Monthly Archives: December 2009
During my usual morning strolling about the web, I am astonished to find out that our parliamentary democracy is in trouble. After all if Coyne and Kinsella are in agreement, it must be true. The obvious response is, where the f*ck have the two of you been? Our democracy has been thinning and receding longer and faster than has Kinsella’s hairline?
Canada has replaced Italy as the prime example of unstable and ineffective political institutions, according to Dr. Henry Milner, writing in the just published winter/spring 2010 issue of Inroads: The Canadian Journal of Opinion. As he puts it:
“Political science undergraduates used to learn about Italy as the model of dysfunctional political institutions, characterized by frequent elections and constant uncertainty under minority governments at the mercy of shifting political alliances. Italy transformed its electoral institutions in the 1990s, and while hardly perfect now – as the antics of Signor Berlusconi demonstrate – it has lost its place as model of dysfunctionality among stable democracies to, of all countries, Canada.
Dr. Milner is one of Canada’s leading academic authorities on electoral systems. The complete article is available here.
“Every nation wants to be number one at something,” said Fair Vote Canada President Bronwen Bruch, “but our political leaders should be ashamed of this dubious achievement. How long will they continue to impede electoral reform in Canada? How low does voter turnout have to fall and how high does public cynicism have to grow before they take action? Let’s hope there is a young Tommy Douglas of Democracy out there with the courage and ability to push ahead on long-overdue electoral reform.”
Our political institutions are a joke, our electoral system is inherently undemocratic, our levels of political apathy and lack of civic engagement: unprecedented. I don’t need the detainee issue to tell me that our democracy is in crisis!