Friday, January 27, 2012

Americans Fear Their Election Could End up Like Canada's. I Can Help

In the upcoming election, Barack Obama will not be challenged by the Republicans, who frankly have given up on even pretending to be politicians serving the public, but by the Super PACs.  Political Action Committees financed by wealthy corporations,  who are tired of democracy getting in their way.

Remember that leaked 2006 CitiGroup memo that they have worked so hard to suppress?
The World is dividing into two blocs - the Plutonomy and the rest. The U.S., UK, and Canada are the key Plutonomies - economies powered by the wealthy. Continental Europe (ex-Italy) and Japan are in the egalitarian bloc.
They warned that voters could try to change the idea of governing only for the wealthy.
We can see a number of potential challenges to plutonomy. The first, and probably most potent, is through a labor backlash. Outsourcing, offshoring or insourcing of cheap labor is done to undercut current labor costs .... Low-end developed market labor might not have much economic power, but it does have equal voting power with the rich .... the third threat comes from the potential social backlash.
It's like they predicted the Occupy Movement, that could be successful given that the "low-end", without "much economic power" has "equal voting power with the rich".  (Capitalism, a Love Story)

However, Super PACs are setting out to wrong that right.

And the way they are going to do that is with lots of money and telemarketers.  They can't garner more votes, so will instead try to suppress them.  The Koch Brothers are putting up $200 million for this venture, determined to oust Obama. 
I don't know how much Stephen Harper cost them, but they are already reaping rewards.  And if we wonder why the Harper government is so committed to outsourcing Canadian jobs, remember that CitiGroup memo.  It's all about cheap labour.  Which is why during the worst of the economic crisis, when Canadians were losing their jobs at record speed, Jason Kenney accelerated the use of migrant workers.
Money, Money, Money

Chris Matthews reminded us last week, of where those millions will be going.  To telemarketers who will work like mad to make sure that Democratic voters don't exercise their democratic rights.
The last Canadian federal election could serve as a guide to the Super Pacs, as Canadians were telemarketed to the point of madness.
In Kingston, Ontario, there were so many such phone calls, that we were ready to leave the country just to escape them.  And while Do Not Call Lists keep the cheap crap purveyors at bay, the rules do not apply to politics.  One call I received was supposedly on behalf of our Liberal candidate, Ted Hsu (now our MP), asking if we wanted a lawn sign.  The caller was so rude, that had I not been suspicious, I might have fallen for it.
Soon after, Hsu's office called asking for support and I informed them of the bogus call that I had received.  Others complained of the same thing.  Looking at the Conservative candidate Alicia Gordon's Elections Canada financial records, I learned that she paid Campaign Research more than $25,000 to annoy the hell out of us.  Remember those guys?  Think Rob Ford (but take a valium first)
Ironically when our Speaker of the House, Andrew Scheer was asked to investigate the damage done to Irwin Cotler by Campaign Research, it was learned that he himself had used them to assure his re-election.  He should have declared a conflict of interest.  Instead he gave them a free pass.
Another example is Joe Volpe, who was telemarketed out of seat.  Joe Oliver paid Campaign Research $12,159.33

An investment banker, he has now joined the Koch team to force feed us their XL-Pipeline, contributing to Canada's reputation as a Jingoistic Petro-State, calling environmentalists "radicals" and "terrorists".
If the American people want to preserve their democracy and not end up like Canada, with another stolen election, I have some advice.  If you receive one of these calls, you could just tell the caller that you will be voting so "get a life", or maybe "let me speak to David Koch" or "Am I being punked?". 
Although I think the best response might be "Where in the hell do you think you are ?  Canada???!!!"

1 comment:

  1. I love that phrase "setting out to wrong that right"! You rock, Emily!
    I think the US elections are already headed the way ours went. I know some otherwise-very-nice Americans who hate Barack Obama, so of course they're going to vote Republican, because it's a two-party system.
    I got a phone call yesterday "to talk about Alberta politics" but I couldn't even use my line "I don't believe in Alberta politics" because it was a machine calling. Talk about out-sourcing.