Friday, January 22, 2010

Stephen Harper May Have Given Democracy it's Death Blow But we Put it on Life Support

Democracy in Canada may have died on December 30, 2009; but we put it in a position of being an easy victim.

We have not held our politicians to account. We have allowed them to get away with things we should never have allowed them to get away with.

Well tested rhetoric has replaced sound governance. The media measures party leaders by how well they can control their caucus.

This is democracy?

Stephen Harper first came to power on a promise of accountability, but he is the most secretive controlling, unaccountable prime minister we've ever had.

They say you have to hit bottom before you can bounce back. Well we've hit bottom.

I came across an editorial from James Travers, published in the Toronto Star last April; that's well worth revisiting. Our system is broken, but we are the only ones who can fix it.

The quiet unravelling of Canadian democracy
Muzzled MPs. A powerless cabinet. Politicized senior bureaucrats. Unaccountable parties. Canada's democracy is in trouble. To fix it we have to connect the dots
By James Travers National Affairs Columnist
April 4, 2009

OTTAWA–For a foreign correspondent reporting some of the world's grimmest stories, Canada in the '80s was more than a faraway home. Seen from the flattering distance of Africa, this country was a model democracy.

Reflected in its distant mirror was everything wrong with what was then called the Third World. From Cape to Cairo, power was in the hands of Big Men. Police and army held control. Institutions were empty shells. Corruption was as accepted as the steeped-in-pessimism proposition that it's a duty to clan as well as to family to grab whatever has value before the state inevitably returns to dust.

By contrast and comparison, Canada was a cold but shimmering Camelot. Ballots, not bullets, changed governments. Men and women in uniform were discreet servants of the state. Institutions were structurally sound. Corruption, a part of politics everywhere, was firmly enough in check that scandals were aberrations demanding public scrutiny and sometimes even justice ....

1 comment:

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