Thoughts on Political Reform in Canada…

Posted: December 15, 2012 by Ty in Current Events, Musings
Tags: , , , , , , ,

English: Pic for WikiProject Political parties...

English: Pic for WikiProject Political parties and politicians in Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Is our system corrupt? I would say no, but to appease some I know, we are not as corrupt as some nations. Yet out system still tends to lend itself to pork barrel politicking, patronage appointing, platinum handshakes, and she/he that can raise the most capital should win…

So what to do? (and note all these may involve re-opening the Constitution Act 1982, which can be tedious, but if done, we can then insert the Social Rights Charter so there is a win-win).

1) When it comes to hiring heads of government boards/agencies, what about a servant model where a hiring/search committee is struck using a representative from each level of the organization.

2) Abolish Party Leaders, I know heart palpitations, yes there can be a leader, but the idea being that the leader/president/chair of the party is not necessarily the one who becomes PM (for provinces/territories read Premier), once all the MP’s (for province’s territories read the local equivalent) are elected in the House of Commons, the party that forms the Government, their caucus elects the PM from a short list submitted by the opposition parties, and then the leader of “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition” is chosen from all opposition MP’s by a short list provided by the Government caucus. This provides a fostering of cooperation, but at the same time empowers the independent candidate in the campaign because they quite frankly could wind up in a key position. The role of deputy PM (again provincisal equivalent as well) is chosen much like the speaker, by ballot of all members of who would be the best regardless of partisanship.

3) Governor General/Lieutenant Governor still remains an appointment, yet online polls/phone polls (Empower Elections Canada/provincial levels to conduct this) are used by each party to create a short list of 3, these names are then put forward to elected members, where the 3 come into share their vision, and understanding of the role, then there is a vote.

4) The Senate…quite a temperamental hot seat. Yes it can just be abolished, but that is not a healthy solution for parliament does need a check, right now it is hard to show this to the public because they are appointees so the government in power  could stack the deck for the next in coming government, which just creates partisanship which isn’t healthy for this chamber. It could go elected, but we just need to look South of the Border for the canundrum that can create. Yet there is an elephant in the room. We have the atrocity of the Indian Act (which really needs to be abolished and replaced with the Kelowna Accord at the very least), we have colonized and desecrated a people. We make a show of reconciliation and apologies, but stop short of full inclusion to bring the nations together much like we have done with Quebec and the rest of Canada. What if, we removed the senate as now, and empowered the Indiginous/Metis/Inuit Canadians that there locally elected chiefs are the make up of the senate, with a proper budget to cast committees made up of the most prominent experts in Canada to define the needs of Canadians and how to do it. That they are also empowered as the second vote before Crown ascent to bills, so the bills must take into account all Canadians and care for our lands and people?

5) Electoral reform, there are many systems out there. The hardest thing though is getting the electorate out to multiple ballots. I propose a simple ranked ballot where the elector must make a 1/2 choice, this forces the voter to seek out information on candidates and parties outside of their own purvey (a fun thing would say that the indivdiual must campaign without their party colours or label, but that may be pushing it).

6) What about the 60% less of the vote? Simple, we need to have 80% of eligible voters vote in any election/byelection, amend the Elections Act that if this number is not reached in any riding then that riding’s seat is vacant. For the voters that did not exercise their Franchise a $300 fine is issued.

7) To quell it being a money machine: we have a public broadcaster, it is time to use it to educate the public (these rules hold for Civic, School Board, Provincial and Federal).

  • The CBC needs to become the election hub.
  • $8000 cap on local campaign spending
  • No buying of television ads (each candidate will be given 15 second spot to be used by that candidate and aired in their area on the CBC during the campaign, and posted to the CBC website).
  • 2 debates ran and recorded by the CBC for their radio/television for each riding, the challenge is simple, if you do not make the debates barring unforseen circumstances (death of close family/hospitalization) your name will not appear on the ballot on election day. One debate held in the first week of the campaign, the second in the 3rd week. The recordings put up on the CBC website so that any media source or voter can find what their candidate stands for.
  • Outlawing of Lawn signs, the candidate must campaign using more environmentally friendly methods ala bus signage, billboards, door knocking, vehicles with signage, however they wish to spend their $8000 maximum.
  • NO CORPORATE or UNION DONATIONS.
  • You can only donate to your local candidates
  • An individual’s donation cannot exceed $350
  • If the individual is not eligible to vote in the local contest they can not donate.

8) Fixed Election dates:

  • For every Canadian Election (Civic, School Board, Provincial, Federal)
  • All E-Days are to be on, May 15 or the closest Monday to the date.
  • One day the voter needs to turn up and be handed their ballots.

9) School Boards:

Simply put, abolish them as elected. Combine all schools receiving public monies under One public school board for the province or territory. Allow freedom that if population in an area warrants it (by petition of the parents stating they would send their children) that a charter school can be granted on religious, or other cultural grounds and be publically supported. But let’s be honest, religious educations should happen in the home, and within the religious communities so I would hope this caveat could be eliminated.

For proper efficiency to the school system (which yes I know this should be another post, but with electoral reform it just flowed) all private schools should be banned and brought under the public fold to allow for most maximization of resources.

This is just a quick thought list off the top of my head, some things I have worked within other parties on, but it is a unique thing to contemplate what could be a good system for us now.

What are your thoughts? Any articles you would like to share for the readers of this site? Feel free.

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