Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Democracy in Action: Rallying Around the Environment and Other Issues That Really Matter Like Financial Security

These are interesting and exciting times for democracy. Pure-bred capitalism has shown its ugly side. Main Street Canada and America are showing signs of revolt. The spirit of involvement in our collective destiny is gaining momentum, particularly in the United States and judging by media commentary, also in Canada. Perhaps the chasm in values between those who govern and those being governed will finally be bridged.

Economists of the John Maynard Keynes persuasion must be thinking “I told you so” while America’s House of Representatives struggles to stabilize a financial mess brought on by too little oversight by yours truly. In Canada, yearly polling by Ekos shows that “competitiveness” and “minimal government” ranked 1st and 3rd for the political and economic elite but 20th and 22nd by the general public. “Virtually all of the government roles related to equality, social justice, collective rights, full employment and regulation were low on the elite’s preference list and high on the general public’s.”

These results suggest that Main Street Canada is open to government providing some smart steering to address problems that the market or "trickle down economics" cannot fix. The jury is still out on the sentiments of the public in the United States. When the chaos is over, like a death in the family, there will be a re-thinking of values. Going back to the lifestyle that was will not be an option.

For an example of democracy in action in Canada, check out http://www.voteforenvironment.ca/. The website is only three days old and is humming with activity

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