The next Senate was just elected on the greatest wave of secret, special-interest money ever raised in a congressional election. What are the chances that it will take action to reduce the influence of money in politics?
Nil, of course…
We will wake up to the realization we [the voters] no longer have the ability to shape our governing bodies through elections. The slippage is abundantly clear already. Big Money has run off with our governing bodies. Not every time. But increasingly so. Powerful interests are crushing the institutional infrastructures of what once passed for democracy in America.
In our early civic classes we were taught democracy in America meant we all had one vote. Simple: one voice, one vote. Seemed right; seemed fair.
However, we’ve come to see this is no longer the case. Today it is one dollar; one vote. Or, rather, ten million dollars; ten thousand votes. Your vote, my vote, counts less and less.
…Most often our politicians’ master puppeteers are incredibly wealthy men (mostly men) who act to protect their self interests, including their wealth and privilege…
Evil influences are a little less obvious in Canada, but this country is on the same pathway.
The storm crisis of 2021 is now being called the single most costly weather-related destruction in Canada’s history. Scientists tell us that carbon emissions are major drivers of climate change. Yet, Canada’s federal and provincial governments are using armed troops and billions of dollars to ensure increased fossil fuel production.
A week after we honoured ancestors who fought to preserve democracy, government is deploying forces to ensure Indigenous land defenders are denied control of lands they’ve inhabited for millennia. Of course, those weaponless people stand in the way of a fossil fuel pipeline that will exacerbate climate change. At the same time, humble citizens struggle to cope with effects of long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns.
The reality is that politicians are agents of wealthy interests who dictate public policy. The financial industry based in southern Ontario is heavily invested in fossil fuels and while they tolerate Trudeau’s government talking about climate action, they will not accept disruptions that would turn valued collateral into stranded assets. As a result, Canada has ruling politicians who say the right things about the climate crisis but do the wrong things.
We should not be fooled.
Despite complaining before they formed government about tax relief and subsidies to gas producers and LNG processors, John Horgan quickly became a cheerleader for fossil fuels exports and a facilitator of forest destruction, largely to supply foreign sawmills. BC NDP climate action is negative instead of positive. That’s what Big Money interests demand.
In British Columbia, it was apparent years ago that Site C was the wrong project, at the wrong time, in the wrong place. Yet, operation of the province’s utility for the benefit of electricity consumers has not been its purpose in the 21st century. The raison d’être today is continued flow of monetary benefits into pockets of favoured people.
Beyond the financial burden on ratepayers and taxpayers, in the long term, the direct victims of the Peace River project are Indigenous people. Destruction of ancestral lands would be a repeat of what was done in the early 20th century 40 some kilometers east of Vancouver.
Fraser Valley’s Lost Lake:
For thousands of years, Sumas Lake sat near the centre of local culture and life. Then, nearly 100 years ago, engineers drained Sumas Lake, built a canal to harness the Vedder River, and, in the process, radically transformed the area.
The so-called “reclamation” of the lake has been hailed as an engineering marvel and vilified as a major wrong perpetrated on local Indigenous people…
While one could argue the theft of land from the Semá:th people created a foundation for modern life in southwest British Columbia, there is no possible justification in northeast BC today. The province has less costly alternatives to generate energy.
But again, the Horgan government has Big Money interests to serve. There is a gravy train operating and it has plenty of passengers. Those that get in the way will be dealt with harshly.