For many years there has been an erosion of the powers of our elected members of Parliament, and an increase in the power of the Prime Minister. Currently, Stephen Harper is undertaking an outright assault on the entire institution of Parliament. There is no longer a place for parliamentary or citizen oversight, all power is now in the Prime Minister’s office. Research, expert advice, and scientific facts are no longer considered, and virtually all policies are now written there. With Canada's party discipline being the strictest in the world, Members of Parliament are either mouthpieces of the government or completely powerless as opposition members. It is imperative that we reform Parliament and reverse this decay of our democracy.
So it’s good to see that Samara, a non-partisan charitable organization that works to improve political participation in Canada, is trying to start the conversation about what kinds of reform we need. From their website:
Samara initiates a variety of research and education programs designed to shine light on Canadian democracy and to encourage Canadians’ participation in public life. Now we want to hear from you:
We posed these questions to all sitting MPs, Samara readers, partners and volunteers, community leaders and citizens from across the country. Over the month of February we will be presenting their ideas as a blog series.
- What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Parliament in the 21st century?
- What change would you propose to “redesign” Parliament, and the way it works, so it’s more relevant to you?
Visit www.samaracanada.com and join the conversation.