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Devion's Views #239

RUTHLESSNESS, MANIPULATION AND DECEIT (posted Aug. 29, 2021)

It's fair to state that Minority Parliaments (of the past) have generally served Canadians well...because, in order to function effectively cooperation and coordination between the elected political parties is essential.   

During times of crisis what Canadians need from our elected government(s) is focused collaborative leadership from the federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Citizens have endured living in crisis piled upon crisis and confusion; the ongoing pandemic, exhausted medical workers, climate catastrophes (forest fires, drought, heat domes), educational classrooms in disarray, struggling businesses, the Reconciliation imbroglio, out-of-control debt/deficits, the Afghanistan debacle, etc..

Instead of focused cooperation and coordination between levels of government, the opposite has occurred.

Rather than spend all of his government's time and energy managing the unprecedented series of crises', our Prime Minister demonstrates he's just another deceitful politician, focused on himself, lusting for 'total power'. 

Justin of 'Sunny Ways' chose to risk everything - in the middle of his mandate - his goal, whatever the cost, get reelected with a majority.

Two weeks into this unnecessary 36-day election campaign, it has become evident that voters are enraged, seriously pissed off, and in no mood to listen to hollow, unaffordable promises from him or any of the other contenders.

This Machiavellian ill-timed decision is right out of the pages of 'The Prince', and may (justifiably) result in Trudeau's demise as leader of the Liberals and his Party being relegated to Opposition status.

                                                LESSONS FROM THE 'MASTER' OF MODERN POLITICAL SCIENCE

What is science?

Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. The earliest roots of science can be traced to Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in around 3000 to 1200 BCE.

What is politics?

Politics is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. The branch of social science that studies politics and governments is referred to as political science.

What is political science?

Political science is the scientific study of politics. It is a social science dealing with systems of governance and power, and the analysis of political activities, political thought, political behaviour, and associated constitutions and laws.

What is the most popular political science book of all time?

Politicians, mandarins and apparatchiks posit the most-popular/must-read is a handbook, written in 1513...titled 'The Prince'.

What is it about this particular book that draws so many people to read it?

Because it's all about how to gain and retain 'ultimate' power.

Who authored this 'must-read' political book?

Niccolo di Bernardo die Machiavelli; an Italian diplomat, philosopher and historian who lived during the Renaissance. He has been called the father of modern political philosophy and political science.

One of Machiavelli's goals in writing 'The Prince' was to win favour of Lorenzo de Medici, then governor of Florence, and the person to whom the book is dedicated, and thereby land him an advisory position within the Florentine government. However, things didn't work out for the author. He ended up being tortured for conspiring against the Medici family.

'The Prince' remains relevant after 508 years.

The slender political treatise is one of the most influential and controversial books published in Western literature; a searing meditation on the means some people use to get and maintain power and to guide 'leaders' on how to survive in the world as it is and not as it should be.

The impact of the book over five centuries has been to confront its countless readers, in the starkest terms possible, on the most important questions about politics and morality.

                                                     Examples of Machiavelli's 'advice' to princes/leaders...

"It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both."

"Men judge generally more by the eye than by the hand, for everyone can see and few can feel. Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are."

"Hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed."

"The first method of estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him."

"It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage than a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in this who gain by the new ones."

Someone exhibiting 'Machiavellian' tendencies is considered sneaky, cunning, lacking a moral code, ruthless, manipulative and deceitful. Anyone in particular come to mind?

But whatever the underlying philosophy, the political 'advice' contained in 'The Prince' seems to work. Why else would politicians and mandarins of every stripe still look to the book for guidance?

The limits of 'luck' may have run its course for the son of Pierre Trudeau whose six-year error-prone track record and recent decision to choose self-interest over responsibility to manage the crisis facing the nation, raises serious doubts about his judgement.

Should Justin Trudeau remain 'Prince' of Canada even if the most Liberals get elected?

Why? 

Any Prime Minister who decides to plunge the country into an unnecessary, expensive election (during a crisis) must, before doing so, seriously consider the consequences. He either didn't or didn't care! 

All Justin Trudeau managed to achieve by another 'error-in-judgement' is to increase the cynicism about politics and politicians.

                                                      IRONY - ACCORDING TO POLL TRACKERS

1) If the election was held today, a little known rookie, Erin O'Toole, would lead a minority Conservative government. Really?

2) If our voting system allowed voters to vote for a party leader considered 'the best of the current lot', JAGMEET SINGH JIMMY DHALIWAL, of Burnaby, B.C., would be the next 'Prince' of The Great White North.

P.S. Jagmeet could not get a job working for the Quebec civil service. How's that for irony!

                                                                AND IN CLOSING...

Machiavelli neither abhorred nor celebrated power. He insisted that those in authority should govern well, understanding that politics is about the balanced, intelligent course.

His determination to "tell it like it is" and to deliver his message in an unvarnished way earned him much criticism, but his contribution to political thinking has been, quite simply, outstanding.

"Politicians like diapers must be changed often, and for the same reason." - Mark Twain

Ron Devion, No Guts, No Glory