Maybe to go another way?
I have been wondering what is really wrong with our system of politics here in Canada, and it leads me to realize some very simple truths, probably the biggest of which is that:
Today’s government is not for the people and hasn’t been for some years now.
Oh I know there are those who say I am just supporting some sort of corporate takeover conspiracy, and maybe they are right, but let’s really look at what has gone wrong.
There was a time when members of the House of Parliament or the Provincial Legislature were representatives of the people of their ridings , a throw back to the “good old days” of England when they represented the landowners who spoke for their surfs…! Far from ideal but for that time it worked as well as any system had.
Even the American system with it’s checks and balances for the three levels of government, Administration, Congress and Judiciary was a great idea for a republic.
So again what happened?
Groups of elected people (mostly men at that time- in fact probably all men) got together for each other’s ideas to be presented and accepted by the level of government, simply put,
“ I like this, that, your idea and will support you. Will you also support my idea?”
It seemed that this lead to the eventual formation of like minded getting together to make life easier than canvassing every other member, and thus the development of parties that started the wielding of power as each party sought to have the final say.
Naturally this had to spread to the voting public so that each party could come up with a proposal or “platform” from which the voters were asked to choose. Of course by then the concept of party leaders was established and we were on the slippery slope to where we are today where one man controls the lives of every man woman and child in Canada, even if he does not have the majority of Canadian behind him. Nor does it even matter if he chooses to promote the benefits of corporations over the people, he is the supreme “God” of Canada as he can make and break the rules with impunity, and thumb his nose at the people because he really only needs them at an election time of his choosing.
How far we have come from:
Our self governing Dominions are united by the ties of a common allegiance to the Crown: but the Crown has become the symbol of the people’s sovereignty.
According to our concept and practice of government, the King reigns to execute the will of the people who rule. The strength of the Empire rests upon the eternal foundation of liberty expressed in the ideal and consummation of autonomous self-government which is vested in the people of the self-governing Dominions as of right and not of grace. – Sir Robert Borden. 29th December 1914
Obviously in his day it was the King and now it is the Queen, and her present representative described it this way:
Our executive is the Queen, who doesn’t live here. Her representative is the Governor General, who is an appointed buddy of the Prime Minister.
– Stephen Harper June 1997
In an address to the Council for National Policy (an American republican group) at which he also said:
“Canada is a Northern European welfare state in the worse sense of the term, and very proud of it”.
The History of the party system in Canada shows that the system only works for the country as a whole when the interests of the people are the same interests of the ruling party or the oposition parties. Our current government is a prime example of what can happen when those interests are diametrically opposite to each other.
So is there a solution?
Yes there are two that immediately c0me to mind.
One is the Single Transferable Vote used in some other countries and retained for instance in Ireland although the politicians there wish to get rid of it. This is relatively cumbersome and like all voting today, subject to the ability of certain interests to manipulate the outcome in the voting machines.
The other I find much more interesting.
Abolish all party politics.
Yes that’s right no parties at all.
No pre-ordained leader for whom to vote regardless of the quality of the local candidate.
No overall platform, just the constituents and their candidates who wish to represent them.
Now we are getting to the quality of the candidates and away from the lying ability of the leader of some party or another.
So you ask what then when the members are elected what happens?
All members of the House of Commons elect from their fellow members 15 members to head up the various cabinet posts. There are no party lines and no need for shadow ministers or critics as those ministers would be reporting directly to the House of Commons, not just blindly and obediently following the PM’s wishes.
Those 15 members select from the remaining members two person,
One as Speaker of the House, and
One as Speaker for Canada, that would be the Prime Minister although he or she would not have a ministry (no change there) but would represent Canada and her people to the world through the decisions of the ministers with the House of Commons members’ approval. Each event the prime minister attended would be with the minister responsible for that event. In the event of weddings, state funerals etc., he would be accompanied by the governor general. Another useless position? Maybe, but a certain level of pomp and ceremony is good.
In the event that a minister or even the “Prime Minister” lost the confidence of the House he could be replaced by a simple vote in the House.
This same system should and could also apply to all provinces, but with a smaller cabinet in the various legislatures.
If we are to return to the Canadian People having a say in the way our Government works then we must have the control to be able to stop the government when they want to do anything against our wishes.
Simple question…Whose country is it?
I think it belongs to the people – all the people not just a few.
To whom does it belong now?
Harper as PM, and his corporate buddies.
I welcome improvements to the idea.