* Parliament – Becoming Dysfunctional

We elect over 300 MPs to govern Canada and we expect them to govern.  In the current political diversity of Canada, with more parties, and less chance of achieving majorities, we are facing a serious crisis of eroding effectiveness in this culture of power politics.  No longer does thirtysome percent of the vote get you 100% of the power.  This means either expensive elections every year or a foundational change in our parliamentary culture, and a serious attempt at electoral reform, to meet the challenges of the future.    The culture has to evolve from its power obsession to a cooperative culture of coalitions, alliances or partnerships in areas of common interest.  The country and the people have to come before self-interest and power.  This means electing people with skills in statesmanship, compromise and diplomacy over autocratic and arrogant posturing.  This means its time for a big change in who we send to parliament.  Its time we assessed our candidates more by their values than their rhetoric.  It’s time for electoral reform.


2 thoughts on “* Parliament – Becoming Dysfunctional

  1. Fine words indeed Paul. But I fear they may be only words, which is to say that through no fault of yours the seismic political energy or perhaps more correctly socio/cultural energy required to accomplish what you and admittedly myself suggest… a true politics, not sugar coated down or poisoned by vitriolic rhetoric.

    How can the populous even make any semblance of a decision on Election Day when they are carpet bombed by inane volleys of messages assembled in the bunkers of marketing and advertising agencies. …….

    …. we look for answers and solution in one place or one person. It is all Sisyphian folly. The first change needs to occur inside ourselves. Culture requires time and time is something we don’t have in spades. You and I hope against hope that somehow we can make a difference but none is forth coming. We want to believe for our children’s sake and that of future generations that we can save ourselves and our planet. And every time an election is called we strum the same music hoping that enough people get up dance to our tune so that something changes.

    Have you checked the amount of hydro-carbons emitted last year into the atmosphere? Did you read about the number of species that disappeared from the world, the destruction of habitat? Look around see how in just one year we all want to desperately return to our consuming ways even on the heels of the Great Recession.

    What was it the scorpion said? “It’s in my nature”.

    • Hello Dan,

      Thanks for the comment. Although the scorpion did say in the fable “It’s in my nature”, this certainly this raises the question of the impermanence of one’s nature, and whether fixed or not. A question was raised at a recent CBC radio show as to whether the current political culture has run its course and will have to change. As glacial as change often is in political cultures, perhaps the first order of business is to get the direction right. Once we get the direction sorted out, where we want to go and what we care about, the path becomes one of engagement, and then results. Social change once unleashed, and when the time has come, sometimes has surprising results.

      I agree that change must begin within, and if we believe that the path to the future is through the heart, then we have a good place to start. However, this may not be sufficient. There is also the adage that”I am one and only one, but will not refuse to do what one can do”. Put this into the equation and the collective effect may be significant.


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