Outside-the-box Green Island Docs

How Democracy works on Green Island

- and how it doesn't work in the faux democracy we know here as the Corporation of Canadaland

by Dave Patterson, October 2006

October 2/06 Ottawa Sun
In the box: Night of the Living Dead - nothing serious about the column in itself, Weston is one of the better Sun columnists (somewhere around the middle of the political spectrum like most Canadians, seems to have some intelligence and use it rather than being another rabid brainless slobbering 'HATE LEFTIES (and anything that looks good for 'we the people')!!!!' neocon attack dog like so many of them), but the column just points out with some factual stuff what a farce (at best, criminal activity a lot of the time) the whole party system not only is, but has been for many, many years, since honesty and integrity got booted from Canadaland in general, at least those aspects of your society that 'govern' y'all there. Yea, this stuff was going on before the neocons took over, but it was much more circumspect, and there were a lot of people who apparently actually understood the concepts of 'public service' and integrity and the better human qualities in older days, and the corruption was sort of under the table stuff - now, as the kids say, corruption rules, and with no apologies, get over it (can you recall anyone actually apologising for the crap that went on during the so-called 'Adscam' scandal that was exposed like slime coating the whole political system during the Gomery investigation etc? Not a frigging word from ANYone of apology!!!)! - actually, as various judges have pointed out the last few years in cases I cannot be bothered to look up, Canadians who expect 'honesty' or 'truth' from politicians really ought to grow up. Canadaland. Capitalism. The modern world. Get over it. Get on the train or get left behind, loser! But some of us can't accept it that easily. So there's Green Island. It's interesting to note that all the MSM carry this story in one form or another, but there is not - a - single - WORD that maybe, just maybe, this kind of stuff indicates the entire system is in need of some serious overhauling - they can't do that, because the power of the corps and the elite to run the country sort-of surreptitiously, as they have been doing for a long time, is very much tied to this party system of government - think as you read on how easy it is to corrupt and control the relatively small number of people who control the parties - and how utterly impossible it would be to control all or most of the people in a real democracy .....

Out of the box: - - First, we must understand the definition of 'democracy', and it is as well to repeat it - democracy simply means government of, by and for the people - that is to say, what most people want done in their country gets done, what most people do not want, does not happen - basic math. Democracy of course involves discussion about issues before any decisions are made, but then the majority rules. If things are done in the country that most people do not want, or things are not done that most people do want - by definition, it is not a democracy, wouldn't you have to agree? And simply calling a country a 'democracy' does not necessarily make it so, any more than kids playing and calling themselves Superman!! makes them able to fly - the People's Democratic Republic of Anywhere, run by Fearless Leader, is not a democracy just because the rulers want to pretend it is because that sounds better than 'The Dictatorial Republic of Fearless Leader Obey Me or DIE!'. Likewise calling a country like Canada a 'democracy' when the people actually have little or no say in the running of the country, being forced to live with many things a majority does not approve of, again does not make it so. But indoctrination and propaganda, when strong enough, can make people believe many things that are not actually true.

And think on this - just because your rulers treat you well, you should not confuse their rule with 'democracy' because the leaders tell you your country is 'democratic' and you don't have any serious complaints with the way your country is being run, or your personal lifestyle conditions. Democracy means YOU (along with all the other citizens, of course) decide what is to be done in the country. If the rulers decide what is to be done, whether or not you and the other citizens agree, it doesn't much matter how many toys they give you, it is not a democracy. If you and 70% of the citizens of your country think, oh, for instance, marijuana should not be illegal, but the rulers say tough, marijuana will indeed be illegal and you suckers will continue to be prosecuted and jailed for growing or smoking it - square that with your definition of 'democracy' before you carry on with the discussion (and please write and share your explanation with me - I am always ready to learn new things). There are many, many, many other equally pointed examples.

The thing is, REAL democracy isn't that complicated of an idea, or all that hard of a thing to do, in theory (the practice is of course much harder, because those who actually do not want anything to do with 'democracy' because they want to be the chiefs in some 'chiefs and indians' game, or play some sort of 'king of the castle' regarding control of valuable natural resources, or things like that, are willing to do all kinds of stuff to stop democracy from happening, and have been quite successful altogether, (although since Canadians are proud of the idea that they are a 'democracy', the most advanced form of government according to modern belief and Canadians certainly pride themselves on being advanced, those who actually control the country must go to some lengths to maintain the illusion of democracy whilst minimizing its actual impact on their chiefhood and freedom to do as they wish, which explains all of this 'party' and 'representatives' nonsense and various other things - but that is a chapter for the more extended version of this short treatise on what democracy actually is). But so you can see the difference, so you can see how democracy really works, with We the People actually running things rather than They the Corps as you have there in Canadaland, let me describe the Green Island process, and you can judge for yourself whether your 'democracy' actually deserves that honorable appelation, or if perhaps indeed some people have been lying to you a bit, or a lot, and some other name for your system of governance might be more appropriate.

So, if you want to do things in a truly democratic way, with We the People actually running things, here is one way, the way we do it in Green Island.

First you take your country, of whatever size, and divide it up into an appropriate amount of 'ridings', or administrative areas (yes, we need organisation in a complex society - the thing is, you must ensure that the organisational structure remains under firm and transparent democratic control, and does not morph into the reverse, a secretive structure used by rulers of one sort or another to control the people and stifle democracy) - these areas are small enough so that EVERYONE who wants to can have a voice at meetings where issues of any sort are talked about. We find that 1,000 or so people is a good size group to work with, as this is small enough so that everyone knows everyone else, at least to see, and thus ringers or fifth-columnists/ agents provocateurs /etc of any sort are next to impossible - you're talking to people you know, whatever you think of their opinions (don't snort - the elite feel they have a right to rule, and very much enjoy doing so, and will do most anything to stop your democracy from succeeding, or destroy it if you manage to get it). But you can make such groups bigger or smaller, whatever size you like - it's YOUR democracy, after all, do as you think best, a size most people agree on and are comfortable with. At these local meetings, people meet, and talk, and eventually come to a decision about whatever needs to be decided (you need to be careful to have a couple of rules of order, so that bullies cannot dominate either through shouting louder and longer until others just give up in disgust, or actual physical intimidation - quite obviously, that is not democracy, but it is a central tool of the anti-dems, the elitists, hiring or encouraging such people). This might take a few meetings over a few days, until everyone is happy, all or most of the main wrinkles have been sorted out, and all the counter-arguments have been dealt with to everyone's satisfaction. There is no pressure to 'decide now!!' about something - if one participant raises a point about something most others are not familiar with that seems of some importance (if true), or the discussion has raised things a lot of people want to think about for a longer time or talk about in smaller groups for a bit, no decision will be made until everyone has had a chance to do whatever research they want on the subject (between the internet and local sources and existing knowledge and generally intelligent people and an honest media (here on Green Island, not there in Canada!), and no 'DECIDE NOW!!!' decision making required, there is next to no chance that any significant amount of people are going to be taken in by lies of any sort). (A good facilitator type person can be useful sometimes, but free people who want to think for themselves and participate in democratic type meetings can usually organise themselves ok, and deal with each other on a fair basis) You'd be surprised at how often these things come to an 80-90% consensus at the end of the process as people find their differences are actually not that great and a compromise suitable to most can be had if that is what people want, but even if there is a fundamental disagreement that cannot be overcome, the system still works fine in almost all cases. (most problems arise from a few people lying about something or another to try to convince others to follow their lead, and once such lies are exposed, most people agree on what course should be followed for the best benefit for most, although the liars' plans may be thwarted - democracy does not include the 'right' of a small group to frustrate the common will as expressed by a strong majority)

A key element of true democracy as practiced in such meetings in Green Island is up-to-date and reliable information, both current and background, and what we do would be much harder if not actually impossible without our internet-based discussion board, called AGORA, here on Green Island. This is open to every citizen, and every home has a computer and broadband connection on Green Island, and checking what everyone is thinking about important issues through the local discussion board when they are being discussed is as natural as talking to your neighbor in town or at the store or workplace about such things. This serves four main purposes - a) people from different communities get to discuss the issue on a wider level, getting input from others and offering their own; b) related to this, it keeps everything very honest, as the media cannot act as gatekeepers of the wider discussion as they do in Canada and most modern 'democracies', and manipulate things by lying or spinning or distorting through omission or any other means what is happening elsewhere; c) it also serves as a means to tally the desires of people in the broader area - that is, to see what the true democratic will of the people is concerning any given issue; and 4) it prevents discussions at local meetings from being dominated by any type of bullies or small gangs who might from time to time try to do so as noted earlier, as they do in Canadaland and other such 'democracies', and always have (this was one of the main problems we had to overcome, and you will too, if you ever want to truly be a 'we the people' democracy - the anti-democratic elitists have always been around, and probably always will, and we must continually be on guard against their attempts to steal our - OUR - government through any means they can use, and violence is always near the top of their list - they are, after all, predators on our society and its wealth, and they feel their ability to dominate through violence confers upon them the right to rule - and as long as you let them get away with it, well, they're right, aren't they?). Again, with open systems like the AGORA, manipulation is almost impossible - the tally of community A will be on the board, for instance, and from attendance at the local meetings and face to face conversations in the community with others, any citizen will be able to tell if that tally for her or his area is approximately correct or wildly wrong, and will instantly be complaining loud and wide if anything looks amiss with those from other groups who will be similarly monitoring their own tallies. Lying and cheating or manipulating through lies and deception is simply essentially impossible in a system as open as this.

So - once the meetings and discussions are finished (a process that can take a few weeks for non-urgent things, or can be accomplished in a few days if necessary), and a wide consensus has developed - that is to say, once the democratic will of the people is evident - the Island Administrators get to work, and in a day or two have drawn up a document in writing of the policy desired by the people, if necessary (if something has been proposed, i.e. sending a lot of Islanders to some far away country in support of a war of aggression by some country some people feel we ought to support, and duly rejected, no formal policy is necessary beyond the record of the proposal and discussion - if, however, on the other hand, there is a widespread agreement that we ought to be helping someone somewhere in some way, the type and amount of assistance is debated, and a formal doc of some sort drawn up detailing whatever has been decided, to keep everything clear and legal - people will need to be hired and paid, supplies procured, etc, for which some type of government formality must be on the records). This policy document is first circulated on the AGORA and discussed, and again the feelings of the citizens in their 'meeting of the whole' noted, and usually that is enough (that is to say, usually there is no significant disagreement with what the Administrators have proposed - our Administrators are very good people - we hire them and oversee them, and we hire only the best from a high-quality talent pool, and their job is to 'make it happen' when We the People decide we want something done in a 'We the People' collective way. And remember, this is a community of competent people, from whom we choose a few to do a temporary job of administration that many or even most of us could handle, but it does not take 20 people to put in a light bulb on Green Island or 100 people to draw up a document based on agreed principles following a discussion, so when we decide the light bulb needs to be changed or document produced, we delegate that job to one of our own, and the rest of us get on with our normal lives, trusting that the job will be done as required - if there are any problems, they will quickly be noted by someone and posted on the AGORA, and will be dealt with as required).

(And note the sequence here, quite the reverse from standard procedure in Canadaland - in Green Island, the people decide they want to pursue something, and the administrators are then instructed to deal with it - while in Canada, your 'administrators' (rulers, really) decide THEY want to do something through some secretive process involving secret meetings with shadowy 'lobby' groups etc, and draw up documents, and proceed to spend vast amounts of media time and 'representative' time and money selling their grand new idea to the people, whether the people want it or not - how that translates into 'democracy of, by and for the people' is not a question I would care to have to defend (but nobody seems to ask in Canadaland)... - are you citizens actually the masters of your own community - or are you being herded around hither and yon at the whim of your real masters????)

Bigger issues than changing lightbulbs in a local administrative area - the process moves in a similar way. Following the initial discussions, a number of delegates, selected to represent more or less equally the positions expressed in the local meeting, are sent to a face-to-face meeting involving representatives from a number of local areas, a larger administrative district that makes some sort of sense in size and community of interests - i.e. in Canada you might have meetings involving a large population area such as Toronto, a geographical area such as the Maritime provinces or BC, or a meeting that gathered together reps from people with similar backgrounds but spread over a wide area, such as farmers from the prairie provinces or native Canadians or any other group that wanted to speak with a collective voice in the larger AGORA discussion (yes, wealthy businessmen can speak with a collective voice - it's just that in Green Island, they are one voice of many, a voice representing fairly the number of actual people they represent, and not the single dominant voice drowning out all others - here on Green Island the strength of a person's vote is not directly related to the size of their bank account(s)). A similar process of everyone having a chance to speak would be undertaken, and eventually a consensus position arrived at. All delegates, of course (unlike your Canadian 'representatives' who do as they please once you elect them for several years), are required to represent the position from the local community meetings from whence they first came - as the larger meeting progresses, they will be in regular contact with their local AGORA board and the local people will be considering any new information the representative is hearing, and so on, and modifying the original position is possible at these later talks - always, always, always a very fluid process, with all of the people involved.

And again, through the process, it usually becomes quite apparent what the proper way to proceed is, the path that will lead to the greatest good for the greatest number as desired by the greatest number. (This is a concept that the capitalists (and their sycophants in the MSM and elsewhere) in Canadaland and elsewhere have tried to belittle and mock and lie about as much as possible, for of course the greatest good for the greatest number invariably means that these selfsame capitalists, elitists and wannabe kings to a man (or woman), who wish the greatest good for a quite small number at the considerable expense of the greatest number, must scale back greatly their extravagant and exorbitant takings from the wealth created by everyone - their imprecations are quite readily exposed for the self-serving lies they are, but that is for another time, but something you must keep in mind while considering democracy - and its major enemy, the lying elitist capitalist, and their greatest enablers, the Canadian MSM.)

And so, once again, after a thorough but not usually overly lengthy process of discussion (again, by this time a consensus has usually developed among reasonable and intelligent people, which most of us and you are once you get rid of the elitist capitalists who lie incessantly to try to create divisions in We the People to enhance their own power), a democratic decision is arrived at, and the employees of the democracy, the administrators, are instructed to 'make it happen', which is what they are paid quite well for, as the citizens get back to their normal lives. (And yes, the administration becomes a bit complex in a large state such as Canada, but is quite readily doable, as long as all the citizens are part of not only the decision making process, but the overseeing process, to ensure the administrative bureaucracy remains just that, a group of employees, and takes upon itself no decision-making authority (the capitalists never, never, never cease trying to corrupt the institutions of democracy) - but that is a matter for another discussion, this is simply to outline how the democratic decision-making process must be organised to ensure that the decisions taken by the whole community actually reflect what the majority of the people wish to do, after full consideration of the topic requiring a decision)

This type of system prevents almost all the types of rampant corruption found in the Canadian capitalist parliamentary system, since there is no accumulation of any 'power' at the top which ambitious people such as capitalists and other predators vie for, there is no individual or small committee or group controlling funding or high-value government contracts who can be influenced behind the scenes, there is no source of authority making regulations which wealthy businesspeople can influence through bribes, etc and etc. Anything of any significance in the Administration of Green Island is overseen by We the People, no policy decisions of any sort are taken without prior discussion by all of us, and we have no 'representatives' for periods of time during which they are free to do as they wish, including passing laws so the people cannot oversee them properly, and passing other laws to ensure they and their comrades continue their positions of authority over we the people, taking advantage of 'terrorist' acts to impose secrecy and new laws and increase their power, etc and etc. Our Administrators are fully under our authority, answerable to us at all times, and subject to being fired instantly if they ever decide they don't have to listen to we the bosses. (It is not much of a problem, as noted previously, we have a large pool of competent, honest people to choose from, people who believe in Green Island and want to make our and their community as good as it can be for everyone - that's just the way most people are; the lying, mendacious businesspeople and politicians you have in Canada are not average citizens, but a predatory group that has taken control of your society, whom you ought to be getting rid of, and jailing a lot of them in the process for some pretty serious crimes - of course, they have strong influence over the entire law system now, so it will not be easy - but if you ever want to call yourself a true democracy, you gotta do it)

So that's basically how a real democracy functions. There are a lot of details left out, and of course there are problems everywhere - but we're a smart bunch, and we can deal with them, if we want to.

Notes to a couple of concerns that have been noted:
- if some emergency arises that needs immediate action and there is no time for the debate process, it is no problem. The Administrators are on the job, and our security people (we all need policing - here on Green Island we still need to protect our children and less physically strong people from wannabe predators and capitalists and bullies and suchlike - we don't have many, but such people seem to be endemic to the human genome, and we must always be on guard - as with the administrators, the trick with police is to make sure they remain under firm democratic control, and the capitalist usurpers do not sneak in and take over and start using them against us - as with the administrators, we hire intelligent people for this, who believe in Green Island and want nothing to do with capitalist lies and suchlike) and will take what action they deem necessary, they have been authorized to take emergency actions if necessary. Remember always, these are people who are smart and capable, and enjoy the trust of a great majority, if not all, citizens. And discussion follows rapidly, as the AGORA never sleeps, and if the Administrators have acted in ways obviously contrary to what most citizens think appropriate, they will answer for it (and quickly, not in several years at some election - but normally they act as we would have wished them to had the discussion preceded the problem).

Just to point out the obvious - there is no need for regular 'elections' in a true democracy, as we at no time engage in any delegation of citizen sovereignty. When you think about such things clearly, it becomes quite evident that such 'elections' as you are allowed in Canada are mostly dog and pony shows anyway, simply there to reinforce the completely false idea that you have some sort of 'democracy' when in fact you have no such thing - you all know how politicians are notorious for breaking promises, and for introducing new legislation between elections which was never discussed during an election campaign nor approved of by the people - as far from 'democracy' as you can get short of total dictatorship (and quite notable that your media has nothing whatsoever to say about this as well - a longer chapter in the book, but don't ever forget the role of the media, the central tool of the lying capitalists in the usurpation of your 'democracy'). The Administration of Green Island, a true 'we the people' democracy, is an ongoing process, in which all Islanders participate if and when decisions on some new matter are necessary. The day to day administration of Island business, again necessary in a large, complex modern community, is conducted by the hired administrators, who do their jobs well and competently. When new policies or regulations are deemed necessary by a citizen or citizen's group - an infrequent need - the idea is entered into the AGORA and proceeds from there (usually there is so little interest (i.e. some busybody wants to ban red shirts because they upset the neighbor's cows) that the idea dies a-borning - new laws or regulations only happen with the approval of a solid majority of citizens, after meetings as described above, and there is no opportunity whatsoever for such an advocacy group to influence a few highly-placed politicians and have a new law implemented even though most citizens do not want it. That is very undemocratic, and Green Island is a democracy).

It cannot be emphasized too much that a true democracy is very much a participatory process - at all times, most citizens must be involved and aware of things that are happening, and prepared to stand tall in defence of their community. If a small gang of bullies, for example, tries at any time to intimidate someone who is outspoken in opposition to something the bullies (i.e. wannabe elitists, or rulers) desire, the community must stand together against such people; likewise if the people the citizens hire to protect them appear to be becoming corrupted, aligned with such bullies, and working to try to put a lid on the democracy, the people MUST get together and stop them, and quickly - it is a slippery slope that runs quickly downwards to bad places that are very hard to get out of. As you ought to well realise there in Canadaland.

There is always the problem in any area of small groups of thugs who try to take control of some valuable natural resource in the community to increase their own wealth and power over everyone else, a problem which is apparently as old as earthian 'civilisation'. This is a tricky situation to deal with, but deal with it you must, or kiss your putative democracy goodbye, for the more power you allow any single individual or small group to acquire in your community - the less the rest of you have - the elitists and capitalists prefer, of course, a 'one dollar one vote' system, which is democratic enough for them - but for you the common citizen, it is the death of actual democracy. Either all important decisions affecting the community are made by the community as a whole (about community things, not people's personal lives), or they are not. You cannot have a 'partial' democracy any more than a woman can be 'partially pregnant'. If you do not control the major things happening in your community, then you are not a democracy, you are nothing more than a bunch of kids playing in a sandbox, with parents who indulgently allow you control over maybe some parts of your sandbox, but keep you out of the meeting rooms where the real adults decide the future of the country - and your lives. (note - this is not to suggest some sort of 'cookie cutter' citizen, all the same re possessions etc, it is simply to say that there must be some relative egalitarianism between citizens, in terms of influence on the community decision-making process - and someone who controls great wealth relative to others will, as Orwell warned of, be 'more equal than others' - which is the end of democracy).

It is important also to define 'government' in a clear way, as the word is very often misused these days, with various people attempting to set 'the government' up as some sort of adversary to the citizens, talking about 'minimizing' government in your lives, bad things the government does, and so on. If the government is indeed adversarial, then you do not have a democracy. In a democracy, the government IS the people, and can no more act against the democratic will of the people than your heart can act against your wellbeing by stopping beating or something. Anything people who claim to be 'your government' do that is against the interests of 'we the people', as expressed by a majority of the people, is simply illegitimate in a democratic sense, no matter what they call it, and is NOT the action of 'your' government, but the action of a dictatorial regime ruling by violence and coercion and lies. (But - if they are the 'bad guys', why do they speak against government? It should be obvious - a (truly) democratic government is the only way we can gather together ourselves to resist those who would form bully gangs based on money and violence to control us - their numbers are few, but their influence substantial, either through direct fear or financial bribery, hiring thugs to intimidate or mandarins to indoctrinate and propagandize - they understand, however, that the one way we have to defend ourselves against them is a We the People government, acting in OUR interests, which are very much not their interests - therefore, a substantial part of their propaganda effort is to interfere with our forming such a government, whilst taking over the administrative function of the government we do have to control us, quite a perverse role for the institution which should in reality be empowering us).

Consider that again, don't let it go by quickly, it is central to any real Democracy, but it is something you will never have read about in your enforced schooling - in a democracy, the government IS the people. The government is simply the collective administrative voice of We the People. Once it becomes anything else, once those occupying certain places in the government decide autonomously what they/it will do and imposes those decisions on we the the people - the community has ceased being a democracy. When the elected 'representatives' of the people do not listen to the people, but take orders from a party headquarters and see their role as selling party policy to the people - that is not a 'democracy' in any way other than a name that is used falsely. (I note coincidentally as I write the following story has arrived on the news - McKay dismisses Afghan poll - a senior minister in a 'democratically' elected government that 'won' the support of some 20% of eligible Canadian voters tells it as it is - the opinion of 75% of Canadians doesn't much matter to him, he sees his job as doing a better job of selling the government program to the people (in service to, although he doesn't specify, his real masters). Canadaland 'democracy' in action. The guy would have to find a different job on Green Island, I can tell you.)

The Green Island government is very much a government of, by and for We the People - it is not an adversarial government of some sort, trying to impose its will on reluctant citizens who are aligned to a greater or lesser extent against it, such a situation is ludicrous, and very much not in any way democratic - how could you be working against yourself? The problems you have in Canadaland are all very much because your government is NOT democratic - you have a government which is run by the corporate elite, but which pretends to be democratic in the sense that you elect those people who sit in the House of Commons where, theory says, decisions are made - but when those people do not take their instructions from you, the electors, but from the corporate leaders behind the scenes, they do all kinds of things that most people do not want, and thus require the extensive police forces to enforce all of those laws - you are not living in a democracy, but in a plutocracy that may at times appear to be benevolent, but will brook no questioning of its authority and orders. The next time you get in your car to go somewhere, try leaving your seatbelt off and see just how intolerant your rulers are of ANY resistance to their rules, rules which have NEVER been approved of in any democratic way by the citizens of your country.

Yea, yea, yea - heck, that just doesn't sound right - lots of good stuff is happening here in Canadastan sorry heh heh Canadaland, lots of creative people, lots of good work, we do what we want on the weekends, malls full of the latest consumer stuff, we travel to other countries, talk on the internet to who we want, etc and etc - you're not making a very good case, pal.... Well, sure, why should your rulers stop any of this? They benefit from a lot of it directly (they skim a significant percentage of all money making activities that happen in your country), a lot of things like this help keep the citizens quiet and working at their jobs and even thinking they live in a 'democracy' because they have some freedoms that those in poorer countries do not, so why should they stop it? As long as you keep contributing your labour in some way to the wealth creating machine known as the Corporation of Canadaland, and don't question in any serious way the right of the rulers to rule and skim, anything you do to keep you happy and working hard is fine by them.

- so, anyway, yea, but what's the difference anyway? Even if we, you know, don't really run the farm, it's still a pretty nice farm, you know, the farmers treat us all pretty good, don't they heh heh? I mean, look around us, we're pretty free, really, good health care system, good jobs, pretty safe and modern country, legal system so they can't just throw us in jail, all those legal protections, Charter of Rights, all that stuff, you know? If it looks and walks and talks like a democracy - isn't it a democracy, really?

No, not really, not at all. Really.

It's the difference between being some kind of dependent child and an autonomous adult - the child doesn't think of such things and thus doesn't care - the adult both thinks and cares. In Canada you have been increasingly pushed backwards into being like children, in that you have no real say over the big things that affect your life. When the rulers want to reduce the services you have been receiving, such as health care and education, so they (the elite) can start paying a smaller amount of taxes - you are powerless to stop that. When the rulers want to initiate 'trade agreements' with other countries that will increase their wealth while forcing the majority of Canadians to take cutbacks in pay or benefits in their jobs, or lose their jobs and be forced to take poorer jobs - you have no say in that. In the future when the leaders want to cut back things even further - again, you will have no say. You're on the verge of being forced to carry a national ID card, which might be ok if you all agreed on it - but have you ever been asked? Have the Canadian people ever decided themselves, after a full and open discussion of the issue, that it would be a good idea for all Canadians to carry such a card? Children accept this sort of thing because they have no other option - free adults who accept this sort of thing cannot call their country a democracy, and they cannot call themselves a free people. A job that pays enough to get by on with some small degree of comfort and full malls might make a content citizen - it does not make a free one.

The rulers are doing some very bad things in your name (although of course the media do not talk much about this, or when they do talk about it they conceal a lot and put a pretty face on it, but that does not mean the bad things are not happening). And they lie a lot about what they are doing, which should bother you. Everything from the bombing of Yugoslavia a few years ago to the present help they are giving to the US in various places (Afghanistan and Haiti for instance) as the US tries to establish its imperialshipness over the world. Your government is involved in the international arms trade, which is a good money maker for some people, but causes a lot of grief in many countries. Your government has been cutting program funding for many years for programs which most Canadians apparently want, in order to decrease taxes for the corporate elite, thus, for instance, the explosion of food banks in Canada, with a poverty rate, in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, of 20%. 20% of Canadian children are going to bed hungry, their brains are not growing properly because of this, they are suffering as a child in an underdeveloped country might suffer, all so that the rich people here can pay less tax - most Canadians apparently do not agree with this, but the government does it anyway. Democracy???? (and again as I write - for one who watches, the non-democracy is constantly evident - Laval roadway was crumbling before tragedy, in which we see again the result of the activities of your corporate government, cutting normal and required infrastructure maintenance in order to cut taxes for the wealthiest citizens and corporations in your country - were you ever asked about this choice that was made? Were you ever asked if you wanted to ignore infrastructure maintenance so that the wealthy corps could pay lower taxes and give their 'investors' a higher ROI? Of course you weren't - but on Green Island, such a serious policy would be debated thoroughly (and again I can assure you, the open and democratic decision that would have been made in the Democracy of Green Island would have been very different than the one that was made in secret in the Corporation of Canada).

Your leaders are planning ever closer union with the United States. Most Canadians again do not apparently support this - but since you do not have a democracy, you have little say in this discussion. And since you do not have any sort of democratic media, your media choose to not talk about this as well - the idea is, of course, that since you have no voice in the decision, why take the chance of getting you upset - go back to your tvs and think about important things like Brad Pitt's new baby or something - leave the future of your country up to the people who own it. The CCCE, CCC, and other business groups and 'think tanks' have considerable influence in the direction of such talks - you the average Canadian citizen have none. Is that a problem, do you suppose? Not to the rulers, all is well for them. And only a problem for you if you start to think it is.

Again, if all of these things are fine, if you feel happy and secure in the sandbox and do not wish to participate in the decisions that affect the future of your country - fine. But if you want to have a voice in the direction of your country, if you truly want Canada to be a progressive country in the world rather than a militaristic US vassal or a land of plantation masters and serfs - you better do some thinking about how you are going to depose this gang of very undemocratic leaders and institute some sort of real democracy in your country.

It is a difficult thing to take a country away from an oligarchy, and even more difficult to establish a real democracy because so many influential people do not want any sort of democracy but simply want a faux democracy with themselves really pulling the levers of power (as you have now) - but it can be done. If enough of you want it. Learn the main lesson -

Democracy is not something someone else gives you.

It is something you make for yourself, and then you have to be eternally vigilant to stop someone else from stealing it. Canadaland is a perfect example of what happens when complacency replaces vigilance. Democracy of, by and for the people becomes oligarchy of, by and for the elite, with the people indoctrinated and propagandized into thinking they still have a 'democracy' while being ordered around like sheep by the oligarchy, who run the country with no concern at all for the wishes of the people.

Yes, Diogenes old friend, yes, but the common people do not care much about 'democracy' - it seems, you know, they are mostly content to be cows as long as the farmers treat them well, so what do you do about this?

Well, to some extent this is true - but you have to ask yourself WHY??? - why is this true, when the life of most of the cows is so poor, and could be so much more rewarding? And you have to learn that things are so because that is exactly what the 'education' system controlled by the oligarchy teaches them to be, and the media system controlled by the oligarchy teaches them is all they should be, and gives them ample entertainment which they (the media) tell the people is much more interesting and important than running the country, which is in good hands anyway - and the people gather in herds and reinforce all of these false beliefs

- but that is another chapter in the annals of democracy - how to get there, if you want to. The education system, and the media, are two of the key components of both democracies and non-democracies of any type.

As someone once said - the greatest tool in the control of the oppressor is - the mind of the oppressed.

- and I've gone waaaaay longer than I planned or wanted to - but democracy is a big subject, with many details in its implementation and practice, and a small group of very powerful people who do all they can to prevent it. I hope I have helped shine a bit of a light on some of the problems you will face as you continue in your noble quest.

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