It appears that we have been deluded about Canadian Democracy. There seems to be no mechanism for the control of any governing party in Canada. Even the Supreme Court does not seem to be able or willing to contradict the decisions of government, and certainly the opposition parties seem to have little interest in such ventures, beyond a bit of grandstanding in the House of Commons. Our democracy is a charade played for the public entertainment. The last major upset in memory was the ‘no confidence’ ouster of Joe Clarke which was actively supported by the entire parliament because he was not playing to their agenda. Since then, there has hardly even been heated rhetoric, never mind serious effort, to control government actions.
There are good people in government, but we should never expect them to be Godlike or selfless. Government personnel, both elected and appointed have biases and personal agenda and motivations. Therefore, we are foolishly naïve when we grant government absolute power without accountability. We so often forget that Leadership is just one job among many, it is not an elevation to sainthood, and that a position within government is a career not a moral sanction.
In pursuit of the goals of those in office, governments will naturally seek to expand and extend their powers and control of citizens. In systems like Canada and the United states this tendency is compounded by ever more complex demands of the people. Mediating between vested interest groups is a core function of a Democratic government, unfortunately this also allows the governing structure even greater power from the opportunity to cause deep divisions between competing interests. Ultimately, this will lead to divisions like we see in third world dictatorships, where the majority of the people are ruled by an entitled minority, which is fanatically loyal to the leaders. The minorities in these cases understand that they must remain loyal or loose everything, therefore there are no limits to the atrocities they will commit to maintain the status quo. In North America, the divisions between the minority and the rest are not physically obvious, but devotion to the status quo is no less fanatic. Everyone seems to know instinctively that wealth and power go to the connected and the loyal.
Politics is both a career and a club. There are motivations for unseating opponents, but none for upsetting the status quo.
Humanity needs to restructure our views of leadership’s role.