A pair of interesting reads says a lot about the state of Western democracy in the world today, especially in the face of challenges from the economic and political ascendancy of China, brash defiance by Russia, Syria and North Korea, and barbaric actions by extreme Islamic organizations. The current protests in Hong Kong are symbolic of this challenge as the struggle for more democratic rule contends against a regime who feels legitimized by its successes no matter the costs. Paired with that is the polarized politics that drag down the pace and effectiveness of all levels of government from the national level, particularly in the US, to the provincial and local.
In an editorial Friday, the Vancouver Sun reiterated an opinion that has surfaced many times lately in economic and industry focused media concerning the urgent need to resolve the conflicts that obstruct the further development of natural resources trade the BC economy depends on. Of course, the complexity of the issues involved offer no easy solutions, but one thing the BC situation illustrates is a lower tolerance and trust against potential intrusions and threats to our interests and a tendency towards contention and opposition rather than attempt to cooperate to resolve differences.
My opinion on this subject will come at a later time with a more lengthy post. In the meantime, first, “What’s gone wrong with democracy”, an extensive essay from the Economist a couple of months ago that covers the global situation. The second, from the CBC, questions whether our natural mental capabilities, not democracy itself, is the source of our problems.