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

Games – Political Games

Politics

Politics – it is not a game

and the winner is ……?
Fair Elections is the main discussion in politics this year. The election in 2015, although most likely over a year away at the time of writing this piece, underlies almost every conversation, legislation and procedure in Parliament with all political parties trying to gain one-upmanship upon the other. The newly introduced Fair Elections Act does near nothing to promote “Fairer Elections”. Many might argue that the bill sets democracy back.

and the loser is: the People of Canada? Once Again!

Regardless of the spin politicians spew out over the media, that is all it is, political spin, meant to be impressive but, in service to the public, – nothing – nada – zip.

A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT IS ACCOUNTABLE TO HIS OR HER CONSTITUENTS NOT TO PARTY LEADERSHIP
Brent Rathgeber, December 19, 2013

The seat does not belong to the Party and the Member of Parliament is not the equivalent of a delegate to the US Electoral College (though the parties would like to make them so).

Members of Parliament, Voters, and Democracy in the Canadian House of Commons Dr. Bill Cross (pdf)

If general elections do not provide an opportunity for voters to pass judgment on the views and performance of their MP (and her opponents), then there is little guarantee that members will use any increased power they may garner in the House of Commons to reflect the views of their constituents. Similarly, a party’s leadership is unlikely to cede authority to back bench members who lack a policy mandate from their constituents. The real dilemma then is not the role of the MP in the House of Commons, though this is certainly part of it, but rather the lack of opportunity for voters to first empower and then pass judgment on the job done by their MP. One way to rectify this problem is through reform of our electoral and parliamentary systems to allow voters to cast different votes for their preferred representative and preferred government.

When candidates are chosen by the party leadership and not local voters, it is impossible to argue that they have any mandate from their local voters separate from the party leadership. Similarly, when the governing party ensures the easy renomination of its incumbents, it provides little incentive for them to vigorously defend their constituents’ interests in their House of Commons’ work. Their renomination is automatic and their general election chances lie almost completely with voters’ views of their party’s performance and not with an evaluation of the job of the individual MP.

Constituency Parliaments: Connecting MPs to the constituency Samara

Latest suggestion for Redesigning Parliament to make it more relevant to Canadians: create a citizen-engaging deliberative body to advise and direct individual MPs. Vaughan Lyon, Professor Emeritus at Trent University outlines his idea for Constituency Parliaments to formalize the connection between MP and constituents, allow the MP to be truly representative and reduce the power of the party.

We can do just that, a Contract between Members of Parliament and their constituency

Voter Trust

Politics, the bad name in Government

Politics

Politics – it is not a game

“Confidence in political institutions is crucial for the stability of societies and for the functioning of democracy. It also shapes people’s willingness to cooperate in achieving collective goals and financing public goods.” Conference Board of Canada. “Only 17 per cent of Canadians trust Parliament and only 10 per cent trust political parties.”Vanderbilt Survey

Trust is the critical element in relationships be they private or public. Without trust, little can be accomplished, and what is accomplished rests in skepticism and suspicion. Canadians need to trust those we grant authority to watch over our safety, our health, our education, our prosperity, our futures.

Merriam-Webster defines Trust: “belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc. An assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”

Antonyms: disbelief, incredulity, unbelief; distrustfulness, doubt, dubiety, dubiousness, incertitude, misdoubt, misgiving, mistrustfulness, nonconfidence, skepticism, suspicion, uncertainness, uncertainty; disenchantment, disillusion, disillusionment

The definition of trust lists many ways to describe the relationship between voter and politician. Public and parliament. Citizen and representative. Governed and Government. Somewhere within those definitions lay most Canadians’ opinions. The biggest problem is all too many have turned to, “I just don’t care anymore.” “What’s the use?” Too many, especially younger Canadians, cannot see the point of becoming involved even to the point of, “why bother to vote, it does not make a difference”.

Canadians pride themselves on being independent, industrious, ambitious, yet caring, considerate and forgiving. Yet, for the largest portion of the population, we see ourselves constantly battling roadblocks. Our safety is becoming compromised. Our health is getting more expensive to maintain each passing year. Education costs are skyrocketing and our prosperity, our employment is less and less secure with each economic variable and hence our retirement outlooks become bleaker. This may not always be the reality but, it is the overall perception especially when costs rise faster then incomes. Very few appreciably notice any positive effect of any given piece of legislation, yet, negative effects happen dramatically fast.

MYMPA is searching for ways to develope voter trust and increase voter turnout. Any ideas? Submit your “Ways and Means”. Canadians need to work together to promote a more enthused and confidant electorate.

MYMPA wants to give Canadians something to vote for.