JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: TOM FLANAGAN AND STEPHEN HARPER WORK TIRELESSLY TOWARDS AN AMERICAN MODEL OF CAMPAIGN FINANCE – WHY ? BECAUSE THEY EMBRACE A NIETZSCHEAN VIEW   Leave a comment


JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY TOM FLANAGAN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

Davidovitch seems the perfect example of Tom Flanagan’s target market.

“Harper’s reasoning was, why should Canadians be forced to pay a party who’s [sic] sole existence is based on the fact that it wants to destroy Canada.”

That is just plainly an untrue statement.

The Bloc wants a form of quasi-independence, but it has never stated that Canada’s destruction is a goal. Perhaps Davidovitch cannot grasp the subtlety of the difference? But then Flanagan himself seems rather weak in understanding this.

More importantly, while I do not have any affection for separatism, as a critical observer, I do have to say that the Bloc has sometimes played a constructive and civil role in Ottawa.

It has supported some good legislation and has, at times, acted rather statesmanlike, more than anyone can say of Harper and his gang of Alberta frat boys.

Indeed, we have the irony that the Bloc has supported legislation of Harper’s it regarded as beneficial to Quebec, a fact which the politically inept Ignatieff seems incapable of turning on Harper and his advertising lies about the support of separatists.

“I like Flanagans [sic] idea. I don’t want another red cent of my hard-earned tax dollars going to the enemy, which is the Bloc. I want the Bloc to die, and the sooner the better.”

I am not surprised Davidovitch likes Flanagan’s ideas.

They are the ideas of a narrow-minded ideologue with a dark agenda which includes decreasing the political vitality of Canada and moving it into the kind of vicious, yet meaningless, partisan politics of the United States, his home.

Davidovitch has demonstrated on these pages many times his having a similar harshly ideologue viewpoints.

“If I want my money to go to a political organization then I should be able to decide which one I want to fund by checking off a box.”

That is exactly what they do in America, and do you know what? It is completely ineffective. The funding of America’s parties at the national level much resembles what we find in third-world country; votes and candidates are pretty much for sale to the highest bidder.

Many aspects of American policy – a good example being the almost insane support for Israel with its rude injection into daily national political life, something Harper has already tried to copy to the extent his limited mandate allows – reflect only special-interest funding.

The George Bushes, the Sarah Palins, the Newt Gingriches, and the Tom Delays – comprising a rogues’ gallery of nightmare politicians – are only made possible by America’s lamentable, twisted system of campaign funding.

The leader of the Bloc seems almost a cultured gentleman by comparison.

And I am actually rather proud to live in a country with the tolerance and civility to permit the Bloc in Parliament, despite its inconveniences. It will fade and perhaps alter over time, but that should reflect the desires of its supporters – Canadians all – and not the high-handed thug politics we find in the United States.

Making a big issue of this relatively small matter is just one more example of Harper’s ceaseless effort to use nasty wedge issues to move Canada in the direction of East Texas politics.

And Tom Flanagan plays, if you will, Igor, the lab assistant, to Harper’s Frankenstein creature in the effort.
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From another commenter: “...when the Conservative Party is able and willing to fund itself simply through personal donations…”

Sorry, that is a meaningless and uninformed comment.

The ability of very conservative parties to finance themselves has been the history of countries everywhere. Why? Because very wealthy people and business interests, and, in some cases, even foreign governments keep them flush with cash.

You cannot have a strong democracy that way. Indeed, the very claim for today’s Conservative Party in Canada has absolutely nothing to do with democracy.

Just examine the United States in any detail, and what you find under the outer trappings of democratic government is almost an 18th century aristocratic state.

The U.S., the inventor of marketing techniques, has worked its way through a long experiment, conclusively proving that it is possible to have the trappings of democracy without the substance.

Money controls who can get a nomination, money controls whose face will dominate the airwaves, and money pays for many special tools and helps from travel to dinners and expensive special assistants and technology.

In this sense, America has made almost no democratic progress since the time of its revolution. Despite the fact that slowly, gradually most people have gained the vote since those early days – only about one-percent of a place like early Virginia had the vote, it being by no measure a democratic state – the same small percent of wealthy men pretty much control the nation’s destiny nearly two and half centuries later.

We know marketing and advertising work: we all accept that fact today in everyday life. So it should be no surprise in that it works in politics?

The best funded candidate virtually always wins. Occasionally, in this or that individual case, that may prove untrue, but in the language of science – statistics – it is absolutely true.

On average, money prevails, no matter how poor the candidates, how empty the party platforms.

Just look at the line of silly clown figures in the United States whose voices remain in our ears despite their mediocrity and lack of anything meaningful to say.

Truly, a George Bush or Sarah Palin would not be competent to be promoted to department heads in a Wal-Mart super-store

Yet I believe most people, deep down, are disturbed by the idea that our leadership and policies should be determined in this way.

Many ordinary Americans just fatalistically accept the unpleasant political realities of their society, feeling utterly inadequate to change them, just as they do in so many matters of consequence from wars to oppressive legislation like the Patriot Act.

Let’s not have Canada follow that terrible pattern, which, when all is said and done, is precisely what the Tom Flanagans and Stephen Harpers want. They are truly secret embracers of privilege and an almost Nietzschean belief in the right of “supermen” to govern.

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