16 September 2008

System cause of Parliamentary "dysfunction"

Rarely do I reproduce so much of an article as follows, partly because of copyright concerns (it's duly linked) but largely because I don't like blogs which do that, and worse, offer no commentary of their own.

However, this editorial, which appears today in the Brantford Expositor, needs nothing more.
Stephen Harper is right when he complains of a dysfunctional parliament constantly on the brink of going to the polls and unable to focus on long-term goals.

The Green Party has the support of about five per cent of the voters but no elected member of parliament. The Bloc Quebecois are there to dissolve Canada. The Independents enjoy unprecedented and undeserved influence.

The NDP are swift to use blackmail and the two main parties see their roles as lippy prizefighters rather than politicians.

All members put their party before their country. The cabinets are full of strutting idiots.

Debates are reduced to empty chambers, except, when the cameras are rolling, to inanities, one-liners, and name-calling.

Members vote according to party orders, not from personal and considered judgment. The PM's office governs the country.

It is this old system which is dysfunctional and most of the world's democracies have moved on to better systems.

Only three countries still retain this "first past the post" system, which ensures that "winner take all" and "loser lose all" -- not a savvy system when placing bets and no way to run a country...

For information on electoral reform, proportional representation and what action you can take, contact FairVote Canada.

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