How does a democracy typically work? Let’s answer with the basics. A government consists of elected officials who hold office for a set period. These public servants, in theory, act in the best interest of their constituencies (the folks who elected them). They are generally (but not required to be) affiliated with one of the registered parties of the country. But how well does democracy reflect the voice of a country? How much freedom should individuals have to make their own choices? And at what point does centralized power become dangerous in a free society? One more point to ponder: How democratic are elections really? I mean, is this the best system we can come up with? What are we doing to safeguard against corruption?
Why the West Hates Toronto
Let’s take a look at the 2021 election results in Canada. Below you will find a full political map that illustrates, by region, which party won the vote. For those of us who aren’t Canadian, red represents the Liberal party, blue represents the Conservative party, and Orange represents the New Democratic party(NDP). The lighter blue color is the Bloc Quebecois(BQ), which is traditionally a Quebec separatist party. The white outlines separate all the regions, each of which has one elected federal representative.
From a land mass perspective, it looks like the Liberals dominated Newfoundland, Labrador and most of the Atlantic regions. A massive win for the BQ in Quebec looks obvious. Ontario looks split between Conservative and NDP with a smattering of Liberal regions here and there. The western provinces are almost entirely blue with the exception of northern Manitoba, which is orange. BC looks half Orange and half blue except for one little red blob in the south(guess what that is). The northern territories are split between red and orange. Now, population density plays a big part in how the regions are separated. The larger regions are rural and the smaller regions are more dense (major cities). Speaking of which, let’s take a closer look at the greater Toronto area:
That cluster of regions that you see in red is Toronto. The province that appeared split between orange and blue was dominated hard by Liberal voters in the biggest city in Canada. To put this into perspective, the population of Ontario is roughly 14.8 million. Greater Toronto’s population is 6.8 million (that’s just under half the population of the province in a single city). Notice also how many little regions we find in this area. There is a load of them. So what’s my point? Win Toronto and you win Ontario. The same scenario can be found in other major cities who’s provinces were completely dominated by other colors (Montreal, Winnipeg, Vancouver). Some might call this strategic or target campaigning. Urbanites have different influences than rural dwellers. To understand the Toronto influence further, let’s look at the seat count in the house of commons:
As you can see, Ontario has the biggest voice in the house by far, Toronto being the loudest in the province. Representation by province drops off dramatically after that.
But What Matters is How The Majority Voted…..right?
So what party got the most votes? Not the party that won! Take a look.
The most votes went to the Conservatives yet the Liberal party won, capturing 41 more regions, almost all of them in major cities or areas that rely on heavy government subsidization. But are the motivations across demographics so different? You tell me!
The prairie provinces have been the backbone of Canada’s economic engine in both the agriculture and energy industries for more than a decade. There are other healthy contributors such as mining, but logging and fishing have suffered for years. There is no confusion as to why these provinces are feeling ripped off politically and economically as their voices are marginalized in the house and their federal taxes flow like an angry river out of their provinces and into others.
What The Hell Is Happening to Politics?
Most people I talk to express the same disdain about politics across the globe. How is it possible that so many countries (at least the commonwealth ones and the US) are being led by sub-par politicians or full-blown tyrants? More particularly, how can such an unpopular, underqualified Canadian prime minister get re-elected after bungling his way through his first term? Further, how did Toronto, Montreal, Winnipeg, and Vancouver fall under the liberal trance after such a poor four-year performance?
In a world where we are increasingly preoccupied with buzz topics and public appearance I would be interested to know how many people voted based on shallow banter and looks rather than real credentials and a solid plan. How many voted based on what party will hand out the most subsidies and who is tired of being taxed to death? But I’m not going to do a deep-dive into voter psychology here. I will leave that up to you.
Here is a link to an interesting study that was published on CTV news about voter demographics:
There are many decentralized models either emerging or resurfacing that are worth a serious look. So why aren’t we looking at them. They offer a more accurate representation for smaller demographics and give everyone a voice with more freedom to govern themselves. They are far less bureaucratic, thus far cheaper to run, and a lot more efficient.
BTW, if you are interested in what the 2021 Federal election cost the Canadian taxpayer, click here.
So Why Don’t We Fix The System?
I see only two reasons why the current system remains in place:
- To fix it or come up with a better alternative would be a massive undertaking that seems too daunting or intimidating. Those who hold this viewpoint often defend it by claiming that, as flawed as it is, this is the best we can come up with.
- It is deliberately designed to give the voter the illusion of choice whereby the majority decides who they agree to be governed by. Those who subscribe to the first reason generally see the second reason as the opinion of crackpots.
But here’s the real bottom line: Current systems will never ever ever give up their power structure. Corporate interests are too heavily embedded into our politics. Once power becomes too centralized, it is too late to take it back without physical conflict. I challenge anyone to show me an example where peaceful protest has resulted in the surrender of power. Don’t talk to me about Gandhi; India still belongs to the commonwealth. Yes, even today.
Is There An Alternative?
There is a growing feeling that citizens no longer have a voice. It is undeniable that recent global events have sparked a trend of government over-reach that has quickly morphed into totalitarianism. It is disturbing to note that there is a large demographic that takes comfort in this. I, personally consider myself a political refugee who has fled Canada to Latin America to preserve my freedom. It would blow some people’s minds how many of us are down here hiding from Trudeau. Just remember though, you always, always, always have a choice. All of us were born with the most precious gift of all; the freedom to self-determine. Don’t let a lifetime of indoctrination fool you from claiming this truth. Governance is an agreement between the individual and the system, for as long as they choose to participate. This agreement can be cancelled at your descression, at any time. If you’re tired of the way you’re being governed, you can always drop out and join the club.
Here’s a dusty little rebel song to groove to while you free your mind from fear.