2.1 – The Story of “Mouse-land”

Tommy Douglas in 1944 narrated the story where mice, by switching their vote from: a white cat, to a black cat, to a grey cat, did not improve their lot. The trouble wasn’t with the colour of the cats. The trouble was that mice were giving away their power to cats, and cats naturally have a political ideology that looks after their own interests.

Tommy Douglas explained that one day the mice got enlightened and stopped giving away their political power to cats of any colour. Mice started electing themselves, their own fellow mice.

Projecting this 74 year-old anecdote to current politic ideologies in Canada, by switching the vote back and forth between the red party and the blue party, has not empowered Canadian voters, it has only enthroned the supremacy of an elite-party-class.

The trouble is not so evident with the political ideologies of corporate parties, which always sound altruistic, at least, during election campaigns. The trouble is that we the citizens give away our legislative power to charismatic politicians with demagogic platforms which represent the interests of the wealthiest corporations.

According to Mike Lofgren’s book “The Deep State”. The fall of the US Constitution and the rise of a plutocratic, shadow government means that all party representatives are subordinated to party hierarchy which must comply with the whims of lobbyists from well funded marketing institutions.

In Canada, a similar argument was reported in 1993 by Murray Dobbin: “The Little Red Book”, and more recently, in 2017, Kevin Taft, offers a brisk tour of the concepts of the “Oil’s Deep State” to understand how one rich industry can override the public interest.

2.2 – Blue (Conservative) Ideology

One of the main political forces in Canada is the conservative ideology, which is not necessarily synonymous with conserving the environment but is primarily focused on conserving the economic status-quo. The constitution of the Conservative Party of Canada, states that protecting private property is one of their top priorities.

The blue ideology sponsors laws to personify and prioritize the economy. Usually by promoting tax reduction laws for corporations, financial investors and private property owners.

Under this ideology, the relative economic success of the working class becomes dependent on paid employment and on the cyclical market economy.

Blue ideology appears beneficial, not just to the wealthy, but also to ambitious workers who want to be wealthy, and to selfish consumers who don’t want to pay taxes.

Blue ideology believes in the benefits of a “trickle down economy”, based on a cyclical success of exploiting labour, and exploiting natural resources from around the world.

2.3 – Yellow (Liberal) Ideology

Seen from the Far-Right, it appears Red, but is not.

The Yellow ideology tries to balance or fluctuate between universal human rights and individual freedoms; it also intends to manage a mixed economy of free-enterprise and a welfare-state.

Yellow ideology, in principle, is neither monolithic “right” nor revolutionary “left”, but tries for to be a pragmatic “centre”.

The liberalization of economic enterprise, religious and cultural freedoms, in perpetual tension between individual freedom and collective good, can indeed be a compelling, democratic argument.

However, because free enterprise is based on competition which promises rewarding profits, most people get attracted, and addicted to the challenge and the possibility of climbing up the economic class.

Also, because the not-for-profit, co-operative system of the welfare state is less challenging, and in our culture, communitarian projects are less motivating, the yellow ideology inherently looses its centre of balance and tilts to the Right.

This off balance, corrupted yellow, generates a spiral effect: businesses sponsor electoral campaigns, they lobby legislators, and ultimately they dictate policies which are often in conflict with the collective good. Consequently, Yellow and Blue ideologies become indistinguishable.

2.4 – Green Ideology

The Green Ideology is an environmental movement transformed into a political party.

Green is, literally and metaphorically, a blend of Blue and Yellow of many shades.

Green ideology is mainly concerned with alleviating the ecological symptoms, to prevent the climate change that is eroding the environment.

Conveniently, the Green platform includes social justice concerns, but the economic goal of the Green Party is Green industry, and Green Jobs.

The environment is seen by the Greens as independent from Right and Left ideologies. Communism and Capitalism are seen as arguments of the past and meaningless to Green policies.

2.5 –Orange Ideology.

The Orange ideology, is a blend of yellow liberalism and red socialism. It advocate for a balance of justice between individual property rights and commonwealth.

In other words, a compromise between socialism, as practiced in Northern Europe, also known as social democracy, and capitalism with a mixed economy, as generally practiced in the Western World.

Orange ideology, similar to the Yellow ideology, is often defined and practiced according to the individual leaning of each politician.

The Orange agenda, originally influenced by labour unions, also represents business interests sponsoring the party. So, Orange has shades of Yellow and Red.

2.6 – Red Ideology

Red ideologists claim that the environmental degradation and social inequality are a direct result of unfettered Blue capitalism.

Christian communism is a two thousand year old theory based on the teachings of Jesus according to the Book of Acts, Chapter 2 :44 ”And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; 2:45 “And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”

Christian and secular communists, Marxist-Leninists, International Socialists, and Trotskyists share the same ideals of common ownership of resources, participation on the means of production according to individual ability, and communal control of the distribution of goods and services according to need.

Although the ultimate goal of all Red ideologists is the same, their different approaches of how to establish a communist society, divides their efforts.

2.7- Government by Parliamentary-Monarchy

The Dominion of Canada is governed by a lingering Imperial Monarchy where the Governor General and Prime Minister have supremacy over Members of Parliament. In other words, Canada is governed by an indirect democracy, or quasi democracy.

According to UVic Professor James Lawson,
the Queen, through her Governor General, continues to exert sovereignty over parliament’s decisions, by “sufferance”,
in other words, the Queen is sovereign, as long as her subjects do not object to it.

While the citizens of Canada elect their representatives of Parliament, citizens do not elect their Prime Minister. The Governor General of Canada, has the constitutional power, given by King George VI under the “Letters Patent”, 1947, to select and to dismiss the Prime Minister of Canada.

Greg Felton, a Vancouver reporter, launched a unsuccessful petition, in November, 2013, asking Governor General David Johnston to fire Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was allegedly governing undemocratically or illegally by Proroguing parliament, that is, temporarily closing it down.

2.8 – Logistic procedures about whom to elect distract voters from policy-making issues.

Competing representative parties, in order to maximize the number of their elected representatives, debate about the conventions of what constitutes majority, and the logistics of party proportionality,
Alternatively, the electoral concerns, among supporters of direct democracy, are focused on citizens having the right and the ability to vote on social policies by referendum, rather than just having the right to elect a few representatives to make decisions for all people.

So far, the public desire to reform the system of government in Canada has been neither to abolish the Monarchy, nor to abolish the representative system.

Instead, Canadians have been distracted and intently preoccupied with reforming the operational system of electing party representatives.

All political parties, claiming that one electoral change or another would improve the proportion of their representatives in government, have considered enlarging the areas of political ridings in order to have multiple representatives per riding.

To this effect, STV – BC has been twice put to a referendum, in 2005 and in 2009, and it has been twice rejected by the people.

Also aiming to localize representative governance, some municipal councils, have proposed reducing the “at-large” municipal areas, represented by multiple councillors, into smaller wards, represented by single councillors.

Legislation to this effect was put to a referendum in Vancouver, BC, in 2004, and failed the required support.

Some have considered improving their party representation according to their proportional overall (at large) support.

This electoral system may require appointing, if necessary, a number of unelected party member to replace a number of elected politicians, in some local ridings, in order to comply with (at large) party-proportionality.

A Citizen’s initiative for proportional representation, failed to collect the minimum of 10% signatures of each BC riding, as required by the BC’s electoral system, in 2001.

One of the promises by Justin Trudeau, during the 2015 elections, was to make electoral changes. Advocates of proportional representation were interested in enlarging the number of their representatives of their parties, in proportion to the overall number of their party supporters.

After a Standing Committee hearings that toured across the country, the Liberal government realized that under PR, they would not have gained majority mandate, because the number of sits gained by smaller parties, would be lost by the bigger parties, so the Liberal Party politely but decisively put the rhetoric of electoral reform to sleep.

2.9 – Beyond Parties into direct democracy.

From the Tommy Douglas’ Mice Story, we can interpret that to transcend above the tradition of changing party colours from Blue to Red and all shades in between, which is what we’ve doing for 150 years, we might consider identifying relevant social policies like: LNG industry, Site C Dam Project, Medical Service Plan financing, etc. and demanding from candidates of any colour to implement a non-binding plebiscite system where we can register our choices, rather than to continue giving away, unconditionally, our legislative power to a representative of any party-colour.

The next chapter focuses on some detrimental contradictions between the few representative legislators in government, and the majority of citizens.