The Meaning of Democracy
By Ulli Diemer
Letter to the Editor:
The Globe and Mail's denunciation of the Day of Action protest
as a violation of democracy makes perfect sense -- as long as one
understands the special way the Globe defines "democracy".
"Democracy" according to this definition is a safe election
every four years or so in which voters choose between corporate-dominated
parties whose policies are virtually indistinguishable on all fundamental
"Democratic government" in this context means rule by
a political party, elected by a minority of the electorate, which
in office breaks many of the major promises it made during the election
campaign. The role of the vast majority of the population in this
version of "democracy" is to remain passive and not interfere.
What "democracy" definitely does not mean, when the Globe
uses the term, is the active involvement of the majority of the
population in governing society to ensure that economic and social
policy serve the needs and interests of the majority rather than
a small wealthy elite.
The Globe is quite right. Popular protests like the Days
of Action are a threat to its version of "democracy".