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Recent conversations with thoughtful caring people about the state of modern democracy has caused me to think about how we are represented in the commons, and whether we have much influence in what happens in our country, our city, our planet.  There is an implication that we are held responsible.

For example, the question of Vancouver since the post Stanley Cup riots. The people of this city, through main stream media, express feelings of shame as though they are somehow associated with the people who burned cars and smashed windows.

It must be obvious to anyone above the age of ten that a hundred goons do not represent the majority of anyone anywhere, so why are the masses tarred with that brush? Sure there were many who stood and watched, but there were many who came out after the riots to clean up the mess in whatever way they could. We know that some put their own safety at risk to try and and stop the destruction.

Since then the air waves have been flooded with interviews and expert opinion on who is responsible and who is to blame. It's this part of any crisis that seems to be the meat of it all.

In a separate issue, a federal party gained a majority with only forty per cent of the vote. Online social media was incandescent with the issues, analysis, protest, to inform themselves and others.  We were engaged. We watched the televised debates. Yet the party leader whose eyes seemed glazed over for the entire debate, who said little about policy offering a mantra of platitudes - got in.

Dialogue has been replaced with sponsored media. Life and all its complexities are reduced to slogans, implications and associations. The more you care, the more it will be apparent that you have no influence, no voice, no face, and yet we are represented by images and words that bear no connection to who we know ourselves to be. We might as well stand on the corner of Main street and blow bubbles.

Democracy has become bullocracy, a reality show designed to feed us a simple plot of winners and losers, villains and heroes. The players want to feel good with the least amount of effort, and if you accept the spin, you can get on with your shopping as though nothing is happening and tomorrow will be like today, forever and ever. And as crises fall on top of other crises, managing the world will become more of a nightmare, our blaming more virrulent, our ways of coping more dysfunctional, and our saviours more ballistic.

But this does not mean there is nothing we can do. The first thing is to observe how power works in our world, how it defines and manipulates. Then we must re-build community from the nuclear family outward to the global family, on a system of reverence for life, sustained in our hearts and minds. Here is where the work to reinstate democracy begins and ends.


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