A Dra­matic De­ter­mi­na­tion

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Stanstead

Al­though Da­mon Cox is a rel­a­tive new­comer to the town of Stanstead, he ar­rived in 2007 from the Ni­a­gara area, his tal­ents re­lated to film-mak­ing are al­ready be­ing put to good use. He filmed last year’s Shaz­am­fest to make

The Greeks had an ex­cel­lent way of choos­ing who they be­lieve would best rep­re­sent them: the boule. Nice sys­tem: once a year you draw the name of 500 peo­ple who will be the par­lia­ment; from them an­other 50 are cho­sen monthly to form the gov­ern­ment; and each day from that group a leader is cho­sen. No­body could serve more than twice dur­ing his life­time.

The his has some im­por­tance: women and poor folks were not al­lowed. Noth­ing is per­fect.

We all know De­mos­thenes, an­other Greek, the man with an elo­cu­tion prob­lem that was so bad that he started putting small stones in his mouth to be a bet­ter speaker. It seems that a lot of to­day’s politi­cians have for­got­ten that you must re­move them af­ter a while.

The Boule would be the per­fect sys­tem for Canada (and all coun­tries, but let’s start here first). Do you hon­estly think that these 500 or­di­nary folks, hav­ing for once the chance to have a say, would sway from their opin­ions in 365 days? We would also have a proper rep­re­sen­ta­tion of all Cana­di­ans: rich and poor; lofty in­tel­lec­tu­als a la Ig­natief; in­tel­lec­tu­als who try by ev­ery shenani­gan not to look like one, Stephen Harper as a per­fect ex­am­ple; but mostly just av­er­age folks. At 500, there is even a sta­tis­ti­cal chance that none would be lawyers! There would be a lot more women, and for half of the time they would run the coun­try. Chances are that ten per­cent of the time, a unilin­gual fran­co­phone would lead Canada, twenty per­cent he or she would be bilin­gual. Once or twice a year a na­tive would lead Canada, or would they say Kanata?

Now some would ar­gue that leav­ing Lo­toQuébec and the other pro­vin­cial lot­ter­ies in charge of our po­lit­i­cal sys­tem is proof pos­i­tive that this is a mad sys­tem. We dis­agree. Take a look at any bud­get, mu­nic­i­pal, pro­vin­cial and es­pe­cially fed­eral, of the last cen­tury and please tell us what is the dif­fer­ence be­tween a lot­tery ticket promis­ing at most a cou­ple of mil­lion if you win and a gov­ern­ment bud­get telling you that the coun­try will pros­per by bil­lions if it passes? There is one thing that we know: you can­not use the for­mer as a guar­an­tee for a loan at your lo­cal fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion as you’d be laughed out of the place. But that in­sti­tu­tion will gladly lend bil­lions to the gov­ern­ment the next mo­ment as buy­ers of its bonds.

So imag­ine a new po­lit­i­cal sys­tem with no politi­cians, start­ing their de­lib­er­a­tions on the first day of our gov­ern­ment’s fis­cal year. Rather than hav­ing an elec­tion on May 2nd, our new gov­ern­ment would start this Fri­day, April 1st.

photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

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