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Cowichan Conversations: Rafe: How our “democracy” really works – the charade of party politics and whipped caucuses

Rafe’s ‘Dick and Jane’ version of how democracy works is both cynical and timely in its’ irreverence and accuracy. Does it have to be this way? No, it does not.

How do we change it?

Read more…

Politics and its Discontents: On The Training of Marine Mammals (a.k.a. MPs)

As I mentioned in a blog post the other day, I am currently reading Tragedy in the Commons, a book that examines the gross deficits to be found in Canadian parliamentary democracy. One of the recurring complaints of the former MPs interviewed for the book is the lack of independence afforded them, ethereby rendering . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: On The Training of Marine Mammals (a.k.a. MPs)

Accidental Deliberations: On testing principles

It’s obviously tempting for opposition parties to turn the recent spate of stories about difference of opinion within the Cons into a simple matter of “they’re not united”. But it’s well worth emphasizing the substance of the issues – and particularly questioning whether the MPs who are challenging their partymates on specific issues are willing . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: On testing principles

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Rumbling Begins?

Harper’s leadership is becoming increasingly shaky in the wake of the Senate Expenses scandal.  Rick Mercer’s Rant this week hit the nail on the head as far as Harper’s denials in the House of Commons are concerned:

“Either he is psychotic or he was in on it” Perhaps more interesting is that . . . → Read More: The Cracked Crystal Ball II: The Rumbling Begins?

Cowichan Conversations: Sean Holman on Corky Evans-The Failure of Discipline

Former NDP MLA Corky Evans

Sean Holman former ‘Public Eye Online’ blogger is now living in Calgary and teaching Journalism at the University of Alberta.

More recently he produced the documentary ‘Whipped’ that reveals the real story of political control over elected officials.

It has been welcomed by many politicos although many of . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Sean Holman on Corky Evans-The Failure of Discipline

A BCer in Toronto: Parliamentarians and the yoke of party discipline

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a screening of Whipped, a documentary on party discipline by former BC legislature reporter Sean Holman. You can now stream the doc on the CPAC web site, and it’s well worth a look. While it’s focused on Victoria and BC politics, the issues Whipped . . . → Read More: A BCer in Toronto: Parliamentarians and the yoke of party discipline

Accidental Deliberations: Whipped

For those who haven’t yet seen Whipped, Sean Holman’s documentary on party discipline in the B.C. legislature is now available through CPAC’s website. And it’s well worth a watch (particularly on a stormy Saturday).

But I will point out that there may be an important distinction between an elected representative speaking up about issues in . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Whipped

Song of the Watermelon: Whipped Votes, Floor Crossing, and the Perils of Party Discipline

In Ottawa’s latest uptick of political drama, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair called on MP Claude Patry to resign his seat Thursday, after the latter joined the Bloc Quebecois. Noting that Patry, while still a New Democrat, voted with the rest of the caucus last year to ban the practice of floor crossing, Mulcair said, “We . . . → Read More: Song of the Watermelon: Whipped Votes, Floor Crossing, and the Perils of Party Discipline

Cowichan Conversations: Provincial-Federal Politicians Neutered In Our Present System Of Party Discipline

John Van Dongen-Independent MLA

Our Canadian Democracy has been hijacked by the political party system for far too long. Slowly but possibly surely politicians are speaking out, most often it is when they are on their way out the door.

Not all wait until retirement. Former BC Liberal Cabinet Minister John Van Dongen . . . → Read More: Cowichan Conversations: Provincial-Federal Politicians Neutered In Our Present System Of Party Discipline

Politics and its Discontents: The Failures of Our Political Representatives

The other day over at Trapped in a Whirlpool, blogger Kev wrote a post entitled Irrelevant by Choice. In it, he lamented the failure ofParliamentary-backbenchers to do the job they were entrusted with, the representation of their constituents. He wro… . . . → Read More: Politics and its Discontents: The Failures of Our Political Representatives

Accidental Deliberations: Hyer Ground

When Lise St. Denis decided last year to leave the Official Opposition to move down the opposition back benches, I noted that the most important issue was likely less her individual choice than whether it would lead to more MPs following suit. (Which of course it didn’t.)

And to a large extent, the same goes . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Hyer Ground