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.

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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.