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, April 12, 2020

Virtual Parliament?

The current situation has brought many questions to mind for us all with the majority connected with our governance in one form or another be it provincial heath departments or national financial supports. Yesterday a small group of federal MPs gathered in Ottawa to pass some necessary measures to support Canadians at this difficult time as many of us, and I presume most MPs, looked on via electronic media of one sort or another. Some discussion has taken place both here and elsewhere as to whether a 'virtual' Parliament can be set up to minimize the direct contact between between not only them but the necessary support staff to hold a parliamentary session.

It seems to me that with modern communication methods available that there are few road blocks to such arrangements not only during these difficult times but in the future. Many businesses and individuals communicate world wide without leaving their armchairs why cannot our provincial and more importantly our national governments make more use of this option. The public portions of their discussions are already broadcast and available on line in one form or another so why cannot their input be also done via electronic communication methods with the two individuals who 'have the floor' and the Speaker being shown in a video feed in addition to those who are actually in a position to attend in person.

Sure there would be some logistical challenges in setting up a way to 'recognize' who has the floor but as I understand it those that rise to speak during question period and other publicly available discussions are by enlarge pre-selected by the party hierarchy so switching quickly between several hundred feeds would not be necessary. I find it hard to believe that many, if not most, MPs do not use both email and video conferencing extensively for their day to day operations particularly those who are far from the central power base in Ottawa.

Perhaps the extensive House renovations to accommodate more elected representatives is not really needed? Something to think about as our world undergoes a substantial shakeup and reevaluation.

Further to this sort of idea see what is now being done by the current caucus.... 

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