, Research Paper
The way Canada s Federal Government runs today, is not as effective or efficient as most Canadians would like. Changes have to be made to let Canada s government work better and run more in favor of the people. A number of areas that might be changed within Canada s democracy are: Senate reform, representation by population, free votes in the House of Commons, the institution of Members of Parliament recall and fixed election dates. These changes should take place in the near future. Without these changes Canada s future together as a nation will be ultimately distrusted.
The prime minister appoints senators to the Senate, instead of them being elected into office by the voters of Canada. This is how Canadian government has been formed and how it has worked for the last hundred years; this is no longer the most democratic form of government for Canada. The Senate is chosen by the Prime minister of Canada and therefor is biased, by this *patronage appointment. Canada s Senate should be elected, to return democratic principals to the citizens of Canada. To be equal and democratic, senators must be elected by their constituents in their provinces. If the senate was elected it would become fair, each province having the same amount of representatives no matter how large or small. Each region of Canada getting the time and choice of presenting their own needs. Once this is in place the Canadian Senate would become effective. Hearing bills from every province and every party being apart of the senate, Canada would be heading for triple E senate (Elected, Equal and Effective). For this to be done, the Constitution of Canada would have to be changed, and all ten provinces would have to be in agreement of the amount of elected representatives coming from each province.
In the Canadian House of Commons, the lower house is the first to debate bills to be passed. All Members of Parliament have been elected into the house. The number of Members of Parliament is determined ,roughly, by the amount of people in each province. Each Member of Parliament should be representative of about **70,000 voters of his or her riding. This should be equal for each province, but it is not. Prince Edward Island has a total population of 134,557. All of the four ridings in Prince Edward Island have around 23,000 voters each, yet about three ridings in British Columbia have more than 100,000 voters each. Is this fair? A small province like P.E.I. having 4 representatives in the house and B.C. having 34 representatives. Prince Edward Island has 4% of British Columbia s total population. The Electoral Boundaries Commission tries to equalize the amount of people per constituency, about 70,000 people, but this is not always the case. Instead of small ridings having MPs they should link two ridings together to form one with a total number of voters closer to 70,000. Provinces like B.C. could maybe get more MPs, and representation by population would be achieved.
The government in charge should have the choice of going against its own bills if they are non beneficial to the country. This would be called a free vote. Right now if the Liberal government was to go and vote against one of its own bills, the government would be overthrown. This makes no sense because that means that every bill that the head party conjures up has to be voted for, or else the party is thrown out of power. This is not a written rule or anything it has been around only for the last 130 years and should be forgotten. ***The defeat of a government measure in the House of Commons should not automatically mean the defeat of the government. Defeat of a government motion should be followed by a vote of the people in parliament of a vote on non-confidence, that will either lead to self resignation or the disappearing of the house in a general election.
The fourth issue is recall. If a member of parliament should do something against his or her constituencies wishes, the voters of their constituency should have the option of recall. ****This entitles constituents to initiate a recall procedure against their MP if they believe he or she has violated his or her oath of office or neglected to listen to their ridings needs. *****For example Nisga a was a treaty that starts the process of the Indians having their own set of government, different from the Canadian government. This was happening in B.C. Liberal MPs were voting to have the treaty to go through, yet the people of British Columbia, a majority of almost 90% wanted to have a referendum of the Nisga a. The people of that riding are opposed to the treaty and their MPs are not listening to what they are saying, the people should have a right to get rid of their representative, if they are not doing their job.
Lastly, elections should be held every four years at a predetermined time, like in the United States of America. If a government was to be defeated in the House of Commons, and election would be called immediately. The election date would be four years from the same predetermined time of year. By-elections should be held within six months of a seat becoming available in the House of Commons.
Canada s Federal Government could run better with some of these suggestions. The way to make Canada s citizens happier is to get the Canadian citizens more involved in what is going on. If the senate was voted into power rather then appointed, more of Canada s problems would be met and solved. Representation by population will have more of Canada s people heard, therefor making Canada more democratic. Free votes in the House of Commons, will result in a government with more power and the ability to say no. The institution of Members of Parliament recall will let the people be in control of the government indirectly, keeping what they want in their hands. Lastly, by having a pre-determined election date the government will run more effective and efficient. These changes should be made to make Canada as a stronger nation.