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.
Contact us at democracyunderfire@gmail.com

Sunday, March 6, 2011

March 5 2009

That is the date of the first post here at Democracy Under Fire which means that I have now been posing articles and opinions about our Democracy weekly for two years now. The first article dealt with the “Public Consultations on Canada’s Democratic Institutions and Practices:” as commissioned by our “New” Conservative Government in January of 2007.
At the time when the 'consultations' were made the 'public' had a “sense that politicians are not to be trusted.” and that parties were “losing attention and respect from their potential clientele or members. They (were) generally perceived as non-accountable and perceived as neither good nor especially honest in communicating. Aspersions were cast on the quality, clarity, and ethical integrity of party platforms.”

One must wonder what such a survey would reveal now, particularly if it were to cover a broader range of 'consultations' than did the original. I suspect that the public opinion of politicians and political partys has diminished considerably since then, I know mine has. I started this project with a concern for where the governing party was leading us with regard to the respect of our democratic conventions and rules, and spent some time examining exactly how our parliamentary system works, or more correctly how it is supposed to work, (do take the time to browse a few of those early posts or check out some of the links in the side bar if you need some basic information in that regard).

I have learned much in the last two years, not the least of which is that most political party's have little respect for said rules and conventions and will use or ignore them depending upon whether that is advantageous to their particular situation. The other thing I have learned is that there are no immediate penalties for abusing our parliamentary system and even if after a lengthy process some ruling is made regarding some wrongdoing said rulings are largely ignored or circumvented (the Afghan document fiasco come to mind). The penalty a political party pays for wrongdoing is served up by the public at the next election but the information they need to make that judgment is hidden, spun, discounted and often forgotten by the time such an opportunity come around.

The third thing I have learned is that if one follows the political news from multiple sources on a regular basis, and like myself have a thing for open and honest discourse and playing by the 'rules', then it soon becomes very depressing. I cannot feel optimistic about the future of or Canadian Democracy, I started two years ago as “concerned” I now find my self in a position of close to despair in that regard. That one political party (with opposition partys looking on) over a period of just a few years can take our admittedly flawed parliamentary system from flawed to dysfunctional to bordering on a dictatorship without major outrage by the majority of Canadians shows what an uninformed and self-centered lot we all are.

The project was originally started with encouragement and input from a fellow blogger, unfortunately she soon fell under that cloud of depression that following federal politics seems to bring on and returned to the perhaps more important and certainly more rewarding tasks of raising family and becoming more self sufficient. How much longer I can continue to do this and retain my sanity remains to be seen, I must voice my admiration for the several bloggers that follow such thing on a daily basis. write far more articles than I and maintain a balanced and largely unbiased point of view.

This then is a bit of a cry for help, if you feel strongly about the subject of our democracy and democratic processes, if you like beating your head against a brick wall, if you can set aside for the most part your political views and concentrate upon the PROCESS rather than the ideology, if you want to share you views occasionally (or frequently) with the few readers that check out this blog each week then contact me. I need all the help I can get before that black cloud of democratic destruction totally envelops us all.
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