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Bill, I understand your argument and it is certainly a reasonable conclusion. However I take a broader view of the influence the press has had on that current situation.
It is my belief that it was the strong influence of the press that exposed the evils of the political system and “misdeeds” of US politicians. That exposure created an environment whereby citizens wanted change and based on the efforts of the press came to understand all politicians were the same and could not be trusted. Trump has merely stepped into a void / need created by the press.
In order for the press to be influential there has to be a public open to the message. A large segment of the citizenry is not open; they want something different and Trump is different. Those citizens only see change they do not see policy, they do not hear the words.. Again it was the influence of the press that created that mindset. So, I contend the press has been anything but powerless, their power has been substantial.
The solution that the voters are choosing may offend some, but it shows how desperate the voters are for better government and better politicians.
maps | February 27, 2016 | Reply
Canada change its first-past-the-post? Unlikely, because Sunny will have to run it by the voters, and we won’t go for it.
If electoral reform ever improves matters, it will come as a result of downsizing/modernizing Elections Canada (and its provincial brethren). Just imagine the voters having to accept some responsibility for their vote (hint: Big Brother knows S.I.N., so electronic voting should someday replace the ‘spittoons and hitching posts’ of previously run elections).
It does not seem to matter what form democracy takes– parliamentary or republic, democracy has evolved into rule by a few. Actual democracy ends with the counting of the votes. Political parties take over and the average citizen has no influence or representation.
Yes the US is a mess, but in many cases I would argue that given the power of the press the citizens have greater power that Canadians have. In Canada the power of the Prime Minister and the PMO is such that it operates similar to borderline democracies such as Russia. The elected officials who serve as backbenchers are powerless, they are only tokens there to raise their hands when told to. Backbenchers have no voice in Canadian government and thus the citizens have no voice.
If one wants a clear example of this playing out, just reflect on the subject of Bill’s article, voter reform. The PM has said there will be no referendum. Given his power, because of the majority he holds, that means he will be the sole decision maker. In the US this could not happen, a combination of the press and voter outrage would put an end to it. Democracy can be ugly but give me the overall control processes that exist in the US (including the press) any day, over the processes that exist in Canada. Our weak , non existant press, and the centralized power of the PMO means democracy in Canada is anything but democratic.
Democracy depends on a strong free press. Neither Canada or Russia has that control and thus our democracy falters badly!!!!
barry h | February 27, 2016 | Reply
Barry thanks for your comment. I agree that a vigorous free press is a good thing. At the moment they are powerless in the US. If they were as influential as you say Trump would be toast.
Bill | February 27, 2016 | Reply
Even if it is bent don’t try to straighten it.
The only winners will be the extremists because they have the time and and dedication to promote their own ends.
A person in an asylum, convinced he is Napoleon will beat anyone in an argument against that because he, the inmate has nothing else to concentrate on but his argument and his certainty
bill f | February 26, 2016 | Reply
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