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.

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Ottawa, We Have a Problem!

Parliament must be Fair

Parliament must be Democratic

Reform Never Happens

The Fair Elections Act proves one basic truth of Parliament. All attempts to improve or reform the House, the Senate or elections, only leads to making matters worse. When interviewed, Parliamentarians will spiel off a litany of wrongs along with ways to amend procedures. In 2003, the Library of Parliament conducted a survey of MPs called, “The Parliament We Want“. In over 12 years since not a single recommendation has seen the light of legislation. Why? Political Parties do not want change. Political Parties and their Politics have such a hold over Parliament, The House of Commons, the Senate and Elections, that Members of Parliament are not permitted to speak to the concerns of their constituents. And that is not democratic – that is a problem!

Reform was the reason the Conservatives were elected, what happened? All their motions either died on the floor or like the Fair Elections Act is no reform at all. The Liberals and NDP had near 6 years of minority government prior to 2011, what reforms did they propose? Nil, Nada, Nothing! NDP say they endorse Proportional Representation. Why then have they never brought the matter before the House? The Liberals, after 2011 election made a lot of noise over PR, now that they may form the government in 2015, Justin Trudeau has abandoned the notion.

We, the Canadian electorate, may have only one shot at bringing about reform to Parliament and elections and it won’t come via any particular party. Canada needs a contract between Members of Parliament and their Constituency. As of now, Candidates for election are under contract to their riding associations, hence, to the party. They are required to do the party bidding. We need to change that. MPs must be accountable to their constituents first, not the party.

 

Parliament Must Reform!

Time For Reform Both House and SenateImage

This year could well be our last chance to introduce change in Parliament before the next federal election expected in 2015. Change must come from the grassroots because the truth is, Parliamentarians and political parties flatly outright refuse to bring about reform. They will talk about change, express their wish for change but, when it comes to acting on change, Nothing – Nada – Zip!

Last year, 2013, Samara Canada introduced their paper:
50 Ways to Redesign Parliament Read the full report here

Samara shines light on Canadian democracy and encourages Canadians’ participation in public life. We know there’s something wrong with our politics and we know people are opting out in growing numbers. So what can we do about it?

Amplify Citizens’ Voices
Decentralize power, refocus on citizens
Connect MPs to the constituency
Redesign Parliament to make it relevant to Canadians.

In 2003, The Parliamentary Library released their report entitled: The Parliament Canada Wants (pdf).
The following is an excerpt from the Preface:

Our country deserves a Parliament geared to the 21st century.  Canada and Canadians have changed dramatically over the course of the last century and a half.  By comparison, our parliamentary institutions have not kept up with the pace of change.  Today, Canadians rightly expect a democracy founded on the needs of the times, and the message has been received loud and clear.  Every political party represented in Parliament has, in one way or another, expressed its support for democratic renewal and parliamentary reform.

Citizens expect a greater voice and inclusion in public deliberation than is currently the case. Citizens want public engagement to be representative, informed and reflective.

Conclusion:
Our message, based on our consultations, is this.  In weighing the many options we have before us, and in making decisions on the future role of Parliamentarians, we should keep in mind that the reforms should aim to:

lead to more meaningful work;
look to the future, not the past;
enhance Parliament’s oversight of government activity;
enhance Parliament’s contribution to policy debates;
strike a balance between the adversarial and the consensual aspects of our democratic system;
focus on committees as an immediate priority;
make Parliamentarians knowledge-brokers; and
strike a new bargain between Parliament and the public service.
That is, in short, the Parliament we want.  Parliamentarians ask, and Canadians deserve, nothing less.

Why has nothing changed, nothing improved? 12 years and Parliament has digressed.

Time for the electorate to take the initiative.

Time for a Member of Parliament Contract with Canada

Time to get involved in your Constituency