Gheorghe Curelet-Balan Blog

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Political promises.

After so much laughter on CBC I switched over to CTV where the Canadian news icon Lloyd Robertson gathered an interesting all color political panel. And the results started to pour in. the majority's surprise even though the Conservatives were leading, they were not winning as expected.

Liberals trailed the Conservatives only by 21 seats making the latter to enjoy a bittersweet victory. Some were commenting that the current political configuration makes Canada ungovernable. Canadians are now divided between those that want a change and political integrity and those that want to preserve the Canadian social values and identity. Now it remains to be seen if in the middle of this divide any election promise could be kept. A slightly positive result of this election is the Conservatives gains in Quebec that affected a little the separatists. Unfortunately none of the big cities are represented by the winning party making some to say that the west and rural won over the east and urban.

Even though the voter turnout have rebounded to 65% from the all time low in 2004, people are still suspicious of politicians' integrity. And rightly so... if we think that the new freshly elected winning party makes a wrong step right from the beginning. It is exactly the integrity promise that was trompeted during election that they were unable to keep. The reason that others have done it before, doesn't stick. I'm wondering what example is this for the young electorate. I was just amazed recently (February 5th) by the political maturity of some teens debating on TV and criticizing the status quo of the current Canadian democracy. They were expressing the need to have a more active role in the political life and not be restricted only to the right to vote every 4 years or so.

This proves that even though the current free-world democracy is viable, it is not perfect. It looks like there is not to much innovation in the democracy field. This reminds me of some of my recent readings from Greek Realities. Life and Thought in Ancient Greece by Finley Hooper. It is amazing to learn how efficient and truly participative was the Athenian popular democracy during Pericles. The same way people were given the power to politicians, they could take it back. Moreover, they were not contented just to watch the government, they had means to participate in governing process through the Council of 500. The current technology can provide the means to achieve a participatory democracy. Food for thought for the political parties when they will be concerned of why people do not want to be more involved during political elections. Even though it sounds naive, political power is not about privileges. It is about sincerely representing people that elected you. It is about integrity.


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