Harper Can’t Dictate Democracy, Green Party Says
Senate reform must be decided by people, not politicians
OTTAWA, Dec. 14 /CNW Telbec/ – The Conservative government is overstepping its bounds by attempting to unilaterally change this country’s democratic systems, Green Party of Canada democratic reform advocate Chris Tindal said today.
“Democracy isn’t just another political issue,” said Tindal. “Our democratic systems need, by definition, to be determined by citizens, not just politicians. They especially shouldn’t be dictated by a Prime Minister whose party received just a little more than a third of the vote in the last general election.”
The Canadian Senate, while in need of reform, has traditionally played an important role in Canadian politics as a place of sober second thought and long-term planning. Any good ideas that the government’s proposal may include, such as a move towards proportional representation, lack legitimacy unless they come directly from citizens.
“The Senate is just one piece of the very complicated web that makes up our democracy,” added Green Party leader Elizabeth May. “To tinker with it in isolation from other democratic systems, and without an appreciation for the many functions and long history of the Senate, is dangerous to say the least.”
The Green Party of Canada recognizes the need for democratic reform, including Senate reform. Greens support the creation of a Citizens’ Assembly to determine what Senate reform is necessary, similar to the Citizens’ Assembly dealing with proportional representation that is currently under way in Ontario.