Wednesday, June 27, 2012

To MacKinnon, Canadian democracy is a sham!

I have some words for Canadian columnist Mark MacKinnon whom, in his article titled 'A Roster of The Modern Autocrats' (The Globe and Mail's newspaper), lumped PM Najib in the same league as  Egyptian Hosni Mubarak, Russian Vladimir Putin and Palestines' Mahmoud Abbas - you better look at your own set of democracy.

Let me tell you that the Canadian democracy is well-broken. Admit it. Being a typical Western, its easy to find fault in others rather than admitting yours.

Honestly, tell me, is there anything about Canadian democracy that isn’t broken? Elections about nothing, parties that have been reduced to leadership cults, a permanently deadlocked Parliament, record-low voter turnout, and overlaying everything an atmosphere of coarseness, cynicism and mindless partisanship.

And that’s the good news! The impotence of ordinary MPs, the irrelevance of Parliament, the near dictatorial powers of the Prime Minister: if you were writing about a Third World country with a system like yours, you would be careful to refer to the 'largely ceremonial' Parliament and 'sham' elections.

Oh, and did I mention your appointed upper house? I assume you feel much the same as most Canadians do. So my question to you off the top is: which is the worst of Canadian democracy’s many flaws? Would you tell me and the rest of the Malaysians, and not forgetting the Canadians?

Hey! I've been to your country six times since 1988. Have you been to Malaysia and studied how our democracy worked?

Some may argue that minority governments (like yours) are good for compromise and deliberation. That sounded sensible in the Canadian context five years ago but I don’t see a lot of compromise and deliberation going on at your Parliament, or at least none that’s about the goal of better governance.

But here’s the hard question: is that because of the personalities involved, or is there actually anything to be done about your leaders?

Is that a matter of personalities? Partly. Mostly it’s about incentives, and culture. Incentives, in the context of a minority Parliament, certainly but a minority Parliament in a system that was built to deliver majorities. Whatever stability it may once have promised breaks down in the kind of regionalised Parliament you now have.

The perpetual brinksmanship that has given this minority Parliament a bad name is likewise a peculiarity of the present electoral system, with its highly disproportionate relationship between votes and representation: every party thinks it can parlay a swing of a few percentage points in the polls into a bushel of seats. Change to a system without such winner-take-all payoffs, and people might stop gambling and get down to business.

So, you like that, don't you?

Yes, you had electoral reform by the short route. For the longest time many Canadians had rejected the whole notion. First, because they are always skeptical of system changes, which always seem to replace one set of problems with another set.

Second, because reform advocates’ attempts to prove their preferred system isn’t incomprehensible are, reliably, grim comedy.

Nope! You know nothing about Malaysia, about how Najib is transforming the country. In just three years, he has repealed our colonial-era Internal Security Act, ended the 60-year state of emergency, introduced measures to increase media freedom, reformed the Universities and University Colleges Act, created the Peaceful Assembly Act, announced a review of the Sedition Act, repealed the Banishment Act and the Restricted Residences Act and implemented a raft electoral reforms — an impressive track record by anyone’s standards - which you took more than two decades to redress.

A-ah! Lim Kit Siang and The Malaysian Insider are so happy to ride on your story. Why? Because just like you, they only track other people's mistake!

Another question - why is your country languishing behind Angola, Colombia and Niger on the list of freedom-of-information rankings, at 51st?

After some number-crunching to standardise findings, it turns out Canada is even lower on the list — 11 spots to be exact — than when it was first published last September as part of a groundbreaking project by Halifax-based Centre for Law and Democracy and Access Info Europe of Madrid.

The report says: "As a country that was once among the world's leaders in government openness, it is unfortunate that Canada has dropped so far down the list. Partly, this is the result of global progress, with which Canada has failed to keep pace."

This means, your government lacks openness. What about transparency? So, how do you answer to that?

And if you are considering a trip to Malaysia, e-mail me, we can have a long session about 'your and my democracy'!

24 comments:

clemence chang said...

wallaaaa!!!

serious la u bro!

good points there.

kasi taruk some more!

Anonymous said...

the usual thing la.

any bad comment from foreigners, lim kit siang and the anti-govt media will find it amusing enough.

Anonymous said...

This is funny. We have a no-mark, two bit umno stooge with atrocious grammer talking about Canada. You should stick to your nasi lemak dude.

Anonymous said...

This is your personal opinion, no facts and your own view. I disagree, even though I do not live in Canada now, democracy is quite open and alive. Turn outs are not that bad (not the lowest as you claims), we can demonstrate, voice opinions, etc... unlike some countries. Press is free and open. There is a majority government now, not minority for quite some time, check your facts. The recent government has curtailed some freedoms but it is minimal and focused on crime primarily. Calling the PM dictatorial is a joke, the provinces have most of the power in Canada, not the PM, he has almost no power to do anything. I think this is just a personal reaction with no facts. Canada definitely not perfect but the democracy is quite alive and open.

Anonymous said...

any possibility that this guy is paid by the opposition?

the way he writes resembles malaysiakini...

penangan said...

salam tn,

adalah menjadi misi utama wartawan barat untuk merendah-rendahkan negara timur seperti malaysia kerana pembangunan ekonomi di sebelah sini lebih rancak daripada mereka.

tidak ada cara lain untuk mencari butiran serangan ini kecuali menghentam dasar pemerintahan dan kebebasan sesebuah negara.

bagaimanapun seperti yang tuan tulis, demokrasi di negara mereka juga tidak kurang cacatnya berbanding negara yang mereka sebut mengamalkan ciri teknokrat.

jadi, kita tidak lagi berasa hairan dengan tulisan seperti mackinnon ini kerana dia adalah sebahagian daripada agen propaganda barat untuk memburuk-burukkan negara seperti malaysia.

mereka memang busuk hati

bosanova said...

hahahahahaha...

i like the way u put it. he deserves it, bro.

by the way, canadians are getting fed up with their system. they feel that their freedom is being robbed!

karipuley said...

fuck this mackinnon.

what does he know about malaysia, about us?

even our opposition did not label the govt as such!

where did he come from?

canada?

where is canada? is it close to botswana?

Anonymous said...

why must u invite him to malaysia?

if he comes, we will take him to the parliament and observe how serious are our legislators at work, unlike theirs.

another western idiot!

caplamangga said...

jangan pedulik la apa depa kata.

yang penting, kita buat keja dengan betul dan baik untuk faedah semua.

kalu nak dengak cakap busuk macam ni, memang banyak pun.

Anonymous said...

siapa upah mangkuk ni tulis macam tu? kit siang ka?

Anonymous said...

no point arguing with them, sir.

they always think they are perfect and precise.

chaukana said...

bro.

i think that ANON 5.19 is a canadian living in malaysia. he (or she) is being downright about it, and so are we.

the issue here is, why must we bother about how other countries are being managed?

why not stick to our own business!

watanabe said...

a good posting, except for the part when u criticised their parliament.

ours is equal to them.

take a look at our parliamentarians, bickering mostly on politics and never took up the people's issue seriously.

tauke lim said...

wow!

why so angry bro?

in the first place, they are no better than us, so just let them say whatever they want about us or others.

this mackinnon has low knowledge whatsoever about the democracy in malaysia and other countries, including his.

so, forgive him lor

that also u dont know aaar!!!

mat gombau said...

jai,

mackinnon ni org kelantan asal eh, namo asal dio nik non.

den agak2 yo.

dio hot sobab tak dapek balik malaysia ni. atok dio dah masuk kristian!

hehehehe!!!!

android said...

these people are born with bad tongues!

thats why they find it easier to criticise others than admitting their own fault.

i also wanna ask mackinnon - has his govt move the racist stain from its democracy?

an end user said...

you pro-govt bloggers are the same.

why must you protect and fend najib to this level?

what do you get from him?

i know u are not getting a single sen from the govt and umno, so be neutral.

u better blast najib for the submarine deal... i will pay u! serious!

Anonymous said...

yes,

their democracy is a sham... looks okay when its actually otherwise!

a pot calling the kettle black!

masih di BH said...

bujai,

i believe someone from the canadian high commission will call you.

dont entertain.

prosak said...

mak oi!

kemain lagi lu protect najib?

ada apa2 ke?

dia kasi lu projek apa beb?

Anonymous said...

they look down at others, forgettin how bad their system is.

to us, its the system that helps us grow and prosper.

we dont care what they say...

org moncino said...

jai,

kau ajak dio datang malaysia, sughuh dio tgk apo makno demokrasi kito berbanding di negaro yg dio sobut.

lompang sekali!

Anonymous said...

Best thing is to just ignore the Canadian lumberjack. Just leave him out in the cold and he will freeze to death...and let him die naturally. No need for this warm response....

By the way what's wrong about writing good things about Najib....at least these very people who gave uncomplimentary comments get the chance to air their 1 sen piece. Will those who are pro govt get the same treatment in places like Malaysiakini or even MI...fat chance...still they visit this blog and Rocky's venting venomenous comments...haiya...inikah Malaysia???