Page 34

John Olsen, Alternatives to Corporate Power, contd.

With a still barely functioning public broadcaster, Canadians may feel they are less threatened by the business/ media alliance. We should understand, particularly when we are governed by political parties that are dependent on corporations for their funding, that their political agendas are designed to send us down the American road to corporatism. There is a further complication. To promote a popular uprising against corporatocracy, we can’t avoid trying to do so in a changing media environment. While I strongly believe the collective progressive left should be starting our own print, radio and TV cable stations, clearly the falling fortunes of private media in the face of rocketing personal communications technology indicates that this is at best risky. As for those who believe the internet can save us, I can only repeat the truism: seeking information from the internet is like taking a sip of water from an open fire hydrant. Clearly, as much as corporations need to be curbed, it is going to be difficult to fit the first chain on the beast. As I explore this challenge in a planned sequel to this essay, I will try to suggest how that might be done. Until we the people find ways of constructing and controlling our own media, the prospect of holding corporations responsible seems dauntingly difficult. Short of a revolutionary dismantling of a complex and

interlocking body of statutes, there seems little point in starting such a campaign without first building some kind of metaphorical wooden horse for mounting a campaign to defeat corporate media in Canada. FOOTNOTE:

1. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010. SOURCES: • Corporations Are Not People, Jeffrey D. Clements, BK Publishers, 2012. An excellent description of how a former tobacco Industry lobbyist and US Supreme Court Justice, Lewis Powell, engineered a campaign that resulted in the Citizens United ruling. Clements lays out a strategy for amending the US constitution to deny corporations personal standing in law. Given the influence of corporate America on Canada, that may be enough. • The Vanishing Liberal: How the Left Learned to be Helpless, Harpers, April 2010. An effective description of the rise and fall of opposition to corporatization in America, yielding the second coming. • Not a Conspiracy Theory: How Business Propaganda Hijacks Democracy, Donald Gutstein, 2009. A perceptive account of how corporate advertising influences North American citizens to accept policies that support corporate influence of governments. ♣ * Editor’s Note: The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in Baghdad, Iraq, with the signing of an agreement in Sep. 1960 by founding members: Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. ♣


Canada’s Israel-Palestine and BDS Issue Elizabeth Rightly Dismayed Peter Goldring, Edmonton AB August 12, 2016: Elizabeth May who practically singlehandily built the Green Party nationally to a respected political entity is dismayed. At her party assembly, members voted to boycott Israel as a party policy. Policies such as this will ensure that the number of elected Green Party members elected to the House of Commons will never crowd a phone booth. All her hard work and credibility shattered by the fringe element of her party who could never themselves be elected let alone form a government. But they may not have to be elected. Under a proportional representative government, a number of these unelectable persons could simply be appointed as Members of Parliament. The Green Party nationally received 3.4% of the votes. This might convert to 5 or 10 or more being appointed, maybe even receiving official party status with extra 34 dialogue

AUTUMN 2016, VOL. 30, NO. 1

funding to help them push egregious, thoughtless agendas such as anti-Israel. However, the 1982 Constitution Charter Rights and Freedoms under Democratic Rights Section 3 is very clear: Every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of House of Commons. Unelected Members of Parliament being appointed by non-elected party hacks contravenes our democratic rights. We need to have all Canadians vote in a national referendum if changes are proposed. Then follow the constitutional amending formula to be further approved by the Parliament, the Senate, and all legislation assemblies of the provinces and territories. Peter Goldring was Member of Parliament, 1997-2015; Email: ♣ NOTE: Green Party is scheduled to revisit the BDS decision at Special General Meeting in Calgary, Dec. 3-4, 2016

Dialogue Vol.30, No.1 digital edition  

Canada's unique volunteer-produced magazine for ideas, insights, critical thinking & radical imagination - shared in letters, essays, storie...

Dialogue Vol.30, No.1 digital edition  

Canada's unique volunteer-produced magazine for ideas, insights, critical thinking & radical imagination - shared in letters, essays, storie...