoking Crack, or his admitting his drinking and driving. The bald-faced truth is that “the People” have no say over their leaders beyond “their only day of say”- election day. Election day is our only day of Democracy during a governments term of office. And as I speak of Democracy I mean the people having a real say in government policy throughout the whole term of office.
The truth is that our so-called Democracy has its roots in the royalty, or perhaps it is more correct to say that the royalty at one time had all the power and the people clamored to have a say which forced the royalty to hand over to the people a scant amount of power to avoid a revolution. Rather than to liberate the people the ruler meant only to placate the masses into passivity. The meager handover of power kept the ruler in power and the people quiet. Mission accomplished they stayed in power and in money and kept their heads as huge bonus. The royalty were replaced by a Parliament in Britain, or in Canada, but power holds onto its own and the fight began to be with politicians rather than Kings. But power even two steps away from royalty did not give the people much power.
So here we are today, the unsettled masses, angry about the many political scandals that plague the peoples’ governments. Of course there is the Ford debacle, days ago Ontario’s electric prices went up because of Dalton McGuinty’s shenanigans to get his majority government,
and of course, hidden beneath the Ford headlines, the Senate Scandal waits to be redeveloped by the media. My question is, are we too going to be satisfied by the leaders’ crumbs to keep us quiet, or are we, members of the computer age, going to study out what real Democracy is be and finally demand control over our leaders by Recall, Referendum and Initiatives. Will we finally demand a Swiss-like Democracy, or will we continue to settle for the peasants portion of Democracy. We live in the modern age of computers and rockets penetrating into outer space and yet we are content with governments little better than our peasant ancestors lived under. We also are willing to take the crumbs thrown down from our leaders’ hand. We vote out corrupt Twittle Dee and vote for the Twittle Dum whom we know will immediately belly up to the public trough.
So this is what Rob Ford Democracy 101 is teaching us. Are we watching and learning our lessons?