Democracy, lately, is always on the defensive. It's bill after bill after bill that no one really wants. Even C32 drew the ire of conservative supporters. So where are these bills coming from? Further, and perhaps even more importantly, where are the democratically oriented bills? Where are the bills the people want and support? There is always a new bad bill around the corner, the people protest and sometimes even defeat it. Defeating it leaves them exactly where they are, no progress towards any "betterment" made, they just starved off "worse". Of course as that bill gets defeated another is just around the corner. It's an uphill battle, you can't defeat them all, and with every one which isn't defeated democracy slips away more every day. But is this constantly defensive position democracy at all?
Where is the sharing of ideas? We hear all the time about how bills haven't even been read by those voting on them. It's all about money and the party line. It's not the peoples interest being represented but rather the contributors being represented. This isn't always true, some MPs actually try to represent their constituents, but it seems this number shrinks more every day.
Now I'm not picking on the Conservatives here either. International corporations are non-partisan, they'll contribute to free market, socialist, and dictator alike. It doesn't matter. They have no home country, no loyalty to anything or anyone besides money and their shareholders. MPs on all sides may have other vested interests. This is a systemic problem, deeply rooted.
So where is the idea sharing happening? At closed door meetings none of you are invited to. Sure, every once in awhile gay-marriage or abortion will come up again. Citizens have strong opinions on these issues, they can banter back and forth for hours on whether it should be allowed or not allowed. However, do you think those sitting at the top of the multi-national corporations influencing our politics care? These are people responsible for weapon sales, slave wage factories, and the like. In the end the citizens argue about issues that while very important to them personally are inconsequential on the global political scene.
Take for instance Obama's recent supportive public gesture of gay marriage. Wow, got everyone talking, first president to support gay marriage! He's also the first president to sign indefinite detention for any American. You can be gay and married, straight and narrow, whatever. He doesn't care, he'll be indefinitely detaining anyone he sees fit. No discrimination.
I'm not against corporations, or the free market mind you, but I am against the merging of corporation and state. Fascism. But this is even worse than fascism, because the corporations are simply usurping the governments of the world anyway. Multi-nationalism and globalization have replaced the nationalistic tendencies of fascism, to a point. Every country still beats their drum of nationality, but behind closed doors national sovereignty is being sold like a commodity.
Here is what that looks like.
A panel of international arbitrators ruled 2-1, with the Canadian appointee dissenting, that research-spending rules imposed by Newfoundland’s oil regulator in 2004 were “performance requirements” forbidden by NAFTA.You see, on issues of importance to the global corporate world, you are left out. As a nation we can no longer set the terms of business being done in our country, and each new trade negotiation being done behind closed doors adds new anti-democratic panels which we have no say in to make decisions on our (read: the companies) behalf.
The decision, which was first reported on the New York-based website Investment Arbitration Reporter, has not been publicly released. The results were confirmed by an Exxon source.
The case is a win for oil companies in their tug-of-war over revenues with the government of Newfoundland and Labrador, which reached a high point under combative former premier Danny Williams.
But it also illustrates how Ottawa always ends up with the bill when provinces violate the terms of trade agreements that they didn’t sign. In 2010, the federal government paid out $130-million to AbitibiBowater Inc. after Newfoundland expropriated the company’s timber and water rights. Several other current NAFTA challenges involve provincial policies.
Add to this the control central banks and ratings agencies illicit over a countries ability to borrow money. At the click of an email the cost for us to borrow can go up and it can be in response to pretty well anything.
The democracy we have is a democracy confined within an anti-democratic box. We can make decisions to a point, but beyond that we have no control. Total control sits with the corporations already and they are using this control and power more and more frequently. This may come as a surprise to you based on your current perspective of how our system works. Still need more convincing? Alright.
Take for instance, this post from Common Dreams on the recent Mexican G20:
Everyone in Cabo had been told they had to have identification on them at all times. They were told that the schools would be closed, and the hospitals were only for G20 dignitaries and related personnel. I spoke with one woman who had a pregnant family member in Cabo. They were told that the hospital would not be available, even if she were giving birth. They were lucky: The baby was born last week.How can we, so called leaders of the free and democratic world agree to impose that on anyone? Every G20 is the same, anti-democratic lockdown. "This isn't Canada right now", remember? We are being sold out now just as the third world was being sold out in the 1990s. They've plundered everything there is to get there, and now if they want to "maintain growth", they'll be plundering the first world too.
The communities in the region of Cabo work in seafood processing plants and mining operations. They work in the hotels and the restaurants that serve tourists.
If the G20’s policies are bullets, like Calderon said, the people of La Paz have been hit hard. They have felt the wrath of “foreign investment” development strategies in the mega-hotel projects that are surrounded by devastated shanties in which poverty and drug addiction are rampant. The workers who sometimes work 15 hours per day processing seafood eaten by Koreans and Americans, with the profits going to a Korean company, understand “lowering barriers to trade” better than anyone. The fishing and farming communities that are under threat of being poisoned by a foreign-owned cyanide-leaching gold mine may know the pain of “competitive” and “business friendly” environments. They feel these “bullets,” and they know them well.
Canadians, I implore you to look beyond Harper and the Conservatives to the bigger picture. Paul Martin praised the G20, Paul Martin put us on this fraudulent banking system. This crosses party lines. We are part of a global empire, whether you want to see it or not. One which is fascist in nature. You don't see the full extent of this fascism because most of it has been done to other countries.
We really need to start being honest with ourselves of our true position in global politics and the true way the world operates. This is not a vast conspiracy, this is just how it is, take a look around. Not all war is conducted with weapons, and Canada, we're under attack.
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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for eQube gaming systems.
Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.