Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Thursday July 27, 2000
We accept ‘demigods’ like Harris
The naivete expressed in this letter seems to be common among many Canadians. But, contrary to the writer’s definition of democracy, once elected, a government does become omniscient and omnipotent.
It does mean that it no longer has to consult the people. Remember the amalgamation of Hamilton-Wentworth in general and freedom of self-determination for Flamborough in particular?
It does mean that a government does not have to listen to the elected representatives of the people. Remember Toni Skarica and Brad Clark?
It does mean that a government can tell the people’s representatives what to think. Remember how Premier Mike Harris cowed his caucus by telling them that a vote against the amalgamation of Hamilton-Wentworth was a vote against him?
It may not have been democratic to take power away from our local school boards, but it is quite evident that this action was a response to the inability of individual boards to withstand the steamroller of the teachers’ unions. It is widely perceived that teachers are grossly underworked and obscenely overpaid with benefits, vacations and pensions that the average worker would kill for.
The gravy train had to stop somewhere.
Until such time as the rest of us average Joes come even close to the level of the self-created elite laughingly called the civil service (teachers, firefighters, police, bureaucrats and politicians of all stripes), we will tolerate demigods like Harris. True to our nature, we will vote him out when it suits us.
Personally, I would like to see a form of participatory democracy instead of the alleged representative democracy that we are presently saddled with.
As for expecting fairness from government, don’t hold your breath. (Hamilton Spectator, A10, 7/27/2000)