Canada < Africa


Jim Travers lays the smack down on Canadian democracy.

Canada today is not Africa then or now. Our wealth and health, and our communal respect for legal, civil and human rights position this favoured country on a higher plane. Still, 10 years of close observation and some 1,500 Star columns lead to an unsettling conclusion: Africa, despite popular perception, despite the Somalias and Zimbabwes, is moving in one direction, Canada in another. Read the headlines, examine the evidence, plot the trend line dots and find that as Africans – from turnaround Ghana to impoverished Malawi – struggle to strengthen their democracies, Canadians are letting theirs slip.

See Paul Wells, previously. “Canada has no coherent government. Essentially we are arguing that Canada has become a more genteel Somalia.”


Canada < Africa

  1. Any relationship including Democracy will only succeed if there is trust between the parties involved—it`s obvious Jim Travers does not trust our present government. That`s his choice—he may have his reasons but I can`t trust Travers if he cannot act like a responsible journalist.

    He chooses to tell about us about Emerson but not Stronach, he tells us about Zacaredelli but not about envelopes of cash finding their way to Liberal campaigns from the public purse, and he says nothing about the insult to the voters who sent a gov`t to Ottawa in Oct. only to see an attempt to overthrow it by a hodge-podge of unhappy dis-entitled opposition groups in Dec.

    Writers like Travers will not be taken seriously until they learn that they can no longer push their slanted views on the public.

  2. I can’t believe Travers used Africa as example of somewhere Canada should aspire to. I would have chosen Central/Eastern European countries under the yoke of ussr for so long but are now starting to build healthy, democratic societies for example.

    I thought Travers Zaccardelli example was strange. Leave aside how decisive the incident was, I don’t believe for a second it was instrumental in getting Cons elected, but how does keeping RCMP investigation of pols quiet further his desire for better Parliament. It seems to me that electorate should know if RCMP is investigating party/pols for malfeasance while keeping it quiet is exactly the type of action that lessens peoples trust of the system.

    • It is RCMP policy never to comment on an ongoing investigation. You read that in the news all the time. “The RCMP refused comment, saying it never comments on ongoing investigations” OWTTE. That policy was spectacularly blown as Zaccardelli held a press conference, in the middle of an election, to state that the Liberal minister of finance was under investigation. And indeed it turned out that Goodale was entirely innocent — you know, the reason why the RCMP never comments on investigations, just in case they find no evidence: they don’t want to besmirch innocent citizens’ reputations. This was a blatant act of interference in a democratic election by the head of the national police. If you care about democracy, and have the wit to see past partisan allegiance, you should be outraged.

  3. Romeo D’allaire for PM!
    He knew what was happening back when – told the chain of command (including Clinton) – and they sat around debating the legal definition of genocide while hundreds of thousands died.
    We wring our hands whether we should be in Afghanistan – while thousands more die in Darfur!

    NO-ONE’s foreign policy gets a gold star from me!

    • Given that General D’allaire has already had a taste of what passes for political discourse in this country, I very much doubt he would want the job.

  4. Not one mention of the news media’s role, even though, during the Zaccardelli affair, all the elite pundits simply threw up their hands and said “well, what can you do?” Not a hint of skepticism when yet another shocking government scandal was amplified endlessly by the clique of journalists whose integrity is, always, beyond reproach.

    And the last election was even worse, with the clique giggling endlessly over matters completely secondary to a healthy democracy.

    Well, what can you do except to say: “There, there Mr. Travers. Don’t worry. Things will get better.”

    • I’m glad many of those commenting on James Traverse’ article see through his usual obvious bias. He writes well for a political hack, but not as an objective journalist. Having read his article, I am not despairing. I have far more faith in Canada’s democracy than in the accuracy of media prognostigation.

      Just Passin’ Through, Good line: “clique of journalists whose integrity is, always, beyond reproach.”

  5. There is no small amount of idiocy in comparing the democracy of a country of 40 million to the governments of 53 countries that are home to a billion people.

  6. Jim Travers for all the criticisms, stands apart from most of the Gallery in that he has a memory and uses it.

    I disagree with him a lot, but I give him credit for keeping the use of the RCMP to win an election and the use of threats against the Governor General to keep power, in the public discourse. These are, in any normal British Parliamentary system, full blown constitutional crises.

    For those who complain about his perceived bias, he does note that the RCMP election interference was aided and abetted by the NDP, and it was Pierre Trudeau who began the downward spiral of Parliament, and Chretien who began the centralization of power in the PMO. Pretty fair I would say.

  7. Well of course fail Canada is fail. And of course Traversty gets at least one fact wrong; talk to anyone who has been doing development work in the past 10, 20 years in Africa – I know several – and they will tell you Africa is trending in the wrong direction, more disease, more famine, more political instability.

    “Canada has no coherent government. Essentially we are arguing that Canada has become a more genteel Somalia.”

    Agreed, agreed, but what’s wrong with Somalia? No functioning central government; isn’t that like Xanadu to illiberal liberal Liberal libertarians, and aren’t we all libertarians here? Cell phone time is cheaper there, service is reasonably good I hear.

    • If it weren’t for those darn genocides, Travers would be singing the praises of Rwanda, Sudan, And Zimbabwe, too.

Sign in to comment.