Lack of Democracy in Saskatchewan and everywhere else:
Democracy is not the pursuing of the self interest of either groups or individuals

Nipawin - Saturday, January 12, 2002 - by: Mario deSantis


"Democracy requires putting economics, self-interest which we need, in a subsidiary position, that's the best recipe for stable prosperity"--John Ralston Saul




I have read Edwin Wallace's article on the selling of the Western Producer by the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Corporation (SWPC). Wallace, appalled by the dismal performance of this agricultural business, which was once a proud cooperative of producers, says that this corporation :


"is being transformed into one of those faceless corporations. You know, the ones with maybe only a number for a name."

high paid

Edwin Wallace is right on in identifying the managerial problem of the SWPC, but what is scary is that this managerial problem is not a problem at all for the privileged people making money by either running the corporation and/or speculating on the value of its stock as this stock fluctuates in accordance to their 'private' predictions. The fluctuation of the corporation stock can be privately predicted by an array of managerial and policy decisions among which for example we have the selling or buying of assets, downsizing, oversizing, going bankrupt, merging and so forth. Whenever the economics gospel is to make money with money at the expense of others the result is the loss of democracy



Fyke or

I remember how interested I was in identifying the digging of the holes in the ground by our political and corporatist leadership in the field of health care. It was a futile exercise as our political and corporatist leadership would continue to make money in the name of making fictitious savings and by continuously downsizing health care. Our few and privileged leadership is debating now the course of the future of health care by referring to the degree of its possible privatization and as a consequence we have the Saskatchewan Ken Fyke's model versus the Alberta Don Mazankowski's model. Our few and privileged leadership are playing with the gimmick to provide the public with the freedom of choices. But again, this is a futile exercise as our individual freedom has been eroded with the loss of our democracy.


Our political and corporatist leadership, the few and privileged, have taken over our individual freedom and whatever they say and whatever they do is just rhetoric as they are all embarked into the participation of the so called Free Market for their own self interest.


This is how Canadian philosopher John Ralston Saul has described the functioning of our society:


"the individual citizen is reduced to the state of a subject... society functions today largely on the relationships between groups... important decisions are made not through democratic discussion or participation but through negotiation between the relevant groups based upon expertise, interest and the ability to exercise power... the human is thus reduced to a measurable value, like a machine or a piece of property. We can choose to achieve a high value and live comfortably or be dumped unceremoniously onto the heap of marginality." [The Unconscious Civilization, page 34]




Today, with the war against terrorism and with president George W. Bush Jr. at the helm of the so called "civilized world", we are heading from a corporatist state to a police state where the vested interests of oil and war are taking over the vested interests of other groups. Our societal problem is the ever increasing power of the vested interests of groups, and our salvation is the exercise of our individual's disinterest for the interest of the common good, that is democracy.


  Pertinent articles in Ensign
  Democracy and Glabalization, Lecture content, 1999 John Ralston Saul, 1999 Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  And They Shall Be Known By Their Editorial Content, by Edwin Wallace, January 11, 2002
  Excerpts from The Unconscious Civilization by John Ralston Saul (as annotated by Robert Bateman, reprinted with permission from the author)