Friday, January 24, 2014

Canada’s idea of democracy is a joke

Canada has the worst implementation of democracy among all developed countries. To see how this is the case one must examine our most prominent political institutions: head of state, voting system and senate.

Head of State

Canada’s head of state is the monarch of England. This is clearly absurd given Canada is not British. We are a bilingual and multicultural country.

Monarchy is a barbarous relic. Getting stuck with some other country’s relic is all the more ridiculous.

What’s worse is that all head-of-state powers — when elections are called, when Parliament prorogues, etc. — default to the indirectly-elected prime minister who almost always represents a minority of voters.

Voting System

Canada is still stuck with a primitive 19th-century voting system most developed countries abandoned a century ago — First-Past-the-Post.

Almost all developed countries implement the literal interpretation of democracy: i.e., government represents an actual majority of voters. In Canada (and the UK) we do the opposite. We dole out unfettered power to minority parties, ignoring the will of the vast majority.

What’s worse is that all the power the leading minority party gets usually ends up in the hands of its leader, the prime minister.

Senate

Since the prime minister is the de facto head of state, he or she also appoints members to our “upper house,” the senate. Since Confederation, prime ministers have regularly stacked the senate with morally-bankrupt partisan crony appointments until it reaches a majority in their party’s favor. Then the party has absolute power with no checks or balances.

All other developed countries that have senates elect their senators. The Canadian senate is, by far, the most corrupt political institution in the developed world.

Add it up

If we were to compare our system to America’s, the indirectly-elected prime minister — representing a minority of voters, no less — would be president, House majority leader and Senate majority leader, all rolled into one. Or what Harper might call a “benign dictator.”

Clearly Canada suffers from a case of arrested development. We are still a 19th-century aristocracy. Our entire democratic process is nothing more than a farce.

Activism

Say your activism is successful and you help convince the vast majority of Canadians that, for example, Stephen Harper is a terrible leader with a corrupt agenda. What is the end result? He is awarded absolute power!

Activism in Canada is the equivalent of banging your head against a wall in an insane asylum.

Since activists can only influence democratic government, we will have to first bring democracy to Canada before the government will seriously listen to what its people have to say. Until that happens, activists are only fooling themselves that they are getting anything accomplished.

1 comment:

  1. It won't happen, not in my or your or anyone's lifetime. People have been conditioned to believe that we, the Canadian electorate, are way dumber than the electorate of any other country except the U.K. of course (even they allow coalitions!), and nobody seems to be able to shake this ardent belief out of anyone's brain-washed head. Maybe revolution would do it... Pitchforks and torches!

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