If one was to discuss the state of the world’s democracies in September of 2019, it would look entirely different than it does today in 2022. Three years ago, Canadians generally thought that:
- our democracy was relatively strong and citizens would defend their freedoms;
- our elected leaders would follow the evidence in making policy decisions during times of crisis;
- the principles of “due diligence” ensured logical and evidence based decision making by our elected officials;
- citizens would hold elected officials accountable because they had easy access to the same evidence; and would be empowered by social media to quickly call elected officials to account,
- our civil servants, and in particular our doctors, believed in evidence-based process and programs;
- our Colleges of Physicians agreed that ethical principles of “do no harm” and “fully informed consent” were sacrosanct;
- the independence of our courts would protect citizens from the overreach by political authorities;
- our media would focus on holding elected officials and civil servants accountable for their decisions;
- our media had strong investigative journalists who demand that all sides in a discussion be aired.
Indeed, in September 2019, citizens of most democracies were smug in their disdain for authoritarian regimes, where decisions were based on the will of a totalitarian ruler, where evidence was ignored, where Courts were puppets, where media was the propaganda arm of the supreme ruler, where access to information was restricted and where access to food, water, shelter and medicine were at the will of the leaders.
Also in September 2019, the best infectious disease specialists in the world, gathered under the auspices of the World Health organization, and published an updated, evidence based, review of the literature on the use of non-pharmaceutical Interventions (NPIs) – particularly lockdowns in managing pandemics.
Almost all of the NPIs were shown to be relatively ineffective in reducing the spread of viral infectious diseases. In fact, “lockdowns” were said to be one of the least effective policy measures, with proven serious and long lasting collateral damage.
Yet in a major failure of democracy citizens were locked down when the Covid-19 epidemic began.
Unfortunately, history tells us that these things tend to happen to democracies when they become complacent. It may not happen fast, it may not evolve in obvious ways at first, but that is where it frequently ends. History also shows that once lost democratic rights and freedoms are very hard to restore, as authoritarian leaders find new ways to demand compliance for new or imagined threats.
Democracies fall to single minded despotism as the ancient Greek philosopher Thucydides warns, normally not from without, but from within.
If one was to discuss the state of the world in September of 2021, a discussion about western democracies, including Canada, would look entirely different. The discussion would have told us that our democracies were crumbling into authoritarian states, as a majority of citizens look away and voluntarily demand to give up the hard-earned freedoms that those before them earned for them. It would also show that our elected leaders continuously ignored easily found evidence, and did so out of incompetence, hubris, and self-gain.
This evidence shows that:
- only a limited segment of the population is truly at risk from Covid-19.
- how badly we have protected the most at risk (Canada ranks last in the Organization of Economically Developed Countries [OECD]).
- the lockdowns have not stopped the spread of COVID-19; and cannot in our interconnected global world.
- NPIs are causing massive deaths and damage, at least 10 times what the actual virus ever could have.
- we have severely damaged our children by the use of NPIs, particularly their mental health and education, in ways that will haunt them and our democracy for 60 years.
- the massive borrowing that was designed to let current citizens hide from COVID-19, most of whom were at less risk from COVID-19 than they are annually from seasonal influenza, will severely damage our ability to pay for medical programs, social programs, and the defence of our democracy for our lifetimes and the lifetimes of our grandchildren.
- the principles of “due diligence” legally required to produce logical and evidence-based decision making by our elected officials have been criminally and intentionally ignored.
- our public only holds elected officials accountable through social media if they do not deny Charter Rights and Freedoms early enough, hard enough or long enough.
- our civil servants, particularly most of our doctors, have beliefs, not science to back up their single and only response to COVID-19; the deadly and damaging use of lockdowns, with the only way out being 100% vaccination with an emergency approved, not fully tested vaccine, in ever increasing doses.
- most of our doctors have intentionally ignored all previous pandemic lessons learned, pandemic plans, and evidence-based science. These documents did not allow the destruction of Charter based Rights and Freedoms, of which one of us is the last living co-signor because, as these documents showed, it WAS NOT NECESSARY.
- our Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons have removed the ethics of medicine. Things like “do no harm” and “fully informed consent”, once pillars of the Colleges’ defence of physicians, are ignored, perverted, and twisted to the point that possible treatments to ensure best outcomes for their patients are suppressed and vaccine passports (normally illegal in a democracy) are demanded.
- the independence of our courts has been shown so far to be nothing but a whitewash for the gross negligence, causing deaths and damage, of our elected officials and Medical Officers’ of Health (MOH).
- our media has become the Ministry of Propaganda, censoring any position not authorized by our elected officials and civil servants (doctors).
- finally, our media has NO strong investigative journalists who demand that all sides in a discussion be aired.
What has happened in our democracies is unconscionable. As one of us who has been in a military capacity in countries in crisis has witnessed firsthand, the citizens of those countries were fighting with their lives to achieve what we are so freely giving away.
We want to end with some wisdom from Winston Churchill who said “The secret to happiness is freedom . . . And the secret to freedom is courage”
It is time to find the courage to demand a stop to lockdowns, vaccine passports, vaccine mandates and the crushing of Canadian Charter Rights and Freedoms.
David Redman had a distinguished military career before becoming the head of the Alberta Emergency Management Agency in 2004 and led the Provincial response to the devastating floods of June 2005. He also led the development of the 2005 Provincial Pandemic Influenza Plan. After retiring from EMA he continued to work as an expert in Emergency Management provincially, nationally and internationally until 2013 when he fully retired.
The Honourable A. Brian Peckford P.C. was the third premier of Newfoundland between 1979 and 1989. He is the last surviving First Minister that helped craft Canada’s Constitution Act 1982 and its Charter of Rights and Freedoms.