The Illegitimate Child of Elections

Elections must be Fair

Elections must be Fair

As public confidence declines representation becomes bastardized (lower in condition or worth).

Voter turnout has declined from 79% of registered voters in 1958/1962 to 61% in 2011 with only 25% of youth(under25) casting a ballot.

Couple the 61% voter turnout with the 40% of turnout required to form a majority government means that only 24% of the population at most is represented by the political party in control of the administration of government. Is this a true mandate? Do 24% of the people actually have the authority to enact their legislation over the other 76%?

In Canada, yes they do! That is the law. Is it right? No!

Is it democratically correct? That is the debate.

Regardless of the voting method used to elect the government, be it FPTP, STV, PR or any other, without voter confidence in who is elected, true representation is limited at best. Unless those in government represent the majority of the electorate, can it be called democracy? Has the government have legitimacy?

Parliamentary Reform and the House of Commons

there is a broader concern about an apparent long-term decline in public confidence in politicians and political institutions. This trend was most recently documented in a report from the Minister for Democratic Reform, released on 10 September 2007. Based on extensive public consultations, the report identifies mistrust of members of Parliament (MPs) and frustration with the operation of the House of Commons as widespread attitudes. Perhaps reflecting this trend, voter participation in federal elections has declined from the levels of 75% to 80% typical of the 1950s and 1960s, to 61.5% in the 2004 election, for example, and 64.7% in 2006. Moreover, political engagement by young Canadians has fallen to extremely low levels from a traditional 50% voter participation rate to around 25% in recent elections. These figures have led to concern about an impending legitimacy crisis relating to Parliament and politics.

Canada needs to regain trust in government. People need to trust their representatives. Our representatives, Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies, need to be accountable to those whom they represent.

Canada needs Make Your Member of Parliament Accountable, MYMPA.

Politics, the Bad Name in Government

Politics

Politics – it is not a game

Because they Get Away with It! And we let them.

Over the last several Government administrations, the Prime Minister’s Office, PMO, has been usurping many of the checks and balances within Canada’s Parliament to the point where there is a definite deficit to democracy itself. The huge bureaucracy subsequent Prime Ministers have added within their powers is exceedingly costly both in dollars and in lack of democratic procedures. This unfettered rule over Parliament has eroded the trust the people of Canada have in our elected institutions. Time after time politicians from all parties and stripes have railed against the exorbitant powers of the PMO but, through the years and several administrations no attempts to curtail the PMO have been introduced. For years all parties, Liberals, Conservatives, NDP and Greens, have with all vehement denunciation promised change but, for years none has come.

Within every party platform is almost identical suggestions of reform yet, the atrocity remains. Why? All political parties are mutually obcessed with the power and the ability to put forward their own brand of partisan policy. They are all under the delusion that they gain election points for promises of reform. Politicians, our elected MPs, are under the authority of their respected party and all realize that without the political capital within their party they are reduced to near nobodies and virtually unable to be re-elected. That is what democracy in Canada is up against. That is how low democracy in Canada has come.

Politics Serve Politicians, Not Canadians

…..And we’re aware that you want some kind of independent arbitrator for elections and democracy. But we are taking these actions because we believe that, despite all you say, you don’t care enough to take it out on us. We’ll get away with it and you’ll just move on.”

This is a slap in the face of every citizen in this country, but some people in power are banking on the hunch that we’ll just shrug and walk away. If they turn out to be right, then soldiers and electoral officers alike are going to start wondering what kind of democracy they were protecting anyway.

This government is banking on the reality that we don’t have the courage, the dedication for a long struggle, or even the will to raise our collective voice. These present actions might well put one of the last nails in the coffin of citizen engagement or will resurrect it. It all depends of whether we care enough for our defenders in the battlefields and the ballot boxes. If we don’t rise up, they lose and all that arrogance will have won the day.

Show Your Courage! Raise your collective voice!
Make Your Member of Parliament Responsible, MYMPA, can change politics in Canada.

Limit PMO Power

Limit Power of the Prime Minister's Office

Limit Power of the Prime Minister’s Office


Too much power in the Prime Minister’s Office
Nowhere in all the western world’s democracies has a Head of Government extracted so much power that he/she may overrule the elected assembly. No other democracy would concede the degree of control over the elected body such as been given the Prime Minister of Canada. Not in the USA, not in any European states nor Great Britain itself from which Canada inherited our Parliamentary system. This injustice has become so ingrained that a culture of corruption threads itself throughout the whole administration to where permissiveness has become a detrimental component of our political landscape.

The Prime Minister of Canada has almost dictatorial authority over Parliament from; choice of election candidates, to choice of cabinet, to size of cabinet, to Parliamentary schedules. The PM is able to compound non-related legislation, limit debate, appoint committees, appoint the Senate. At the Prime Ministers discretion he controls government advertising and the releasing government information -and the list can go on.

Over the last several Government administrations, the Prime Minister’s Office, PMO, has been usurping many of the checks and balances within Canada’s Parliament to the point where there is a definite deficit to democracy itself. The huge bureaucracy subsequent Prime Ministers have added within their powers is exceedingly costly both in dollars and in lack of democratic procedures. This unfettered rule over Parliament has eroded the trust the people of Canada have in our elected institutions. Time after time politicians from all parties and stripes have rallied against the exorbitant powers of the PMO but, through the years and several administrations no attempts to curtail the PMO have been introduced. For years all parties, Liberals, Conservatives, NDP and Greens, have with all vehement denunciation promised change but, in all those years no change has come.

When Parliamentarians won’t initiate the changes needed, then the voters must. Canada needs change.

Canada needs MYMPA

Bad Apple Syndrome

Political Party – the neighborhood gang!

Politics

Politics – it is not a game

Most all politicians in both Parliament or provincial Legislatures are well-meaning, honest, hardworking and conscientious individuals. Many have interrupted a far more profitable career to become involved in politics with the expectations of making a difference for the better. Why then, the mistrust, disbelief, doubt, suspicion, disenchantment, nonconfidence and skepticism by so many Canadians.

The Bad Apple Syndrome: “It is well-known that negative interactions have a bigger impact than positive ones, and that people tend to remember a person’s bad qualities more vividly than their good ones.” These observations were included in a recent Wall Street Journal Story entitled, “How a Few Bad Apples Ruin Everything.”

Is overall distrust the result of the “one bad apple”? Or collective bad apples? The public’s main access to politics is through the media. Whenever an issue in parliament or Legislature takes place the media at first covers the story with controversy. It is controversy that grabs the headlines. It is conflict that sells the news. It is the lie that becomes the story. The bad apple violates norms of equity, positive affect, and proper social functioning. The public very seldom have opportunity to see the work that is done away from the camera or reporter. Very few subscribe to politicians’ news letters.

Why have politicians allowed the adversarial aspect of politics win the day? Why do caring and considerate men and women band together to heckle and belittle a “rivals” message? Why do honest and reliable men and women cheer and pound their desks in response to a co-members pre-written party line? Which all to often is misleading and deceitful. Why is lying in Parliament allowed with little consequence. Why has bullying become the norm for the party in power?

It is very akin to the crowds children get mixed in with. Throw any group of kids together and they will always be reduced to the lowest common denominator, the bad apple factor or syndrome. Obviously there is no difference with adults, even the more learned ones.

What brings on the “Bad Apple” factor? The political party. That must maintain one voice, one message that stifles individual creativity and cooperative brainstorming resulting in serious implications for productivity. The same factor which limits the prospects of reaching the most honest, fair and appropriate legislation. All the while thousands are being turned off politics, turned off voting.

The “Bad Apples” gain the publicity wars therefore high levels of public skepticism may be here to stay. Democracy continues to suffer more and more. Only parliamentarians themselves can change the perception, but, they need the nudge. That is the reason for MYMPA. Become a member.

If parliamentarians won’t – the public must!