Two democracies but very different. In Canada, the election will be free and fair, unfortunately, it is dominated by lots of cute and clever slogans and…, promises, lots of promises. Here you will see most of the promises of each party.
In all representative democracies; Canada, US, UK, France, Germany, etc., it is always the same; promises and more promises.
But from experience, we know that many of the promises will go nowhere for this or that reason. We also know that whoever we elect will betray the promises, because of this or because of that….
From experience, we also know politicians will also do things they never said they would do. Even worse, sometimes they will do exactly the opposite of what they promised.
We also know politicians inrepresentative democracies also avoid tackling issues that may upset those who deliver the votes and/or the money to their campaigns. For example;, no politician in Canada is promising to overhaul the outrageous rates of mobile phones and Internet. For example, in Canada is normal to pay 50 to 60 dollars for 10 Gigabytes of data, unlimited phone calls within Canada and unlimited texting. Check here how much the Swiss pay.
And remember, the average wage in Switzerland is 65 000 USD, in Canada it is 55 000. These are real dollars adjusted for inflation and cost of living. This means the Swiss earn 18% more than Canadians and have far better and cheaper mobile phone service.
The reason for the disparity? In Switzerland, the politicians and the mobile phone companies know that if the Swiss people felt as outraged as most Canadians feel about mobile phone rates, pretty quickly they would collect the 50 000, or 100 000 signatures required for a referendum or a popular initiative. In this manner, the Swiss people can reject laws passed by the Swiss parliament, they could also propose, vote and decide a new law is necessary. They certainly would not be at the mercy of the CRTC; whicn never fixes the problem of high fees and bad mobile service in Canada.
This means that if Canadians had the power of the Swiss people, they would have organised a referendum or initiative and, long ago, Canadians would enjoy much lower rates. As it is now, Canadians make less money than the Swiss but pay more for worse phone service.
It is embarrassing that in the land of Alexander Graham Bell, phone service is so expensive and not very good. The customer service personnel of Canadian phone companies are extremely nice, perhaps nicer than their Swiss counterparts. But I suspect that if they had to choose, most Canadians would prefer the nice feeling of more money in their pockets.
Phone service is just one example, The Canadian universal health system is another one. Sure, it is much better for most people than the almost universally broken, American health system but, again, the Canadian system is clearly inferior to the Swiss universal health System.
For example, in Switzerland ALL citizens have a family doctor; 5 million Canadians do not have a family doctor! Waiting times for surgery are much longer in Canada. Surgery that in Switzerland is resolved in days or weeks, in Canada takes months.
The Swiss also have almost twice as many medical doctors per 100 000 patients as Canada. they have more hospital beds. Swiss patients hardly have to wait to see the specialist, they are even able to directly book an appointment with and specialist, no need to go to the family doctor.
In their wisdom, the Swiss realise that if a person has obvious symptoms, like heavy coughing or problems breathing, most people are smart enough to know they have to go to a specialist in that area. Likewise, if they have acid reflux, the fellow to go to is the digestive system specialist. The Swiss are also smart enough to know that if their symptoms are not so clear, the logical thing is to go to the family doctor.
Canadian political parties talk a lot about improving health care, the phone system, etc., but none of them tackles the core issues; radically cheaper and better phone service, more doctors everywhere, more surgeons, more hospital beds. Why don’t thay? I do not know if it is the phone lobby the medical lobby, the hospital lobby, the pharmaceutical lobby, etc., but Canadian politicians do not dare overhauling the Canadian mobile phone service, Canadian health service, etc.
But Canadian voters had the power of Swiss voters, Canadians would pay less for mobile phone service, for Internet and would have better health care. They would also have cheaper universities and would not have the crazy system of student loans either.
Just 6 days after the Canadians vote on September 20th to decide nothing, other than to elect the same party, or another party that will not change anything of real importance, the Swiss will go and vote to decide two important issues; if gay marriage will be legal in Switzerland and they will also decide if corporations will pay higher taxes and individual will pay less.
Such votes will happen because the Swiss people decided they want to decide those issues. The Swiss politicians do not call such votes, the law forbids them to do it. Perhaps just as interesting, the results of those votes must be fulfilled by the politicians; there is nothing the executive and the legislative can do to change or ignore the results, nor can the Swiss Supreme Court change the results of what the voters decide.
Swiss voters, men and women, are really empowered, they have real power, not the fake empowerment propaganda we see in so many countries.
But here comes what is perhaps the most importan difference between direct democracy and representative democracy; the decision the Swiss voters will make on September 26 is really a democratic decision because the majority decides; the decisions the democratically elected Canadian politicians will make are not democratic decisions because Canadian voters will not make those decisions, nor do they any mechanism to directly reject or overturn the decisions of Canadian politicians regarding laws, regulations and policies.
In fact, it is not uncommon for politicians in representative “democracies”, like Canada, the US, UK, France, Germany, etc., to make decisions that are contrary to the will of the majority, or that it is not clear at all the majority of people would support them; you can not get much more antidemocratic than that. And that can not happen in a direct democracy because the people have the power and the tools to force a democratic decision.
The democratic superiority of direct democracy is so obvious that is hard to understand why it is taking so long for representative “democracies” to transition to direct democracy. But perhaps the “conspiracy of silence, a conspiracy without conspiring” of the elitist elites in politics, business, academia and the media, in Canada and all other representative “demooracies” is the reason. However, just like the French and American nadapopular revolutions overturned the old regimes, so a bloodless popular revolution will overturn the current regime in Canada and the rest.
The time has arrived for direct democracy. It is almost 2 centuries behind the Swiss, but not too late.
Direct democracy puts the people in charge, and places the politicians where they ought to be; obeying the will of the people.
Canada is one of the best countries in the World (although most of the World is not very impressive), but Switzerland is even a better country.
By the way, ignore the silly rankings of democracies by the Economist Intelligence Unit. It ranks Canada and 10 other representative democracies ahead of Switzerland in quality of democracy. It makes no sense that Switzerland, the only democracy that is a democracy, because democracy is “government by the people” (because the people vote to elect and to decide issues) ranks behind countries where the people vote to elect, hope for the best, forget and resent even more, because they lack the power to stop the politicians or to force them to do what the majority of the people want.