The series makes a compelling case. Part 1 looks at MPs expenses and the lack of transparency surrounding them. Only 4 MPs were willing to share their expense claims with the Toronto Star. $128 million was spent in the last fiscal year by MPs, yet Canadians will never know what most of it was spent on. Read more »
Jim Travers has an article in today's Toronto Star arguing that Canadian government cannot respond to the challenges of our time because Members of Parliament and civil servants lack space to do their jobs well. As a result, we've had no significant debate over the government's response to the economic crisis and no accountability on government spending.
"Such pressing matters, such big-ticket items, were once the business of the House of Commons. A brightest-and-best bureaucracy provided policy options and parliamentarians knew enough about the problem's component parts – as well as the solution's costs – to offer a reasoned opinion on the decision reached by cabinet and a first-among-equals prime minister." Read more »
“Question period isn’t the root of what ails our politics. But it is most certainly the hub, the swamp, the KICK ME HERE sign where everything we hate about our politics converges every day. The half-truths, the confected fury, the mayfly attention span, the ritual humiliation of the thoughtful or eccentric. And above all, the waste: of time, energy, hope.” Read more »
Following the coalition agreement in November and the abrupt prorogation of the House of Commons at the request of the Governor-General, many Canadians discovered our knowledge of our own political system is appallingly lacking. People were confused about what was happening, unsure of what should happen, and sometimes, quite convinced that our system operates in another way altogether! Read more »
By Mariel Angus | Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 - 8:54AM
The B.C. provincial election was held yesterday, and the outcome saw the Liberal party re-elected with a majority for the third time in a row. However, unfortunately, the referendum on STV did not pass. Read more »
John Ivison is the latest columnist to weigh in on the state of Canadian democracy with a column in today’s National Post. Ivison laments the reality that there has often been inanity and insults in politics, so in that sense what is happening is not surprising. Yet, even so, he argues, things are particularly bad now.
“The real problem is a healthy disregard for Parliament that seems to trickle down from the very top of government,” he concludes. Ivison looks at a number of issues and incidents, including the lack of respect in Question Period, the increasing failure of the government to respond to the will of the House, and committees whose work is undermined by partisan considerations. Read more »
On May 12, BC voters have the option of choosing a new electoral system: Single Transferable Vote. STV is a more proportional system that respects voter preferences while also providing local representation. CPJ encourages our BC members and supporters to vote in favour of STV. CPJ’s interest in electoral reform grows out of our strong belief in justly accommodating diversity and respecting the reality of pluralism. Our legislatures should reflect the true diversity of opinion found in the country. Read more »
CPJ has long advocated for electoral reform, engaging with the electoral system and its implications for politics from the very beginning of its work. CPJ believes that introducing proportional representation to our electoral system would make it fairer for the representation of views, respecting the reality of pluralism. Read more »