The TPP Renders Electoral Reform Meaningless
Canada is now suffering two growing deficits, one is financial and the other democratic. Both have the same origin, and the culprit is neoliberalism.
The federal budgetary deficit comes about because corporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes. The tax burden in Canada increasingly falls on the shoulders of the middle class. Under neoliberalism, corporations get a free ride, while government is expected to practice permanent austerity. It is also expected to sell off public assets so the private sector can profitize them. Government is also expected to underwrite their disasters, as with the Wall Street collapse of 2008, and here at home, the collapsing corporate media shows up cap-in-hand looking for a bailout.
We tolerate socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor, or as the neoliberal mantra goes; privatize wealth and socialize debt.
Our democratic deficit has been on the skids for decades as successive governments retreat from governance, allowing their powers to be usurped by the corporatocracy.
In our last federal election, the TPP should have been a central issue, but it was barely mentioned, as all parties played their various versions of trivial pursuit. To make it a key issue would have been to openly challenge neoliberalism which none of them are prepared to do.
Canadians are looking forward to getting rid of our archaic FPTP system of voting, and hopefully, we can initiate an effective system of proportionate representation. Unfortunately, with the imminent ratification of the TPP electoral reform becomes a meaningless exercise. The political parties will get to play their nefarious game of trivial pursuit more than ever.
As US neoconservative Grover Norquist stated in 2001, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub” Norquist was one many who joined the chorus to denigrate government and pave the way for the ascendance of neoliberalism. Governments, for their part, have been too willing to buy into such fatuous notions as free enterprise must be totally free, the market driven economy can be self-regulating, wealth would trickle down to the poor(now totally discredited), along with the lame-brained idiocy that deregulation and privatization are the salvation of all mankind. It has been all too promiscuous in blindly signing off on never-ending so-called free trade agreements that have little to do with free trade and everything to do with corporations usurping their power to actually govern.
Government has been all too willing to have its lazy ass dragged into the bathroom.
Our esteemed federal government appears determined to let Grover have his way. By signing onto the TPP, they relinquish their mandate to govern, democracy disappears down the drain, and meaningful electoral reform with it.
Allowing government to be reduced to the bathroom toy of the neoliberal corporatocracy is not an option.
First things first. Electoral reform only matters where democracy actually exists. If we don’t kill the TPP, it is going to kill our democracy.