Friday, June 15, 2007

The Irony of Canadian Democracy


This week, a Cree living on the Pooundmaker Reserve in Saskatchewan, Floyd Favel, wrote an article published in a Toronto-based newspaper calling for "a Buckskin Revolution."

"Within first nations communities, we need a re-evaluation of where we are going as a people and how we can further contribute to this great country."

Favel laments that the aboriginal leadership lives so indulgently, "driving their big trucks and collecting huge salaries." He complains of "unaccountable leadership that administers its people without any rules and leaves no avenues with which to protest unjust leadership."
Canada as a nation and Canadians as a people fret about such injustices in the world (the highlighted portion) . We collectively believe in democratic principals and assisting emerging democracies but somehow we find it impossible to enforce a modicum of democracy right in our very own backyards?

In contrast to the articles author I say that there is one more thing that the Canadian Government must do...

This evolving trainwreck that is Canada's aboriginal experiment should be stopped forthwith and modern liberal democratic ideals must not only be established on reserves but must be enforced and respected uniformly.

No more useless quasi-tribal regressive historical governance but open, free and fair elections with transparent decision making processes, accountable officials, modern financial accounting practices and legitimacy at all levels of aboriginal government.

How ironic that we currently have people in Afghanistan teaching the principals of democracy but we don't even adhere to those same principals on native reserves here in Canada.

Stop the planet!


g said...

The only irony is that Canada refused to recognize the democracy already in place in Indigenous societies ... a democracy thousands of years old that was outlawed by Canada.

Why would they want to partake in our corporate-run pseudo-democracy (which is already in place on reserves, btw) when their own participatory democracy is so much wiser and more sophisticated?

Zip said...

g... You didn't even read the article did you?

What is wise and sophisticated about nepotism and cronyism?

true liberal said...

"participatory democracy" is another way of saying tyranny of the majority. Sure you get to hear everybody's opinion first, but in the end, the 51% oppress the rest.

This was the problem with the ancient Greek democracies. Benjamin Constant, a post-revolutionary French liberal put it this way:

"All private actions were submitted to a severe surveillance. No importance was given to individual independence, neither in relation to opinions, not to labour, nor, above all, to religion."

Democracy? Ok. Freedom and Human Rights? Surely not.

true liberal said...

By the way great blog! I'm surely adding it to my favourites.

Zip said...

Thanks True Liberal

true liberal said...

hey, hey, keep that "l" in the lower case! haha

Zip said...

Dear god!

I am so very very sorry.


g said...

The link doesn't seem to be there anymore.

I assume you are talking about nepotism in the elected Band Council system?

My point was that the elected Band Council system is a Canadian system of electing representatives, imposed on the people against their will.

It is that elective system that is corrupted. It is not their government of choice.

Zip said...

g, not their government of choice? WTF? I don't have the government of my choice (classic liberal policies) but that doesn't mean I think it is okay to run a community like my private little cleptocracy.

Accountability is a fundamental structure of ANY government worth its salt. I dare say that the aboriginal participatory democracy would not work on the reserves, just as it wouldn't work in our society any more. There are too many complex issues and too many people for it to be effective.

Nope, it's time to leave the past in the past. Everyone has to adapt, its a law of nature.

The fact that the white man came along and forced a thousand years of social evolution onto the Indian is a historic fact, but in todays enlightened age it can no longer be used as an excuse for poor management, illiberal policies and greed.

BTW, that works both ways, the government has to do better as well.