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Comments Effecting Canadian Events – Ken McGregor

The Power Elite

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Professor H. T. Reynolds -“The power elite theory, in short, claims that a single elite, not a multiplicity of competing groups, decides the life-and-death issues for the nation as a whole, leaving relatively minor matters for the middle level and almost nothing for the common person”

elite 3I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people complaining about how the corporations run the world and have all the money, leaving the 99% of the population with little. Their position actually sounds logical when listing to the news media telling us about the huge profits the banks and oil companies have been raking in the past few years. So, is it true? is there a secret elite controlling our destiny.

I think that the idea of a small group of elite wealthy dictating our lives may have some merit. But nowadays I belive public policy that affects our lives emerges from competition among groups (Pluralism). Groups that represent defense, agriculture,banking, unions, pro-choice, environmentalists, the corporate rich etc. are all competing forces or the elite of today.

In order for these competing groups to get their agenda heard and moving they look for public support . This is where the public can play an important part and can really get involved and voice their opinion. A case in point of competing groups, is the Keystone pipeline that’s to run from Alberta to the US. The environmentalists are dead against the pipeline and the oil producers are for it.  Both of these groups are  competing for public opinion spending millions in advertising dollars to put their view forward, and both have a large following. The comprise so far is that the southern leg of the Keystone was built and is running, but the northern leg crossing into Alberta to the Canadian Oil Sands has been delayed. Also in this compromise is that the US government has bowed  to the majority of public opinion and allowed another eastern pipeline, the Flanagan, to carry oil from Alberta across the US border. Its clear the public had a big impact in the decision-making, not just an elite group. Even though the masses don’t govern directly their voices can and is heard through these groups.

Even though there are the 1% or rich, they are only one group. Pluralism, or multitude of groups, generally do the governing. The idea that a few elite rich folks can ride rough shot over all these special interest groups to get their way is unlikely in todays times in North America.

To some, this form of governing might not seem democratic. But the fact is, not everybody can vote or have input on every piece of legislation. It would be anarchy. It just isn’t practical. But the public does have a lot of input by voicing their opinion at election time and through the many organized groups.

Personally I don’t have any objection to pluralism for governing, since it appeals to the many. But I do have some concerns with the attitudes of some political parties. I find todays Social Liberal actions and agenda is heavily focused on the environment ,wealth redistribution ,universal health care and reducing our freedom of choice.  As a group they are suppose to be vying for votes and public opinion, but I believe they have moved away from Pluralism and are trampling on free speech and the other standard political rules to bulldoze their way into power and force their ideas on the unsuspecting public. The Ontario provincial Liberal’s are a good example of manipulating their idea’s onto the public, thus fitting Professor Reynolds definition of the power elite theory. The newly sacked Alberta Premier Allison Redford and her Progressive Party also fits the bill.

Government run by the few elites that feel they are superior just because they happen to discover or develop something special is not a government I would want to live under no mater how noble they think their cause is. It’s Voter beware if you value your freedom!

Please comment below or Email: ALBERTASOAPBOX@gmail.com

Written by Ken McGregor

March 23, 2014 at 10:01 am

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