Shrinking Democracies

For some time my feeling that the people who are elected to office don’t really run things has been increasing since Mr. Nunziata’s 1990’s comments about the office of his Liberal Prime Minister. Mr. Gomery’s more recent comments show that whatever unelected  influence is emanating from that office it’s neither Liberal nor Conservative. The recent Conservative decision to send Canada’s air-borne military to make peace in Iraq without the sympathy of the Liberal or NDP parties would, if either of the unsympathetic parties were in power, likely have happened anyway. And lest we forget Mayor Ford’s Kuwait, his demotion by his council, and the nulification of the democratic votes of nearly 400,000 citizens.

 

On about March 12, 2008 Mr Gomery concerned that the Conservative Party of Canada had not acted on the recommendations of his “Gomery Enquiry” report complained that the Prime Minister’s office had been growing at the expense of the diminishing power of the House of Commons.

And in the early 1990’s, John Nunziata, Liberal member of Parliament until 1993, complained that the power of the Prime Ministers Office was diminishing the importance of the House of Commons.

And in the U.S.some years ago an American historian by the name of Rexford Tugwell, I believe, had said that the American Presidency had grown out of all proportion to the intentions of America’s founding fathers, to the detriment of congressional power, and democracy.

But today, June 27, 2011 a Toronto Star article praised the NDP for reintroducing parliamentary debate in the longest filibuster in Canadian history even though it was unable to stop the federal Conservative majority’s legislating postal workers back to work. Yet a more recent article in the same newspaper suggested that the filibuster had ended and the legislation passed perhaps as a result of orders from advisors in the Prime Minister’s office.

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