Is Democracy in the “Most Friendly Nation in the World” Eroding?
The simple answer to the question is no.
In America there is a constant fight between political parties as well as the people who support the political parties. With good reason too. Being passionate about certain policies or certain beliefs that a political party might have is fair enough as there are different reasons as to what we think, what we feel, and how we navigate the world around us and if policies or a party fall in line with your beliefs it is absolutely your right to support and be passionate about your party. This is obviously the case in Canada as well as the hysteria surrounding the 2015 election and the
However, there is only one winner every election.
See with Justin Tredeau winning the 2015 election in Canada we got to see what happens during every election but on a much larger scale, and that is hysteria. We live in the age of technology and communication where millions of people can make their voices heard in many different formats be they video, picture, or just words online. With a majority of the users of the social media being Millennials it would make sense that Millennials and their opinions on the election would be heard clearly.
To summarize, Millennials (and Post-Millennials) are the primary users of social media and now that social media has become a real tool to be used to make opinions heard in a way that has never been accessible beforehand all we see is constant backlash against the current party in place as well as any policies that are enacted.
I Do Not Believe That Democracy is At Risk of Being Overthrown
Not by the Tredeau Administration, nor by the general population in Canada.
Although Justin Tredeau and the Liberal Party do not favor big business and favors trying to regulate big business in numerous ways for numerous reasons. One of the reasons is to help create a thriving middle-class and try to break up existing “monopolies” of certain companies. This of course is concerning to those who are worried about democracy being overturned as the limiting of freedoms of businesses and those who run the businesses goes against the fundamentals of a democracy. However this is not enough to be convinced that Tredeau or the Liberals wish to overthrow the democracy of Canada.
Levitsky and his theory on the “actors” that play a role in democratic decline mentions the first actor would be an authoritarian ruler or regime and Tredeau nor his administration fits this classification as they were elected democratically, they did not prevent any political opponents from running, and they hold democratic values such as social equity. The next actor is the voters and due to voters not really having all the say in which candidates political parties will support or entertain. That leads us to our last actor which is the political party.
The political party and the institutions that the parties run typically want to stay in power that way they can constantly put in laws and take out laws that they disagree with. Political parties get their power of course from the people and in Canada the people have a lot of power as they can vote administrations out on every election pretty much. But I digress, political parties are the other primary actors in deciding whether or not a democracy becomes overthrown on begins to erode as they are the “gatekeepers” in a sense. They get to choose who represents their party and who doesn’t and because a mass amount of voters vote simply based on the political party that a candidate belongs to, if a political party prevents a radical or authoritarian leader from being endorsed or represented by their party the likelihood that they will win is almost 0% (as we see in America).
Consolidation is the Barrier
The last point of my blog is kind of like the safety net to my argument. Even if SOMEHOW one could find a way to say that the Liberal party wants to overthrow democracy and so does Tredeau there is still one key to democracy staying solid and sound and that is consolidation. When a majority of the people in a country believe that democracy is the best form of government that enough isn’t able to stop the erosion of democracy; however, when paired with the major organs and institutions of the state holding “democratic values” and having no MAJOR group trying to overthrow/leave the government these three things tend to be a very good indicator that democracy in a country will not decline.
So Stop Freaking Out
For all the conservatives getting white-hot, ready to fly away at the keyboard talking about leftism and how it is destroying our democracy and for the democrats who are fueled with rage of my “defense” over the actions of their political opponents, stop freaking out.
Have to say I was drawn in by the title of this blog and the first sentence really set the tone for such a colorful piece. Definitely agree with your confidence in the stability of Canada’s democracy, based on their elections, transparency and significantly less polarized parties compared to the United States. Even though the US is often viewed as the most democratic country in the world, I agree that Canada’s government is more consolidated. I thought your point on the millennials with technology would be heard the loudest in the wake of elections was very interesting, but I don’t know if that’s necessarily a contributor to negative perceptions of the government. It’s hard to think that with our current president, I admit, but I would be curious to see if things are different in Canada. All in all, I am certainly glad that Canada’s democracy is safe just in case we all need to get out of America for reasons unmentioned.
JORDAN MICHAEL NAKDIMON
I think it’s important to note, as you did, that government regulation of business is truly a political issue and not an existential one. It is only when the means of productions are seized by the government that freedom and democracy begin to erode. Moreover, the electoral process in Canada is a fundamentally sound one, and the consistently peaceful transfer of power demonstrates that. You brought up a really interesting point about social media. Given that a majority of people that use social media tend to fill their news feeds with information that confirms their beliefs or narratives, it can be a heavy contributor to increased polarization. I wonder if, ultimately, it will be social media and confirmation bias that results in global democratic erosion.