JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TOM FLANAGAN SAYS POWER-SHARING WOULD GO A WAY TO SOLVING CANADA’S POLITICAL IMPASSE – AVOIDING POLITICAL SCIENCE TO PROMOTE HIS RIGHT-WING AGENDA   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY TOM FLANAGAN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

“We are stuck between a majoritarian political culture and the reality of minority government…”

Tom Flanagan shows a remarkable lack of imagination in political affairs.

There are many steps we can readily take to break up the political logjam in which we find ourselves, but they all require some courage and imagination to do things in new ways.

First, of course, we could have coalition government, a perfectly normal practice in parliaments all over the world. This would end, overnight, the embarrassing and destructive politics now at work in Ottawa.

Second, we could change the way we vote, getting rid of our primitive first-past-the-post system. A number of countries have also made this change, thereby extending the value of a vote and the meaning of democracy.

And there are still other measures possible, but none of these interests Tom Flanagan.

Why would that be you may ask? Especially considering he styles himself a political scientist?

The answer, of course, is that Mr. Flanagan functions first and foremost, not as a political scientist, but as a flak for right-wing causes.

Real political changes almost certainly would not favor the right-wing, and I must say rather anti-democratic, agenda Mr. Flanagan tirelessly serves.

Why do I say anti-democratic? Just look at his advice to Harper and his past newspaper pieces.

He supported Harper in proroguing parliament for the explicit purpose of not getting to the bottom of the abuse of prisoners in Afghanistan.

He ranted against coalition government, impugning intentions he knows perfectly well were democratic in nature.

And there are many such pieces to a puzzle whose picture is that of a tight-lipped, right-wing American who wants to import Gingrichism into our national institutions.
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“The West are using this “the West wants in” just to they can cry like little blubbery babies. It’s tiresome and worn out.”

Amen, Amen, Amen.

That is a truly dishonest slogan, and the repetition of it is an authentic example of whiney baby American politics.

Alberta represents just under 11% of Canada’s population. By what jerry-rigging would it be possible for 11% of a population to substantially influence national affairs? The argument is simply anti-democratic.

But since Alberta was extensively settled by Americans looking for free land at the turn of the last century and since its big contemporary industry, hydrocarbons, is almost totally an American-dominated enterprise with experts, executives, and financial people constantly shipped up from places like Texas and Oklahoma, we see a constant re-inforcement of America’s attitudes and whiney-babyism.

And that ongoing, quiet process includes institutions endowed by oil money, which end up with spokesmen like Tom Flanagan or Preston Manning or our dear Prime Minister, former National Citizens’ Coalition flak, Stephen Harper.

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