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Failing Democracies

Egypt's version of democracy has lead to some of the most turbulent times in the country's history. But don't feel too bad - Canada isn't doing too well either...

Contrary to popular belief, democracy isn’t really working anywhere, at least not to the satisfaction of the masses who believe they are empowered by it. Time and time again, examples of people not getting what they want out of their governments can be seen in a variety of countries, including the ones that champion themselves as the example the world should follow.

I am a born-Canadian however, I have 100% Egyptian blood in me, and for most of my life when asked where I would rather live, the easy answer used to be Canada. However, the times they are a-changing. My generic reply to the question used to be “Masr om el donia, but Canada om el nezam.” All that was missing in Egypt was an orderly system that people would be willing to follow. This use to be a deterrent for me, however, since the revolution, I figured this would be the time for a new Egypt to come about. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have gone the way a majority of Egyptians would have preferred. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that is just the way democracy works. Welcome to the club. I can’t think of a time in my lifetime where I was ever happy with an elected official. Usually elections are a choice between a shit bag and an asshole; you don’t want either but you are forced to choose anyways.

In Canada we have an oily fucker named Stephen Harper acting as Prime Minister and no matter how much we dislike him, we can’t seem to get rid of him. Everytime the man speaks, an ecosystem dies in Canada. Harper was put into power in 2004 and didn’t waste any time fucking up the country. Here is a top ten list of what he considers accomplishments:

1. March 25th 2011, Harper became the first PM in Commonwealth history to be held in contempt of  the Canadian Parliament forcing an early election.

2. Faced with re-election, he decide the only way to win again would be to cheat, and got away with it.

3. Hosted a G8 summit and spent a billion dollars on security over one  weekend, as well as illegally imprisoned over a 1000 people. Would have made Mubarak proud.

4. Sabotaged dealing with climate change by withdrawing from Kyoto Protocol, while also trying to reclassify rivers in order to build a pipeline to Texas filled with the dirtiest oil imaginable. Tar sands is environmentally the worse way of creating oil.

5. Turned a $16 billion surplus into a $56 billion deficit. A Canadian record.

6. He attempted to dismantle universal health care.

7. Shut down parliament twice.

8. Weakened food regulations resulting in unwanted chemicals on our food.

9. Silenced several women’s and minority advocacy groups.

10. Changed the name of government from the Government of Canada into the Harper Government, which is riddled by several corruptions scandals.

Canada used to be considered a peacekeeping country; in fact Lester B. Pearson won the Nobel Peace prize for coming up with the idea of peacekeepers instead of troops helping to prevent war in Egypt during the Suez Canal crisis of the 50s. Now, the UN has removed Canada from the Security Council and finds it fitting to award Canada the Fossil award for standing in the way of dealing with climate change.

In the last election, Harper was able to maintain control with only 39% of the popular vote. Not a majority government, but in Canada we have four parties and three of them happen to be on the left, however, we can’t seem to mobilise behind any one person/party to end this nightmare. Egypt faced the same problem during their elections, where everyone had a different candidate they supported insuring that two most unpopular candidates made it through. Hopefully, Egypt learns the lesson that Canada hasn’t before Morsi or whatever future asshole ruins the country.

P.S. Currently, the elected Mayor of Toronto, the biggest city, has been caught on video smoking crack and we still can’t throw him out of office. The next time someone tries to shit on Egyptian democracy, remind them that it could be worse. They could be in Canada.