Monday, July 30, 2012

The Economic Freedom of the Few Limits the Political Freedom of the Many

Politics is all about who decides on whose behalf. Inevitably, political decisions entail winners and losers.  In an ideal world, political decisions would be made by inclusive institutions that allow for a thorough analysis of the substantive issues in which the will of the majority prevails.

Sadly, this is not the case.

In fact, where I live the political system in place prevents people like me, who believe that effective measures to minimize catastrophic climate change must be undertaken quickly, from having effective representation in our elected legislatures.  Moreover, the federal court recently ruled that it is part of the Prime Minister's royal prerogative to unilaterally withdraw Canada from the Kyoto Accord, the only international agreement that attempts to prevent catastrophic climate from coming about.

In summary, the political system, in particular the voting method, effectively thwarts people like myself from having an effective voice in this nation's deliberative process and at the same time maintains the absolutist powers of the crown so to benefit those who would transfer as much of the carbon reserves in Alberta's tar sands into the atmosphere as possible.

What's up with that?

Well, the economic freedom of big money for one.  There is a ton of cash to be made from the extraction of oil from the tar sands and the negative impacts upon the environment are simply to be externalized.

That's as far as it goes.  No need to entertain economic arguments about short-term gains versus long-term costs or risk management.

Wealth extraction is the name of the game.

The rules favor those who want to be free to extract as much wealth as possible, and the rules are not likely to change anytime soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments will be reviewed before posting. Civility is a must.