Saturday, April 4, 2009

James Travers' Lament For a Nation

Go. Read. Mourn. And then bloody well DO something about it.

UPDATE: Commenters suggest a couple of ways to do something. Go wander over to Senator Elaine McCoy's place, or check out Rural's newest project,

And if I might also recommend, pick up a copy of Al Gore's 'The Assault on Reason'. Different system. Same issues.


  1. Travers is spot on in this article. There's been a decided drift these past years to oligarchy and autocracy. A variety of tools have been employed to warp democracy and its institutions to make them serve narrow interests rather than the public.

    I was genuinely troubled at the complacency the Canadian people and their media have shown toward Harper's gagging of the armed and public services and the installations of political commissars at the PMO to filter and shape communications from our public servants to enhance the political advancement of this man.

    I learned a long time ago that we don't have a single political right or freedom that hasn't been bought and paid for, more often than not in blood and very often more than once. That's because there's usualy one group or another that can benefit directly from usurping or extinguishing these rights,freedoms and privileges, groups that will act when they discern we've become complacent or two weak to defend them.

  2. But what can we do to protect that crumbling democracy he talks off?

  3. Blogging Senator Elaine McCoy writes:

    Hi, Jennifer ... once again, I don't think my comment on your blog today registered.

    I wanted to say that I (a) agree with Jim Travers; (b) note that he made no mention of the Senate; (c) suggest that we maybe should all promote active citizen engagement with senators, particularly through our committee system (current opportunities include studies on pay equity in the federal civil service, the Navigable Waters Protection Act and credit / debit card fees); (d) acknowledge that I'm not a disinterested observer, being a Senator and all; and (e) express my belief that there's still a critical mass of senators who would welcome the challenge if Canadians pressed forward to make their voices heard through us.

  4. So that's what it's come to? Senators who get a whiff of a decay problem don't address the problem but instead see it as a vehicle to convince the unwary of their own relevance?

    Maybe we shouldn't entirely take for granted our right to live as free people in a just, progressive democracy.

  5. Thanks for that Jennifer, see the Senators guest post on this at our Democracy Under Fire blog.

  6. Read it. Agreed with much of it. Found grounds for hope as much as fear in the contents of the article, to be honest. Travers made what I consider useful suggestions and reminded us of useful things we need to remember.

    And no. We shouldn't take anything for granted here.