Does Democracy have a future?

3 posts / 0 new
Last post
Does Democracy have a future?
Sean in Ottawa

It is an interesting article. I can agree with much of it. But Canada is a bit smug when it claims to be so different. Many Canadians look down on Indigenous people. Many feel that they have advantages they should not have becuase Indigenous people are at fault for their disadvantages. How is this any different to the US on principle? Canada backs this up with a legal segregation on reserves that places Indigenous people as second class -- it offers such disadvantages to health and education and yet says how great it is that they could go to university for free -- if they can somehow survive the horrific disadvantages to get that far, that is. As Canadians increasingly clamour for the wealth of Indigenous land, their racism becomes more acute. Their pretence in the process of consultations is exposed as a lie. The proof that Canada is already facing some of the worst that we like to criticize the US for is visible in most Indigenous communities.

My second point might be controversial. The smugness of Canada not pretending to be tribal. Ok I call bullshit on that too. Canada was built by the family compact: it has fought agaisnt wealth or inheritence taxes from the start. Canada's system is based on who you are and who you know, not what you do. To pretend otherwise is a denial of history and the present. Immigrants come to Canada more qualified than the average Canadian -- becuase we require them to. But we keep them out of many places -- not, we say, becuase we are racist, but that we are better at networking -- in the networks that keep them out.

But what is an acceptable tribalism? Many think that only once tribalism is directly and exclusively about race does it get ugly. It is ugly before it gets there. Tribalism is also about giving advantage to the already wealthy, it is about policies that have hollowed out middle income into two disparate groups of have and have nots. Sure in Canada a few more people of colour can make it into the haves and we say the others are kept out becuase of their economic class rather than their race so we are okay. So long as we keep people of colour away from most of the wealth of this country becuase of their social and economic status, rather than race, we can claim not to be racist.

Let's not pretend that in Canada we really consider people equal. It is just that how much money their parents had and the social status of their parents is slightly more important than their skin colour. Then we pretend that this is okay. We ignore that social and economic status ends up as often as not to be a proxy for race. We don't mind that people really are not eqaul either becuase after all - did we really care that an Indigenous child has a better shot at the lottery than being able to get into university to get that free tuition? The average white person, polls tell us, is fed up with saying sorry for the damage that they are still doing to Indigenous people.

Apparently women -- who are supposed to Network with a capital N -- the stereotypes tell us -- and yet senior positions in Universities across Canada are seldom open to them even when they are consistently better. 

Ah yes. when Canadians are tribal they are more polite about it.

Perhaps what the article is suggesting is that instead of the old ugliness with a veil over it, we may get to see it more in-your-face like the you-tube bigot stars spitting their venom out almost weekly. Maybe the haves are just about fed up having to screw people over politely and want a more direct approach.


Reminds me of ‘entitled to my entitlements’.