Having elected members held accountable is of utmost importance for fair democracy.
Although it may take ammending the Constitution there is an alternative to recall that is worth considering and could make a lot of sense in keeping Members of Parliament more accountable to their constituents.
At present, the maximum term of an MP is 5 years and elections are generally called by the Governor General at the discretion of the Prime Minister. The result of most elections is that a significant number of novice MPs are elected. This number greatly increases with the turnover of the reins of power from one party to another.
The suggestion is that a fixed date for Federal elections be established and be conducted each year in those constituencies where required.
Members of Parliament elected for the 1st time would be subject to a maximum 3 year term and then be required to rerun for election. Two years may not be adequate time for a rookie MP to even learn the job sufficiently for proper evaluation. Three years being more adequate time for evaluating the representative’s performance, five years possibly too long. A Member’s 2nd term would be 4 years and subsequent terms after would be 5 years, full term, maximum.
The advantages of this electoral term system are many fold.
- An average 25% of the Members of Parliament would be vying for election in any given year.
- There would be a much gentler and gradual transition from one government to the next.
- Most campaigns would be fought on the local level rather than national.
- The political parties would hold less influence over the campaigns.
- Elections Canada would have more over-site with fewer ridings to watch over at any given election cycle.
- Campaigns would focus on the candidates rather than the political party and party leaders.