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LETTER: Disillusionment with democracy rooted in our system

'You don’t have to be a Marxist to be disillusioned. Just intelligent and aware,' counters letter writer
20220511 elections Canada
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OrilliaMatters welcomes letters to the editor at dave@orilliamatters.com. Please include your daytime phone number and address (for verification of authorship, not publication). The following letter is in response to another letter about the state of democracy in Canada, published Sept. 30.
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While I agree with Randy Baker’s contention that democracy is in decline, I do not buy into the conspiracy theory that reds-under-the-bed are the cause. Nor do I believe that capitalism is a protector of democracy, or that it is in decline at this time.

Capitalism is thriving globally, and we see the wealth moving to the top at an ever-increasing rate. A tiny number of people at the top of the capitalist pyramid become wealthier and more powerful every day.

The threat to democracy in the United States doesn’t come from Karl Marx and subversive universities, it comes from the Koch Brothers and the Super PACs. Extreme wealth in the hands of unaccountable and self-interested individuals is being used to corrupt American democracy. 

The abuse of power by the obscenely wealthy is seen throughout the world, meanwhile Marxist revolutionary uprisings are as scarce as hens’ teeth. And make no mistake, Canada is moving in the same direction as the U.S.A. and for the same reasons.

Mr. Baker’s attempt to demonize universities as the epicentre of democratic decline is ridiculous and smacks of disinformation. The claim that “Six days ago, the University World News suggested, 'universities should make democracy education a requirement' Is false. In fact, the title of the article is “Libyan universities should advance democracy education.” 

Most people will realize that there is a world of difference between those two statements. An article published by the University World News in July of this year is entitled “Higher education institutions are anchors for democracy” – a complete refutation of Mr. Baker’s position.

Are young people disillusioned with politics? Yes, they are, and with good reason. In Canada they are faced with a farcical electoral system in which the majority of people are not represented in the government, and a minority of people exercise unopposed power. 

The 60 per cent of voters who didn’t vote for Doug Ford are disappointed that he was awarded 67 per cent of the seats with only 40 per cent of the votes. Disappointed that 60 per cent of the electorate has no say in this government AT ALL!  You don’t have to be a Marxist to be disillusioned. Just intelligent and aware.

If you are concerned about the decline of democracy, ask yourself why the parties that represent wealth and influence in Canada – the Conservatives and the Liberals – are so opposed to electoral reform? 

Why did Doug Ford thwart reform attempts by some municipalities for instance? Why is he changing the powers granted to our elected representatives without any mandate or even public discussion? Why did Trudeau and McGuinty campaign on electoral reform and then renege once elected?

Democracy is under attack, without a doubt. Don’t be misled about the sources and motivations for these attacks.

Regards,

Mark Elgar
Orillia

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