Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hopelessly Out of Touch

I had occasion to read The Hill Times this week.  This is the first time I had read it in awhile. It was an older addition that was sitting on the table in the lunch room at work.

The top story was about how the Liberal promise of election reform has been essentially broken and how that fact would not hurt the Liberals, at least according to the polls.

Upon reading this the only thing that I thought about was of course it was not hurting the Liberals because the majority of Canadians really do not care how they elect their governments.  I mean, it is not like ordinary Canadians across the country are holding meetings to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the FPTP and PR.

This should be obvious to anybody who looks outside of the Ottawa bubble.  More than 30% of Canadians do not even bother to vote on a regular basis.  They do not care about voting let alone the voting method.  Of the remainder a very small percentage would care about that issue.  The rest are going to care about such meat and potato issues as "how safe is my job", "my 17 year old daughter wants to be a doctor, how am I going to pay for that", "my 80 year old mother needs full time care and her pensions barely cover that".

Unfortunately, the ruling elites (big business, big media, government bureaucrats and politicians) in the Western world have completely lost touch with the needs and wants of the people they rule.  That story in The Hill Times, the definitive publication for the Canadian ruling elites, demonstrated that in spades with that top story. 

A couple of years ago I would not have cared beyond just having a head shake moment upon reading that story.

Unfortunately this problem is becoming real with real consequences.  Histroy has demonstrated that when the ruling elites become completely disconnected from those that they rule society suffers, often leading to revolution, bloodshed and the rise of demogogues. Witness Brexit and Donald Trump.  As well, I would say that those events are probably just the beginning.

I would say that the solution to all of this is the elites need to find a way to reengage with those that they rule but history has also demonstrated that has never happened.  What has invariably happened throughout history is those elites are cast aside to be replaced by a different ruling elite in an invariably messy and highly disruptive process.

While I do not care one whit about the fate of the current elites I do care about the impact that the disruption caused by their replacement will have on the lives and livelihoods of ordinary citizens of the West (of which I am one).  Fortunately, all of the Western countries are healthy and robust democracies so perhaps there is a chance that the disruptions caused by this change can be mitigated by that fact.



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