I have plenty of thoughts on things I see as the bigger picture of the Occupy movement. As always, these are my opinions only. I do not purport to speak for, or lead the occupy movement. I'm just another cog in a great big gearbox.
As the movement goes forward, obviously, goals will need to be articulated more clearly. Organization beyond the people in the streets will have to begin. This is far from saying a leader need be appointed. This is to say the people in the streets or camps are the blunt end of the stick. I salute these people, if I were able I'd be with them in person. I'm not alone in being one of those who supports the general principles (as I believe them to be) of the movement and do things to help in other ways. One of those ways is to use this blog to share my thoughts and observations with the hope it will get people to think and perhaps spark some reasonable debate. We need to start sharpening the other end of the stick.
The number one thing we need to realize is we are all part of the problem. What we require is a critical mass prepared to be the solution. It's crucial to engage the fence sitters, and just as crucial to not put up with the misinformation and those who spread it. Depending on who one talks to, occupy means many different things. I'm probably more okay with that than many others, but if the only action is what happens in the streets, we, the people, are not "too big to fail".
That said, I assure you this is just one of many forthcoming columns on occupy. I'm purposely not going into great detail as I want discussion on these topics, not the imposition of my ideas as the only ones that are right, or even that my ideas are right at all. It's up to you to discuss and think about it, let's help each other refine directions the movement has to take to get us where we need to be. It's not an overnight thing and will require a lot of work from a lot of dedicated people. It will require a lot of compromise on policy, without compromising our principles.
Critically, we must develop a cohesive political strategy in all countries. Since we are in need of global change, we must follow the "think globally, act locally" guideline. We must launch a peaceful revolution that includes hoards of people to occupy ballot boxes. We must get political, whether we like it or not, it's the number one ugly job we need to do.
We understand the system is broken. I am of the opinion there are zero existing politicians or political parties who can or will fix it. I'm talking about a major overhaul of our existing way of doing business. The only way we will win this peacefully is to take the reins of power through the ballot box. We have to control the legislative bodies at all costs.
I'll tell you what I believe this means. I believe it means the occupy movement, and those who support it, are going to have to take a major leap of faith, and going to have to use every bit of organizing, cajoling, and working harder than they ever have to make the most important move in modern history. Taking the power out of the hands of the establishment and gaining executive control of our various institutions and reshape them to work for the many.
We have to come to the stark realization the party system is rife with greed and corruption and no matter how many times we've changed the players, and no matter how many times they've changed the rules, it always works to the advantage of not those who voted them into power, but those who financed their successful campaigns, those who supported "their" party, and those from whom they may gain employment or favours in the future. We have been consistently installing these interchangeable monkeys for centuries and they have proven over and over while they may be "by the people" they are far from "of the people" or "for the people".
We need to elect independent candidates who are not only supported by the occupy movement, but who are voted in by those who want change. This will not be easy, but it will be necessary, unless one plans to launch a coup in just about every country on the planet. I just call that world war.
Really, speaking of the Canadian system, we have to do exactly what Harper has done. We must gain a majority in the house of commons. Then, and only then, will we be able to make the systemic changes that will be required.
There is no need to destroy the entire system. Like anything, it has good and bad points. Unfortunately, we've come to a point in history where those bad points outweigh the good. We gone over the tipping point and we need to get the machine back into balance.
It's not about someone winning. It's about society winning. It's about installing a government that abhors secrecy. It's about putting people into power that are going to listen, that are ready to pledge honesty and clarity. People who walk the walk.
Some of the things I think need tackled first are an end to private financing of politicians and political entities, an end to any and all 3rd party political advertising, a ban on advertising that is not factual and issue based (i.e. no more "personal" attack ads), and make it illegal to lobby any politician. I also think we need a system where policies are clearly articulated prior to election day and should a government attempt to introduce legislation contrary to stated policy, or create legislation outside of such policy, that a referendum be triggered to allow a democratic vote. This needs some work, but it means no one could make promises they don't intend to keep, or run on a platform that fails to include key information on what they intend to do. That's a small start to political reform, but by no means all.
We need a system that clearly spells out how every penny of taxpayer money is spent. We have the technology to provide electronic access to realtime spending. If a cheque is issued from the public treasury, then a clear, unedited accounting of what that cheque paid for. I believe there are many benefits to this, number one being if everyone can see you bought 30 bottles of wine for a party of 6, you cannot hide it as any other expense. You can't call it "meeting costs" or whatever BS if it has to be publicly accounted for. It would also help business. If a particular department purchases 10,000 paper clips for 200 dollars and I know I can supply them for 175, I could alert government I am prepared to save the taxpayers money.
Very few things should be secret. We should all have learned by adulthood that secrets get us into trouble. The level at which those who would "rule" us hide the truth from us should bring us to one of two conclusions: They are doing a lot of underhanded and/or illegal things, or they believe we're too stupid and unimportant to bother with the truth.
We must get the politics in order, in order to bring order to financial affairs, the health and well being of all peoples no matter their standing in society, work to balance the needs of the population with the needs of the planet.
I'm hoping for your input. Most of all I'm hoping I can get you thinking, and perhaps working with me to help define and refine goals we all need to work toward. Hope to hear from you here, on twitter and on facebook.
We can have a better world if we're willing to work for it. It will be the most difficult job we've ever done, but in the end, the payoff of a better, happier, more peaceful world can await us. It will be what we make it, or the forces of greed will win. I hope you're with me.
Until next time....
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Mark McCaw ~ twitter's @bigpicguy
Author of "Insights Inside a Mind" ~ blogging the big picture