2011-04-29 Does Canada treasure its parliamentary democracy? #Elxn41 #wlcan #Cdnpoli

Canada is currently ranked eighth or ninth in the world among organizations which claim to measure the state of democracy. The parliamentary democracy practiced in Canada is something that the citizens of many dictatorships are trying to implement. The current government of Canada has been accused several times of holding lightly the democratic principles Canada is governed by, and last month the current government was actually found in contempt of parliament, the first time this has occurred in the history of the Commonwealth. That same current government is projected to win either a minority or majority government on Monday, prompting constitutional expert Peter Russell to ask below, "Does Canada treasure its parliamentary democracy?"

As the world's fourth oldest parliamentary democracy, Russell would like Canadians to be aware of the basic principles of democracy at stake in this election. He describes parliament as being set up so that the monarch was required to disclose their spending and finds the prospect of electing a prime minister found in contempt of parliament for not revealing his spending to be a far bigger issue than 'partisan bickering'.

Mr. Russel is no doubt correct.

I also fear a Conservative majority. But, he should realize that the contempt charge should not be limited to Conservatives. We need to change the entire system so that whoever is elected leader has just enough power to manage the day to day functioning of the country. But, not so much that the governing party feels immune from the laws of the country.

Leadership of a Democracy is a 'Job', not an appointment from God, or a blank cheque from the voters, to follow whatever agenda the ruling party chooses. It is time the people took back Democracy.

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