TOMMY DOUGLAS by Vincent Lam (Penguin Books)
The Liberal Party in Saskatchewan in 1944, after decades of rampant corruption and constant scandal, asked the Federal government to give them permission to extend their rule for an extra year ‘….because, like, you know, the war happened and all?’
The real reason was that they did not want the fast-rising CCF/NDP party to take over. The Prime Minister (McKenzie King. Liberal Party, of course) was not happy with the prospect of the CCF/NDP either and so turned a blind eye to what he said was ‘a violation of Democracy’ and allowed the provincial Liberals to stretch their mandate illegally. In response, the then leader of the CCF/NDP said, “(when) a people is governed without their consent, we have moved from a Democracy to Fascism.”
History repeats itself.
The Conservative Party currently holds power with less than 40% of voter support and even those who voted for them are showing their displeasure with such things as the proroguing of Parliament, promoting the Enbridge pipeline without due process, promising to buy F-35 fighter jets and lying about it, ramming through bundles of legislation without debate with the Omnibus Bill and the ongoing and tragic farce of the mismanagement of DFO, Indian Affairs and the Health Care system.
Just to mention a few.
Back in 1944 the Liberal Party campaigned on the slogan, “Please, Give Us Another Chance!” As brilliant a slogan as it was, it was not enough. Christy Clark may add a few extra ‘please’s‘ and maybe even garnish that ‘with a cherry on top!’ but I doubt that she’ll get another chance either. Seems they can lie and cheat their way into power (see: Robocalls) but they cannot beg!
The CCF/NDP won 47 of 52 seats and the party went on to do enough good in the next twenty years to raise the standard of living of the people from last in the country to first. The reason: ‘Unlike the mainstream parties, we owe no one any debts or favours. We can work for the good of the people rather than for the wallets of the corporations.’
What a concept, eh?
Another line from those days was repeated by a prominent former Liberal who had switched sides. After every speech he said, “You are born into the old parties. You have to think your way into the CCF.”
Lest anyone read the above as an argument to vote NDP, you have missed the point. The point is: NDP, Liberal, Conservative……. whatever………..the voter ‘has to think’! We are born into a way of thinking, we have to think our way to something better.
In those admittedly old-days the CCF/NDP were the ‘good guys’ and perhaps they still are in some ways. Especially by comparison. But the point I am trying to make is this: how is it that people vote in to power those parties who are not only corrupt and criminal but who have long established histories of same? How the hell does that happen? Is it habit? Is it misplaced loyalty? Is it a form of transference – are we showing our love for our parents by voting they way they did?
I mean, the Liberals have a long, long history of corruption and graft outdone only by the Conservatives (who also have an ex-prime minister who sued the Canadian people for $2.0 million dollars even tho he was guilty of the charges. And he won! We have a prime minister who sued us!).
The NDP are slowly building a reputation of incompetence, a quality also long held by the Liberals and the Conservatives. I mean – it is hard to find anything good from all those previous crooks and idiots. Why would we even consider voting for them? Ever again!?
Just for the record – most of those things that Canadians are most proud of in this country were introduced by the 1940’s CCF from immigration, personal rights and freedoms, universal medicare and tax revenues directed to benefit the people. And much more. So, we have all adopted and accepted progressive, for-the-people legislation when the opportunity arose.
And we have rejected corruption and criminality, scandal and stupidity whenever we woke up from our stupor to notice it.
Currently the common voter is agreeing with that previous sentence by staying away from the ballot box in droves. We are choosing stupor! “I am not voting! They are all crooks!”
But that is not good enough. NOT voting is voting for the status quo. That is how the Conservatives won with less than 40% of the votes. To make a protest, one has to vote. And to make a protest that counts, one has to think before voting. We are long overdue in our protest. I think. Time to vote out the old and vote in the new!
“But, Dave?! Who’s new? Even the relatively new NDP are as old as the hills. They are well over 60. Who’s new?
Well, the Greens are new…………
“But they won’t win!”
Not the point. The Liberals and the Conservatives took the populist platform of the CCF whenever they needed votes. But they only did that when they knew that the platform would work. Voting for the Greens shows the ‘born-to-rule’ (read: well-financed) parties where the voters interests are. Voting Green makes the greedy pig-faces put on green lipstick at the very least. We can actually change the corrupt, rotten bastards of the Liberals and the Conservatives by voting Green. They are corrupt, greedy and evil – but NOT stupid.
“You mean, use my vote as a way of expressing my values rather than my allegiance?”
Yeah. Radical, eh?