Measuring democracy in any country is like measuring the depth of a fast-moving stream with a wood ruler. In a country where few know democracy, is there a measure? In Canada, we think we know democracy and we seldom measure it. It is time we started questioning our democracy.
Ask yourself, why in a democracy should federal power be so concentrated in the office of the prime minister? Why is the upper house of parliament, the Senate of Canada, such a sad joke? Ask why powers, given to the provinces in confederation, are the appropriate powers for today?
And measured against the exigencies of the covid-19 pandemic, would a better structured system of government have benefitted Canadians?
Since the time of the present prime minister’s father, Canadians have been increasingly concerned about the power with which we anoint the prime minister of the time. Even in the Roman Republic, they always elected two consuls to rule and they answered to each other and the patrician senate. No consul could say to the news media of the day: “Just watch me.”
Why did the politician writers of the Canadian Constitution ensure that only land-owners could serve in the senate? We have now made sure that senate and other appointments are elitist selections—selected by elitist committees—and appointed by an elitist prime minister. No riffraff allowed.
Why is it that political party leaders are given the power to determine who may or may not run as a candidate for the leader’s party? If a political party cannot practice democratic principles, how can it be entrusted to run a democratic country?
Democracy is rule by the people and for the people. And Canada is supposed to be a constitutional monarchy with a faux monarch in the form of a governor general. It has a constitution controlled by its parts, being provinces, that are all different sizes and populations.
This is supposed to be a democracy. Canadians should question that.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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