Democracy is dying

“Taxes are the price we pay for civilization.”

US Justice Louis B. Brandeis

A beautiful fall day.The leaves were changing color in my neighbourhood while democracy was dying.

Not a political sign on the street or the surrounding streets as a municipal election looks in Canada’s largest city where a political neanderhal is leading in the polls.

In my youth, church and union halls were jammed to hear what the candidates had to say. Today deep pockets are corroding democracy. Instead of well reasoned debate and platforms which make fiscal and communal sense, we get robocalls, simplistic bromides and dumb “anti-tax” screeds. We get massive, hopelessly biased flyers, TV ads and oh yeah, reality shows and 11 pages of hockey coverage in the Sun for our Leafs. And a quiescent, distracted electorate.  As Paul Craig Roberts said on my last blog “Wherever one looks, truth has fallen to money. Wherever money is insufficient to bury the truth, ignorance, propaganda, and short memories finish the job.”

Again the current leader is an independently wealthy Tory who rants about councillor’s office expenses as his main plank. Also he is supoported by one of Mike Harris’ s wrecking balls, Jim Flaherty and probably Republican advisors

In my riding on the Toronto/Scarborough border I have not heard of an all candidates meeting being called. The front runner, a Mike Harris clone has inundated our mail boxes and plotted his career carefully.He has a good chance of winning because under advanced capitalism with its infinite capacity to distract, democracy is dying. To the economically well heeled goes the spoils. Again as Justice Brandeis warned: “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”



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