A blog to give a voice to our concern about the continued erosion of our democratic processes not only within the House of Commons and within our electoral system but also throughout our society. Here you will find articles about the current problems within our parliamentary democracy, about actions both good and bad by our elected representatives, about possible solutions, opinions and debate about the state of democracy in Canada, and about our roles/responsibilities as democratic citizens. We invite your thoughtful and polite comments upon our posts and ask those who wish to post longer articles or share ideas on this subject to submit them for inclusion as a guest post.
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Sunday, December 26, 2010

What we did not get for Christmas.

Last year I simply asked for a functional and democratic parliament and said “I hung my xmas stocking out and would have loved to see it bulging with new cooperation, accountability, access to information and other nice surprises but I woke up to see just a partisan lump of coal in the toe. Maybe next year….”

No such luck, so I went back to my 2008s wish list hoping to see a more encouraging return on my list, that year I asked for much more but it seems over the intervening two years NON of these things have come to pass. The list remains unchanged and just as badly needed now as then so ever an optimist (although it becoming more difficult to remain so each year) I will repeat my wishes this year with little real hope of getting any of it..

I want ALL our MPs to put Country before self and Party.
I want consensus not confrontation to be the norm in the HoC.
I want truth not spin and propaganda from our leaders.
I want our scientists, bureaucrats and commissions free to speak their minds.
I want a strong and independent Senate to maintain those checks and balances upon our legislators.
I want a functioning parliament for more than just 93 days a year. (we did do a little better this year)
I want parliamentary rules strengthened, codified and followed. (and got the opposite)
I want penalties for MPs and Leaders who attack or abuse our democratic systems.
I want less “votes of confidence” and more “free” votes in the HoC.
I want our electoral system to be reviewed and made more representational.
I want party policy to have more effect on voters than party disinformation.
I want alternative partys to have a fair chance of being heard and elected.
I want the notion of minority or coalition governments being a bad thing removed.
I want independent “made in Canada” rules for our Health, Drug and Food systems to remain just that..
I want less integration and regulation “consolidation” with the U.S. not more. (again we are getting to opposite)
I want “the man of steel” Kevin Page and the Parliamentary Budget office to be able to continue their work without interference. (I am surprised and pleased that he continues his work despite the difficulties his department faces in getting information and funding, although I understand he will not be renewing his 'contract'.)
I want the Auditor General to be able to publish her reports at any time, not just when parliament is sitting. (She also continues to do a sterling job of revealing the waste and misuse of government resources)
I want Canada to retain or regain control of our natural resources and our major manufacturing and financial systems.
I want that “open and accountable” government that I was promised last year. (That was really wishful thinking wasn't it?)
I want public servants, federal, provincial and municipal employees to realize that the taxpayers pockets are all but empty and reduce their demands for “more”. (Its been pretty quiet on that front but I suspect as the spending restrictions take hold in 2011 we will hear more on this one)

Is that asking too much? At this point I would settle for a glimmer of hope that some of these things are even being considered but I suspect that all of us will go away again this year with a promise of sweets but land up with something that leaves a bad taste in our mouth!
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