Canadian democracy is in trouble.
Power is increasingly centralized. Individual MPs – your voices in Parliament – are becoming more and more irrelevant. Question Period is a daily showcase for behaviour we would not tolerate from our children. It’s time to restore true democracy and put the power where it belongs – in the hands of Canadians.
True democracy means making every vote count. More than votes, it means engaging and debating respectfully. It means working together to find a cooperative and positive way forward. As Canadians, we take pride in a global reputation for civility and cooperation. Our instincts run to generosity and compassion. Let’s embrace that.
While Canada reduces waste in its economy and industry, it should also stop wasting votes. Move to a fairer electoral system that reflects the true will of voters.
True democracy also means true global leadership. In the past, other nations in our global village looked to Canada for leadership – in peace keeping and peace making, in disarmament, and in environmental sustainability. It’s time for Canada to step up and once again play the leadership role it has forsaken in recent years.
- Reform our voting system. Hold a national discussion on the health of our democracy, address the growing and undemocratic power of the Prime Minister’s Office and explore the options for a more meaningful electoral system. Consider the risks of “first past the post” and vote on whether it should be replaced. Consider proportional representation.
- Access to information. Seek true solutions to the increasing corporate control in Canadian journalism. Whatever is “dumbed down” must be “smartened up.”
- Ensure that citizenship is equal. Social justice and equity are cornerstones of democracy. Canadian democracy is more secure when human rights are respected – starting with the First Nations and indigenous peoples of this continent, Turtle Island. Canada must move forward in implementing the spirit of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- Global action on global problems. Strengthen and enforce decisions made in the 2010 climate negotiations (COP16) to bring in the urgent and aggressive measures required globally to avoid catastrophic climate impacts and adjust and adapt to impacts we can no longer avoid.
- Contribute to a peaceful solution in Afghanistan. Refocus the Canadian mission in Afghanistan to poverty alleviation and development, strengthening governance and civil society institutions, and supporting the training and development of the Afghan military and police force, particularly in the area of upholding and protecting human rights.
- Make poverty history. Meet Canada’s commitments and push other nations to meet theirs in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
- Take Action