Squeezing Democracy ‘til We Squeal

Ron Bolin: Nov. 28, 2010

The Nov. 27 editorial in the bulletin: “Political aims behind recall” was hopefully written with tongue firmly in cheek.  Democracy and politics related?  Duh….   And to cap it off, defining democracy as the system in use in British Columbia which is, at best, a weak representative democracy where the “representative” part of that description is defined as first past the post with no proportional representation.

The right of citizens to recall their representatives using a legislatively defined procedure when the populace finds that they no longer have confidence in their elected representative, i.e. the right of “de-election”, is rare, but has been legislatively granted to the citizens of BC.  To somehow suggest that using it is undemocratic, particularly since the procedures are so onerous as to baffle politicians when it is used, is itself undemocratic.  It says that, once elected, our representatives are beyond all control, even legislated controls, i.e. that we elect term dictators, not true representatives.

Shame on the editor:  Democracy is, as the cliché goes, the worst possible form of government -except for all the others.  And it is messy:  If one wants true stability, seek it in totalitarian schemes: or in manipulating the after-the-fact rules as practiced recently in calling foul on the first attempt at using this democratic process in years.  Does the Bulletin insist that if the abbreviations HST or MLA are used in a Bulletin ad that the advertiser will be charged for three full words in each case?