Democratic Reform

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Will MPs Empower Themselves and Restrict Their Powers?

A committee of MPs is considering important and unprecedented changes that will either restrict the power of federal party leaders and empower MPs to represent voters, or not, and will also either make MPs much more accountable for their conduct, or not. What the committee decides will reveal a lot about the state of democracy in Canada.
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Ranked Ballots Would Make Voting for the Lesser Evil Much Easier

Now more than ever we need to acknowledge that an election choice is more subtle than any winner-take-all contest can ever capture. Voters are forced to choose the lesser of all evils and vote strategically about who they want as well as keep in mind who they are afraid might win. Why not let the voters rank the evils directly and stop worrying? It would be more honest. Government and democracy are about more than just finding efficiencies, lowering taxes or even getting people moving. Informed and responsible citizens of a democracy need to work to make the system better.

Fair Elections Act Is the Change Canadians Have Been Waiting For

On Tuesday the Conservative government introduced the Fair Elections Act, a comprehensive list of reforms aimed at modernizing Elections Canada and Canada's whole electoral system. Bill C-23 was introduced by Minister of State for Democratic Reform Pierre Poilievre and proposes to implement a number of recommendations made by the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO).
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How to Beat Stephen Harper's Cynical Election Playbook

We face two critical challenges in Canadian national politics today. First, how do we restore genuine democracy and persuade the 40 per cent of Canadians who sat out the vote in 2011 to vote again? The second challenge relates to the first: How do we convince those same Canadians to vote for the strong, active federal government we need to build a productive, innovative economy that fairly benefits all Canadians?
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We Don't Need a Reform Bill That Only Shifts Power From One Clique to Another

A motion to be introduced by Tory backbench MP Michael Chong proposes giving the inner elite of Canada's political parties the power to overturn the public's clearly expressed preference for who should be PM. Under the terms of his redundantly-named Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Parliament of Canada Act, if, at any moment, just over 50 per cent of the MPs of the prime minister's party vote to turf a democratically-elected PM, out he goes. Though the bill wouldn't take effect until after the next federal election, 50 per cent-plus-one of all current Conservative MPs is just 81 people.
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Bring the People of Canada Into the Constitutional Reform Process

Constitutional reform is entirely legitimate in the life of a vibrant democracy. The Canadian Senate either needs serious reform or it should be abolished, and this requires changes to our Constitution. In refusing to engage the people in constitutional reform, our leaders forget that the Constitution belongs to the people of Canada, not to the federal and provincial governments.
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Media Bites: Will Electoral Reform Ever Be Sexy?

And now, like the nation of bored teenage babysitters we are, it's time to check in on the Liberal leadership race -- if only to make sure no one's swallowed the scissors. At the National Post, Andrew Coyne also thinks there's much Liberal hay to be made with an aggressively pro-democratic agenda. But in his world, this involves championing the mummified issue that no one ever gets tired of hearing about -- electoral reform.