Published October 14, 2018
The swing towards fascist politics in Canada, the United States and Europe in the 21st century has an unmistakably eerie similarity to what politically began to happen in Germany, Japan, Italy and rest of the corporate world in the early 1930’s. Now as then, violent, ruthless ‘strong men’ leaders again continue to emerge upon the scene like the dreaded pandemic scourge that became known as the ‘Black Death’ when it first began as a plague in the 14th century and then repeatedly returned again and again until it seemed to disappear by the 18th century. Just as that pandemic changed the entire world’s social structure and led to the widespread persecution of minorities (Jews, Muslims, foreigners, beggars, lepers), so, too, does the current fascist political-corporate climate threaten a similar host of peoples.
One way to possibly offset or reverse what is happening in the modern world’s different kind of political-social-economic plague is for the people to demand a voting system like Proportional Representation that at least is somewhat more representative of the will of all the people. Then, if this new-old historical human plague continues to emerge it will at least be carried more on the backs of all the people for historians of the future to better judge.
But for the current Proportional Referendum (Pro-Rep) ballot vote to succeed in Canada’s up-coming election its essential that the under 35’s vote, since, when polled, 7 in 10, want to change the voting system to make it more egalitarian and democratic. The same applies to voters in the forthcoming midterm politics in the United States who hope to change its now functionally fascist political climate.
But if left to the over 55 Generation in either Canada or the U.S. then any significant change is doomed because older voters always favor the status quo by a strong margin. Yet while those over 55 in Canada only make up one third of its voters, they account for more than half of all the votes cast because most voters, under 35s, never vote.
Yet the mainstream political parties of both Canada and the United States, and corporate press of both countries, continually quash every positive, constructive attempt ever put forward to voters to make their political systems more egalitarian and democratic; while constantly keeping them ignorant and in the dark about the many advantages that voting systems such as Proportional Representation offer to the citizenry to create a truly democratic process of government and governance.
But “Hope Springs Eternal,” as the old saying goes! Canada is currently mailing to voters across the country a referendum ballot that will give them the power to choose between whether Canada adopts a Proportional Representation voting system or stays with its first-past-the-post (FPTP) system that will decide whether Canada’s fate leads in the same dismal direction as elections have gone in the past.
FPTP voting won’t ever tell the whole truth of what needs to be done because Canada and the United States corporate newspapers and digitized news media (Facebook, Google, Twitter, Instagram) now are part of a tightly-controlled and managed worldwide network of propagandized thought that carefully manipulates what the public, and voters in particular, should or should not think about Proportional Representation or any other new progressive political concept, idea or ideal is put before the voters.
Hence, the result is a constant dumbing-down of the electorate to the point that intelligent, independent, free-thinking human beings eventually become disillusioned and turned off by whatever political system, while the low-level thinking it demands and perpetuates among its followers continues to direct life everywhere on earth.
But Canadians and Americans once again are about to undergo yet another unfair, inadequate, if not archaic, first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting cycle, where most voters, especially those under 35, never vote and those elected seldom are represented by the youth, women First Nations, Native Americans and other minorities.
Some say that why so many among the citizenry don’t ever vote is because of the same worldwide disdain felt towards so much deceitful, authoritarian, autocratic political-corporate rule. In the United States, during its last presidential election that ushered into office Donald Trump, it’s estimated that over 100 million disgruntled voters didn’t bother to vote, many of them the under 35’s, even though 7 out of 10 voters under age 35 avowedly wanted to see the kind of significant changes they envisioned could still occur in the world.
When a recent Debate.org poll was taken in the United States and the question asked, “Should the U.S. Adopt Proportional Representation?” 91 percent of the respondents said yes on the basis that: (a) nothing in the U.S. Constitution states that geographic-based winner-takes-all voting should exist; (b) it’s unconstitutional that a voting system, like FPTP, can make one vote count less than any other vote; (c) a less popular political party under FPTP can only ever act as a spoiler that causes the major party closest to its philosophy and policies to constantly loose an election, and; (d) the people need different and more accurate representation than FPTP ever allows.
Yet imagine what would or could potentially happen overnight if the majority of voters in Canada, especially the under 35s, begin to start the ball rolling in another direction by making the decision to vote and mark “YES” on their ballot for Proportional Representation that would begin to level the playing field that exists between the politicians and people at all levels of municipal, state, provincial and federal government? What kind of inspirational example and ripple effect could that begin to create among those Americans who desire a similar democratic form of rule?
However, unless or until that were to happen, Canada’s current voting system, like that of the United States’, will continue to fail in its attempts to woo most of its people to the polls- whether they be the over 55s, the youth, women, indigenous or minorities.
This is where the Achilles Heel of the FPTP voting system in Canada and the U.S., and their style of governance are most glaringly obvious and why every ensuing election continues to look more like trying to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic; while the politicians, blind or indifferent to the sea of grassroot discontent that constantly swirls all around them, forever try to bail out themselves and the gross shortcomings of their voting systems.
But if perchance Canadian and American voters were to opt for their own unique Proportional Representational system, North America and the rest of the world could become a very different place than it is today. If not, the same election results will continue as before, most voters will choose not to vote and, the pandemic plague of human life caused by the same malaise of so much indifference, ignorance or disdain in society will continue to spread.
Jerome Irwin is a freelance writer and author of “The Wild Gentle Ones; A Turtle Island Odyssey” (www.turtle-island-odyssey.com), a three volume account of his travels as a spiritual sojourner, during the 1960s, 70s & 80s, among Native American & First Nation peoples in North America. It encompasses the Indigenous Spiritual Renaissance & Liberation Movements that emerged throughout North America during the civil rights era. Irwin has authored over the years several environmental, political, cultural, spiritual articles with a special focus on Native Americans, First Nations, Australian aboriginals, Israeli, Gazan, Palestinian and Syrian peoples. Irwin also is the publisher of The Wild Gentle Press.