I can think of no better starting place for discussion for Blogs for Democracy than the single most immediate threat to democracy in Canada: continental integration and the Security and Prosperity Partnership, signed by Paul Martin, George Bush and Vicente Fox in Waco Texas, March 2005.
The SPP is a corporate-led agenda to integrate the economies, military, security, laws and regulations of the three nations of North America. It is not a theory or a “what if?” but a big business plan that is already being implemented – quietly, and without public discussion or parliamentary debate. Meetings of the highest echelon of political representatives, the corporate sphere and the top military brass from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico have held a number of meetings since Waco to further the program. The last meeting was held in Ottawa, this past February, with Michael Chertoff, Condoleeza Rice and Paul McKay in attendance.
What the SPP does is to transfer real political power out of the realm of parliament and democratic forums, where public involvement and oversight is at least possible, to a 30-member council which will create policy for all three nations, and later “brief” parliament and congress. This new defacto continental government has already been created.
The corporate lobby which initiated the deep integration agenda has appointed its own ruling forum, which is by all indications meant to be the real locus of power, and a thoroughly anti-democratic one at that, serving the interests of the corporate elite, and shutting out the public from all discussion or participation in the process of re-writing our laws and shaping our future. The new defacto government of what the big business lobby calls “Fortress North America” has been named the North American Council on Competitiveness (NACC). Meet your new masters. Unless we challenge and defeat the SPP, these 30 CEO’s will, in fact, be our new masters.
What the SPP is, in a nutshell, is the creation of a corporate ruled society, a power bloc that spans the continent of North America, and is meant to compete with the power blocs of Europe and Asia. What is seen by its architects as dispensible are things like democracy, individual rights and freedoms, public scrutiny and involvement, or accountability of the new ruling elite. It is an expansion of NAFTA – “NAFTA on steroids” it has been called – but it goes far beyond NAFTA in concentrating real social, economic and political power in the hands of the elite investment class.
As Toronto lawyer Paul Bigioni and others have aptly described, the Security and Prosperity Partnership, and its unelected and anti-democratic continental governance body, the North American Council on Competitiveness, is the institutionalization of corporate rule. It is the natural, though by no means inevitable, unfolding of the corporate-dominated globalization process, which is gutting democracy, enshrining the rights and power of the global investment class, and creating the mechanisms for global corporatocracy – all in the pursuit of extractive, predatory and grossly unsustainable economics, ever higher quarterly profits for the few, and a new form of feudalism for the rest of us. It is the neoliberal globalist agenda writ large, and the natural, although deliberate, and again, by no means inevitable, continued concentration of real socio-political and economic power in the hands of the few: the new oligarchs.
The mass media, major political parties, and to an embarrassing extent, the alternative media and grassroots, are continuing to ignore the issue, while the substance of our democratic forums is quietly being eviscerated by the Canadian and American corporate lobby.
We need to pay attention to this. This should be a focal issue for Canadians. (In fact, the up-coming federal election will be a sad joke, a hollow sham, if this issue is not made central. But so far, no major party has seriously addressed the subject. If you are a member or supporter of one of the major political parties in Canada, please write, email, phone or visit your party’s leaders and activists, and ask them why they are not responding to this issue with the seriousness it merits. You could even be more blunt than that.) There are a number of citizen’s groups in Canada working to stop the SPP and the creation of “Fortress North America” – they need your support. The Council of Canadians, the Canadian Labour Congress and the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives are among the few who have realized the urgency of the subject. Please get involved. If this is new to you, a number of excellent links and resources can be found in the following article: The SPP: Stealth Coup?.
J. Todd Ring
May 15, 2007