Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why Democracy fails

It's not because it's a bad idea.  It's because politicians become dominated by special interest groups that are more organized than the average Joe (ie lobbyists).  Small groups that are extremely motivated by their own issues (often corporations) get what they want because they're organized, press for their wants, and the hell with everyone else.

Case in point, Stephen Harper is posting answers to questions via youtube .

I actually thought this might be worthwhile, in that you can raise questions, vote on which questions you like, etc?  Then I remembered...oh ya, this is the INTERNET.  I decided to browse through the "questions" that would be posed.

To summarize:

49% of the questions revolve on whether or not the the government is going to change bankruptcy laws such that pensioners become preferred creditors (most of these cite Nortel specifically).

While this is worthy of discussion, I sure as hell don't think 49% of Canadians number one issue is to ensure that Nortel employees get a full bailout.  But apparently they're organized, so their issue becomes "important".

Another 49% of the questions are related to the legalization and taxation of pot.

Again, maybe this is a valid question, but should it really be a BIG issue?  Don't we have bigger more important things to worry about than creating a new sin tax so we can enjoy legalized bud?  Again, the pro-legalization group seems motivated, and like the Nortel pensioners, felt obliged to spam the same issue thousands of times on an internet "discussion" via youtube...

Of course that leaves about another 1.9% of questions in the "smart-ass" category eg.  "Stephen Harper, are you sick of hearing about legalizing pot yet?"

And maybe another 0.1 percent of questions that might actually be worth posing...if you can find them amongst the "Nortel pensions good, pass the spliff" crowd.  Go democracy.

Being as I was unaware of this venue for engaging in democratic action in the first place, unlike the motivated pensioners and potheads (maybe they're the same people!), I'll pose a question no-one else seems to care about but constantly scares the shit out of me:

Is the CMHC adequately capitalized to withstand losses due to a potential collapsing housing bubble in Canada, and if so, can you provide figures demonstrating this?  If not, is the government going to force the holders of CMHC MBS to eat the loss, or is the taxpayer going to eat it through massively increased taxes/reduction in government services?

Not that they'd answer that one even if the question was asked...

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