Thursday, September 24, 2009

Our Democracy Isn't Broken

I just finished watching the CPAC debate from last night on what to do about our "broken democracy" from last night. The entire premise is absurd. Canadian democracy functions ridiculously well, if not too well. The problem is Canada is a fairly diverse political landscape with fairly disparate views. When you get a Conservative leader from Alberta who would rank as one of the most conservative political leaders in the world and an NDP leader who would fit in with the most left-wing social democratic parties in the world, you may have a problem getting agreement between the two. When you throw in a politically inert separatist party that reliably receives 9-11% of the vote, regardless of how you count the votes, the problem becomes even worse. This is not an uncommon phenomenon. If you look around the world, countries with wide political spectra (Israel, Italy etc.) and countries with large established separatist movements (Belgium), have a hard time finding stable government. That's not a reflection of broken democracy, it's a function of a country with big disagreements. If you took a random person from each of the 308 ridings and put them in parliament, they wouldn't have any luck forming a stable government either.


Brian said...

A broken democracy is when 36% of voters can control the lives of the other 64%. Canadian democracy is certainly in desperate need of repair.

WesternGrit said...

"Broken", but able to work together. The key difference between us and tin-pot dictatorships... Many parties and ideas are good - they bring diversity and excitement to Parliament...

BTW: 64% of Canadians don't have to be afraid of Harper and cower in the bushes... They can simply start to understand how the Parliamentary system works, and choose to form government themselves... Of course liars like Harper have spent millions in advertising to scare Canadians into thinking a coalition government (of the types seen in India - the world's largest, and VERY functional democracy, much of Continental Europe, and places like Israel) is somehow "illegal".

Harper has done more to destabilize Canada, and Canadians own opinions of our system than any fifth columnist or anti-Canada party has ever done before...

Anonymous said...

"..Conservative leader from.."

Please take him back.

CanadianSense said...

EAP the CPC right wing attack?

Harper is to blame for the longest minority parliament?

Pearson to blame?

In both cases a small number of francophone voters did not allow a majority. Check the seat breakdown.

In the next census and seat realignment 30-40 seats will be added.

A majority without QC will be achievable.

The 37% majority, Liberal Ontario 99/100 benefitted from two parties splitting the right of centre vote.

lr said...

why can't this right wing PM get a CONSERVATIVE seat in Canada's 3 largest cities!?!?

thank god Canada isn't just rural. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Canada's democracy is unfortunately very broken.
We have an extremely antiquated electoral system, FPTP, which doesn't even need anything remotely resembling a majority of votes to have a majority of seats. This leads to the Bloc being able to have ridiculous power in the House, while the Green Party receives basically the same amount of votes and has no seats. This also helps our terribly regionalized democracy grow worse, as politicians pander to the part of the country they know they'll get the most votes out of.
An unelected senate, a generally apathetic public, a PM who prorogues when things get messy.
Our current system gives politicians rooms to play their little games and basically waste our time.
An apathetic public, as mentioned earlier, is probably the worst. Bolstered by their lack of understanding of their current political system. All the government needs to do is lie to the public, as Harper did in calling the coalition unconstitutional, and then they'll be up in arms. Coalitions are how a good portion of governments work, it is the only way to get the job done sometimes, especially when the amount of seats is proportionate to the amount of votes, thus making majorities harder.
I could go on and on, but I think I got my point across.

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