Our democracy is flawed

Our government, politicians at all levels, the media, and our teachers keep telling us how lucky we are to be living in a democracy.

Our government, politicians at all levels, the media, and our teachers keep telling us how lucky we are to be living in a democracy. Is this mantra repeated so often because they are afraid we might forget, or are they trying to indoctrinate us with their belief that we are living in a democratic society? They say Canada is democratic simply because the people are allowed to vote and choose their own government.

In the last election, approximately 60 per cent of the voting public voted against the Conservative Party, but that party won a majority of the seats in the House of Commons. Is that democratic? I don’t think so.

A party that gets elected with a majority of the seats in the House of Commons based on its electoral platform, and then suddenly changes its mind, or comes up with a multi billion dollar military purchasing policy which it never mentioned in the election campaign, is that democratic when the people cannot vote for or against this new policy until the next election? Is that democratic? I don’t think so.

Some people believe that if 40 per cent of the people vote for a party’s candidates, then 40 per cent of the Commons seats should go to that party. Fine. Who selects those candidates? Is it those 40 candidates who received the highest number of votes or does the political party make a list of all 308 candidates and the top 40 get elected? Is it fair that the party, and not the people decide which representatives should get elected? I don’t think so.

Some people believe that we should be able to vote for the candidate we like best and also for the candidate that we like second best. By eliminating the votes of the candidates who received the least number of first votes, and transfer their second votes to the more popular candidates, is that democratic? It would seem to be the better of the above evils. The people will have had a preferential vote, and would have more say in choosing  a candidate other than their favourite to represent them.

Should we hold referenda whenever the governing party introduces a change to its electoral platform? Should we be asked constantly for our views on government expenditures? Would that be more democratic? I think so, but our governments at all levels will tell us that such a democratic system is too costly! At what cost is democracy? Thousands of Canadians have died in wars to preserve our way of life believing that we are a democracy. Can we not afford, financially, to make this country even more democratic?

So stop telling us how fortunate we are that we can vote. Go deeper into the meaning of democracy for a change.

Bob Abrahams

Nelson

 

Just Posted

Kaslo bus fueled by vegetable oil to begin service next month

Mountain Man Mike’s will run routes to Vancouver and eventually Edmonton

Nelson to send two musicians to provincial Festival of The Arts

Lucas Alexander and Nico Bucher will compete in Chilliwack later this month

Police investigating felling of old cedars at Cottonwood Lake

One of the cedars was 300 to 450 years old

Safe boating event planned in Nelson on May 25

The event coincides with the National Safe Boating Awareness week

Help make Nelson the most active community in Canada

The Better Community Challenge launches May 31

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read