About 1,500 years ago, in Saxon England, the nobles of the realm, the bishops, abbots (and abbesses) and the ealdormen and thegns and others would gather, fairly regularly, in an assembly to advise and, sometimes, to constrain the king. In a very typically English manner, they hit upon the notion that the kings were not, generally, wicked or stupid, but they did too many dumb things just because they could. The reason that kings could, too often, do whatever they wanted was simple: they had an almost unlimited power to levy taxes. After a few hundred years of trial and error, and given a king who really was wicked and stupid, too, they, the barons as they were then known, went to war with their king and bent him to their will by forcing him to agree to a great charter of their rights. There was a bit of ringing language about no free man being taken except after a trial by a jury of his peers, but, basically, in very typically English fashion, the rights about which the great charter was most concerned were property rights because the barons had learned, over the centuries that only by controlling the pursestrings could they really control the king. A few hundred years later, one of liberalism‘s and democracy’s greatest voices told us that we have three absolutely fundamental, natural rights: to life, to liberty and to property. These rights were not and still are not unlimited. There were and are ways to lawfully and properly deprive a person of his property and his liberty and, in some countries, even his life. A few centuries after John Locke another philosopher wanted to do away with the right to property: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need,” Karl Marx wrote, and many, far too many, believed. The only real problem with Marx’s notion is that it requires that humans are perfect … and most of us know how rare that is. Here in Canada, especially since the early years of the 20th century, we have had far too much Marx and far too little Locke.
Now, in 2020, we even have a new version of King john: a vain and foolish prime minister who seems to believe that he has been sent to rule over us. Justin Trudeau is profoundly ignorant about both liberalism and democracy. He is, actually, more of a puppet than a ruler but it is less easy than it should be to determine just who is pulling on which strings. He does not appear to have the mental capacity to pull more than a couple of ideas together at any one time.
Because we have been panicked by the coronavirus pandemic we have
decided accepted that more government is the best least bad answer. To give us more and more government, Justin Trudeau’s handlers suspended parliament until September … they wanted to have that “basic dictatorship” thing.
Democracy is in peril in Canada … it’s not because Justin Trudeau is an evil dictator, it’s because we, as a people, are too complacent. We have come to believe that democracy is, somehow, automatic, that it is natural. It’s not. It needed to be carefully built, brick-by-brick, over many centuries. We needed to fight for democracy: we needed to win it and then defend it, too. It doesn’t renew itself, it is not the natural order of things, and, In Canada, in 2020, it is in peril. Parliament needs to be recalled, soon, before September. Parliament needs to tend to its ancient rights, duties and powers. The Trudeau regime needs to be called to account and then replaced by a new, better, government.