Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Parliamentary Democracy Now

As Michael Chong's reform bill moves its away towards what looks like it will be a sad death, Christopher Moore gives us the most cogent explanation for why this is a bad thing.

Former Reform party whip Jay Hill was brought out at last weekend's Manning Conference of Conservative and conservative thinkers to take the bill down. The bill would allow MPs more power in removing the party leader without a leadership convention. It's the kind of thing allowed in other parliamentary countries (and arguably it actually is allowed even without Chong's bill). The counter argument is that this wouldn't be democratic. You would just have a few MPs deciding on a leader who has been voted in by thousands of party members.

My favourite bit of Moore's rebuttal is the way he shows how this argument fundamentally disavows the essence of parliamentary democracy:

It is the essence of parliamentary democracy, its defining principle, that the executive, the government, is accountable on a constant, daily basis, to the legislature.  And given the reality of political parties, that means that in a working parliamentary democracy, the government is accountable to the majority caucus. It's not "a few dozen people," Mr. Hill. It is the majority of the elected representatives of the Canadian people you dismiss.

And that, folks, is that. But read Moore's whole post here.

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