Tuesday, 8 January 2013

The Politics of Democracy


You’d think political influences in a democratic society would be – well – democratic, right? 

Not if you’re a citizen in Canada’s largest city, where democracy rests in the hands of the well-to-do.

Just before the Christmas holiday season, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was brought to court, under a conflict of interest charge. He lost. Not only did he lose the case, he lost his job. The court ruled that the Mayor had shown so much disregard for the laws governing governance, he didn't belong in the mayor’s chair.

Sounds like a fair, legal ruling – logical down to the core.

Though the people responsible for bringing down Canada’s largest mayor weren't those who elected him into power – or at least not the majority of ‘em.

One man, wealthy enough to hire one of the best criminal lawyer in the country, brought the charges to light against Mayor Rob Ford.

You can smell the stink of political poop buried within – why would a criminal lawyer be tasked with a non-criminal case? Yes, the Mayor disobeyed the rules of conduct for his job – but that’s not a felony. It’s no different than you or I being late for work – one doesn't get a criminal record for that!

When you can afford the best lawyer in the game, you win – just look at murderer-or-not O.J. Simpson’s dirty gloves.

Clearly, this case brought against the mayor of Toronto was a politically motivated act, by someone that had it in for the person, not for what he did.

Rob Ford, a veteran politician, should have known better than to vote on a matter in council where he was in direct conflict. However, he shouldn't be forced out of office because one wealthy individual doesn't agree with his politics, his attitude, or his very being.

Yesterday, three judges heard both sides to the sordid tale, as Mayor Rob Ford appealed the ruling which threw him out of office.

He’s still the mayor during the proceedings which continue today, and as of this writing says he’ll run in a re-election if council votes to have one if his appeal fails. Council can vote for a by-election, or simply appoint someone, however a vote has yet to be tendered on which direction to take.

Either way, the politics of democracy isn't very democratic in Canada’s largest city. One well-to-do person shouldn't have the power to remove a person elected to lead by the majority of the citizens.

Yet in our so-called democratic society, money seems to buy one the power to control that democracy – and that certainly isn't democratic.

Regardless of whether you agree with a politician’s policies, performance or person, if that person has been elected into power, you alone shouldn't be the one to take away that power.

Because in a society where one can arbitrarily determine the fate of who ultimately makes decisions for the whole, that democracy ceases to exist.

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