Representative democracy “at work”

Yesterday, Canadians voted in another general election. It changes nothing, not only because the same party will continue in power, with the same third opposition party supporting it, even if the main opposition party had won, even if it did with an absolute majority, none of the real, tangible issues that affect the daily lives of millions of Canadians would have been addressed.

The major daily issues that affect Canadians every day are:

Health care: 5 million Canadians without a family doctor and long waiting periods to see specialists, up to one year, and long waiting times for non-emergency surgery.

Anyone knows that the solution requires more family doctors, more specialists and more operating rooms.

Direct democracy Switzerland has twice as many doctors in proportion to the population, far faster access to specialists (often Swiss patients can book the appointment with the specialist themselves). It takes days, a few weeks at most, for the Swiss to see specialists and to have non-emergency surgery.

Why does it happen?, because Swiss politicians know that, in their direct democracy, the people have the power to force them to act, so they do. The lobbies, who might not want them to act, know that lobbying them will be a waste of time because the people have the power to prevail.

The Swiss also have far better and cheaper Internet and Telephone service. Cheaper, in spite of the fact the Swiss have 25 to 30% higher real income. Why?, again, because direct democracy pushes politicians away from the lobbies and closer to the people.

The cost of air fares in Canada is absurd too, same story.

Sometimes it seems that organisations like the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission) exist more to control consumers than to set fair prices and fair competition.

Same goes for the CanadianTransport Commission, otherwise, air fares and other fares would be far lower.

Education is another issue. Perhaps Canadian universities are comparable to Swiss universities, particularly in more or less theoretical research in the hard sciences. But they lag in applied research of use to industry to enable it to compete in the World in high tech, high value added products and services.

By the way, high tech is much more than Google, Amazon or Shopify, it is much more than the software they use, it is also al sorts of hardware, machinery, tools, etc.

Canada is far worse than Switzerlnnd in areas like professional training in skilled trades; fewer Canadians receive that training, and the training is not as good. Youth unemployment is much higher in Canada because Canadian industry is not competitive enough and because young people lack the skills to absorb the necessary training beyond smiling and wishing clients a good day.

Canadian business schools pretend to train people as professional managers in the MBA schools; it is absurd. Training a manager requieres far more than two years in a classroom, but the schools have done a great job at marketing…

The Liberal platform talks about “all Canadians having a family doctor and affordable medication”, but we all know those a just nice sounding promises.

I can picture Trudeau, and the leaders of the other parties too, saying with great solemnity “and a “xxx”  goverment will make sure every Canadian who needs to see a doctor can see one, and quickly, it is a shame what is happening now” (applause).

We all know the number of doctors will not increase, waiting times for surgery will not change because the Liberals and the others lack the will, or the power, to do much about it.

Internet and telephone service; we all know improvements and costs will change at a snail’s pace. Same goes for air fares, etc.

The other two parties, the Conservatives and the NDP you can see in their platforms they will not little or nothing about those issues.

If you also take into account that the promises of politicians are often just nice sounding words blowing in the wind, you know nothing about the major issues will change; millions of Canadians will continue without access to family doctors, and to specialists too, except when they have no choice but go to a hospital emergency room. It is a shame. No wonder Canadians have life expectancy lower than the Swiss; the Canadian health system is clearly worse.

It is obvious many Canadians die early becaure of the Canadian Health Care System. Sure, the American system is crazy worse; about 25% of Americans can not have a family doctor, in Canada the figure is “only” 13%.

The issue affects equally the voters on the Left, Right and Center, but the parties, with the help of lobbies and most media, manage to distract many voters with empty promises and sexy issues like energy efficiency. For example, the Liberal government is handing out millions in grants to middle class Canadians who can afford to buy heat pumps. To do that before an election does not seem too different from the vote buying of banana repuplics.

Same goes for internet, telephones and transportation; no party will do much.

Nothing really will change until most Canadians realize representative democracy is not good enough, that they need to take their destiny in their own hands. That is what the Swiss did in 1867; they have not looked back. Switzerland has become the best country in the World.

Without direct democracy, the major issues affecting the daily lives of Canadians will not be addressed. But, again, when the next election comes around, there will be lots of noise in the media, lots of seductive words by politicians, while the lobbies, working quietly in a thousand ways will get their way.

What just happened in Canada is similar to what happens in the US, UK, France, Germany, etc.

Victor Lopez

 

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