So do oligarchs rule the world?
(1) Let us start with the leading light of democracy, Britian. A two chamber democracy, with the House of Commons for elected officials (MPs), and the House of Lords for hereditary & nominated officials. How to get a seat in the British House of Lords? Evgeny Lebedev bought a newspaper, cultivated top politicians, and gave lavish parties. Similar route to Canada’s own Lord Black of Cross-dresser (sic). MPs are often nominated by the Prime Minister. To be Prime Minister, just attend Eton then graduate from Oxford or Cambridge. Not hard, just expensive.
(2) USA? Well, to become President you need money, fame and a fixer. So Trump had all three. The fixer being Paul Manafort for a few months in 2016. A long time advisor to five previous republican candidates, four of whom made it to president.
(3) Which leads to Manafort working for Yanukovych in Ukraiina. Yanukovych, who set new standards in corruption, was supposed to sign the next stage towards joining the EU but ran off to Putin, triggering the EuroMaidan, the 2014 invasion of Crimea, the subsequent proxy-war in the Donbass region, leading to an eight year Russian involvment, culmanating this February in a major three-pronged invasion by Russia.
(4) Russia. Or should we just rename that Putin-ville? Managed to be in power since 1999. And according to Kasporov, “……controls enough money, probably more than any other individual in the history of human race.”
So what have you done lately to keep your politicians honest? Do it now. If you need some background I can recommend ‘The Narrow Corridor‘ by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson.
This book describes societies from around the world, how they formed, and why. All the way back to the earliest human history. And around the world. Societies form to help all in the group be safer, healthier and richer. A group will fare better than an individual. But unless the society has some measure of equality for all, that society will fail.
So I ask again. What have you done lately to keep your politicians honest?
ps: As for Canada, well let us start with the Senate (upper house) having a varied population of people offering public service. And a Prime Minister who used to be a teacher, but more importantly, a famous father.