Volume 91, Issue 67

Wednesday, January 28, 1998



Defending the democratic opinion

Re: Literal interpretation, Jan. 14

To the Editor:
Democracy is a fantastic invention, one Winston Churchill called "the best of the worst" as far as systems of government go. There is a reason he made this remark. It is simply because, through all its advantages and opportunities, democracy fails at its primary goal – to make everyone happy all of the time. Mr. Hodge has quite a distorted view of democracy, one which sounds strikingly familiar.

With his suggestion of support for the postal workers or his advocations of low tuition, he fails to address one immutable, universal truth – there is no money.

Rights? Working conditions? Hodge, this is not about the rights of the students or the working conditions of the postal workers. This is all about money. Money. Could it be you are unaware that the government pays as much as 75 per cent of our tuition? Or that postal workers receive $17.50 an hour to deliver mail? There are innumerable occupations far more stressful and potentially dangerous that are paid less than half of what the posties receive.

I must pay homage to my friend Bob Rae. He proved for me that socialism doesn't work. He also showed the public that it is not only the Liberals and Conservatives who twist the truth to get elected, but even the left-wing socialist grunts follow suit. Before the election, which saw Mr. Rae and his party thrown out with the trash, he made the error of telling the Canadian electorate that the provincial deficit was a mere few billion dollars. When the Conservatives took office, it was made known that the dollar figure was substantially more than what the NDP had indicated. Enter job cuts, budget cuts and the inevitable slash to health care and increasing tuition rates. Harris may have made some campaign promises that he could not keep, but he only had the information given to him to go on.

The familiar ring to Mr. Hodge's contentions? Karl Marx expressed similar views in his writings of communism. Will Mr. Hodge be the one leading the communist charge to Ottawa on his publicly-funded steed painting the electorate red as he preaches his socialist standpoint?

How much of your pay cheque are you willing to give up to better the unfortunate few who fail to find gainful employment or, indeed by some tragic occurrence, loses their job due to a lack of job security?

Capitalism calls for the number of workers it needs and no more. If the demand for the service or product goes down, logically, the need for employees does as well. Churchill also said "It is not a sin to profit. The real sin is not to profit." That's the incentive of capitalism.

Finally, the comment about fascism was never meant to be taken literally. But there are points to it that democracy could learn from. As Mussolini made the trains run on time, perhaps a little governmental arm twisting could make the mail arrive on time as well.

Corey Cooke
Political Science I

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Copyright The Gazette 1998