Thursday, December 22, 2016
Guest Post: An Incompatible Marriage
In response to my post the other day featuring some stellar letters from Star readers on inequality, regular commentator Pamela MacNeil offered an insightful analysis of the fundamental incompatibility between democracy and neoliberalism. Here is that analysis:
Governments who value Democracy, Lorne, will govern in the interests of people according to democratic principles. They will also add legally or otherwise to their country's democracy. They will do this to make their democracy stronger and more accessible to their citizens. This is what Nation Building is all about. Creating The Charter of Rights and Freedoms is a good example of strengthening democracy while further entrenching Nation Building.
The stronger the legislative roots upon which Democracy rests, the freer the country.
The more a government seeks to create policy without a democratic process, the greater the chance of that government becoming authoritarian.
Our present government and our previous governments have embraced neoliberal policy domestically and globally. "Neoliberals require a strong state that uses its power to create and enforce markets and prop them up when they fail." Their vision is a state governed by market transactions and not democratic practices. This is what Canadians are now witnessing.
Neoliberalism came later to Canada than to the U.S. and Britain because of the re-election of Pierre Trudeau in 1980. How ironic that it should be his son who is continually promoting neoliberalism and has made it the fundamental driver of his domestic and global policies.
Neoliberalism breeds inequality. Most progressives would defend democracy as a basic right. In neoliberalism "financial markets survive existenial crises only through state bailouts."
The economic inequality can best be seen in the decline of union memberships, the decline in the share of middle class income and the rise in the share of income taken by the top 10%. The goal of neoliberalism is to chip away at union power until it no longer threatens the realization of the market state.
How unequal and insignificant does your government consider you to be, when they, without public consultation, take billions of your dollars to bail out the corporate and financial elite who were the cause of one of the most major financial crisis in history?
There is nothing more important then freedom, freedom ingrained in law. Without democracy there is no freedom. Our government, which has already severed ties with Canadians, is busy trying to find ways to circumvent our constitution or dismantle our democracy in order to implement their neoliberal policies.
Neoliberalism and Democracy cannot survive together. It will be one or the other and right now neoliberalism, at least in Canada, appears to be winning.
How relevant is our democracy to Canadians? The battle ahead is a battle of ideas. Freedom and democracy or Neoliberalism and Tyranny. Will Canadians fight to take their country back or will they do nothing?
The choice is ours, and our time is running out.