Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Let's begin to Change the rules. . . . .

It is ironic that the existence of the Harpercon government, with its secrecy, wild disregard for tradition and the law, and shocking lack of transparency, has made the basic problems of the Canadian political system obvious for all to see. I suppose that when you put someone in any job for which they either have little aptitude or for which they have ulterior (often semi-hidden) motives, their employment brings to the surface the administrative problems with that particular job. I once worked in a retail job where the manager was not only incompetent but was continually hiding from the owner much of what was going on. After the managers malfeasance was discovered the owners instituted a number of accountability processess which made the daily workings of the business much more clear.

We, as the owners of the Canadian political system, need to institute such measures to prevent another corrupt, anti-democratic, secret government like our present one from taking power. Here are some of the obvious and basic reforms we need to see.

- A whole host of accountability officers like the Auditor General and the Parliamentary Budget officer  who are appointed by consensus in the House and who have police-like powers to go directly into government offices and take the information they require. 

- Set rules in Parliament in place of those rules that now exist only by tradition. For example, the whole idea of prorogation needs to be eliminated and in place a set of legislative dates need to be established that cannot be changed.

-Legislative boundaries should not be determined by the government but by the consensus of board that is appointed by the whole House.

-All prospective legislation must be fully costed and those costs must be 100% publicly available.

-All proposed legislation must be announced IN THE HOUSE at predetermined times to eliminate the politics and spin of such announcements.

-Government reports must also be released at predetermined times for the same reason.

-The Prime Minister and his cabinet need to have regular press conferences in the presence of un-vetted  media, all of whose questions are not prescreened.

-The rules surrounding international conferences and bodies need to be clarified and the inclusion of opposition members must be included.

These are just a few small ideas which can begin the process of democratizing our system which has come increasingly under threat.

Unfortunately no party in the House is presently taking us these causes.


Anonymous said...

You forgot one important change: proportional representation.

kirbycairo said...

You are right, of course, Anonymous. I was thinking specifically about correcting the particular elements that the Harpercons have so egregiously abused, but forgot to mention the worst abuse of all - the fact that a party can rule like a dictatorship with only about a third of the voters.

thwap said...


Thanks for doing the important work of suggesting positive change.

I actually disagree with some of your suggestions, but the Etobicoke-Centre ruling and real-life work pressures have kept me from getting into a detailed discussion with you.

But I just want to let you know that many of your suggestions are good and that it's damned important to SUGGEST things rather than always critique.

kirbycairo said...

Thanks for the comment thwap . . I am always open to debate about such things. My notion of reform in such matters is always about finding ways to reduce the party political aspects of the process, and that is what I believe all of these suggested reforms do. But there are also other ways to achieve this end and I am sure many compromises are available.