Do you believe parliamentary rule has been eroding in Canada? If so, what will you do to reverse it? If not, why not?

Responses to the question: "Do you believe parliamentary rule has been eroding in Canada? If so, what will you do to reverse it? If not, why not?"

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16 Candidate Responses (top)

CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Anthony Giles Maybe Sorry, this is another one for which I don't have an answer.
Dave Braden Yes Yes. Eliminate proroguing.
Jamile Ghaddar Yes Our Parliament is in crisis. Please see responses above for information on the MLPC's program for democratic renewal.
Nancy MacBain Yes Yes, Stephen Harper has shown a flagrant disregard for parliamentary rule and procedure since 2006. Here are a just few examples of the Harper government's disregard for democracy that come to mind:

* Prorogued parliament rather than face the house in a motion of confidence
* Refused to provide documents to parliament on the Afghan detainees matter
* Fired Peter Tinsley, the head of the Military Police Complaints Commission because of his inquiries into the Afghan detainees matter
* Dismissed former Veterans Ombudsman Pat Strogan when he fought for veteran's rights and exposed the scandalous behaviour of Veterans affairs.
* Found in contempt of parliament for refusing to disclose the cost of its law and order agenda, fighter jets and corporate tax cuts
Peter Ormond Yes Yes, The Green Party is very concerned about the growing and undemocratic power of the Prime Minister's office. Through promoting proportional representation and a respectful dialog between the parties, the Greens hope to bring integrity back to our Democratic system.

Although there's a laundry list of boondoggles under Harper's Conservative rule, it's important to note that in order to continue as Prime Minister, the other parties have strategically supported his maneuvers until this time. This is another reason why we need proportional representation, and with that a co-operative parliamentary system in which individual parties and MP's can speak out democratically instead of being muted by the party line.

A few events include:

1. Linda Keen and the Chalk River debacle.
2. Proroguing Parliament twice.
3. Afghan detainee issue.
4. Canada's spin on climate change and energy.

A Green voice is Parliament with improve the political dialogue in Canada.
Hamilton Centre
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Lisa Nussey Yes Our Parliament is in crisis. Please see responses above for information on the MLPC's program for democratic renewal.
Michael James Baldasaro Yes Yes. Parliament continually passes laws that the Courts have found unconstitutional. This is proof that Parliament is not doing its job. Perhaps there should be a means test, at least one a Candidate could point to as having passed? One that includes Charter Rights and Government Rules and Regulations etc.
Hamilton East-Stoney Creek
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Bob Green Innes Yes Yes, here is the list of reforms we believe are necessary:

The Canadian Action Party (CAP) has 5 pillars in its election platform: 1) democratic reform, 2) restoration of full sovereignty, 3) restoration of traditional civil rights, 4) Monetary system reform, and 5) preservation of the environment against corporate excess.

CAP's democratic reform comprises 5 elements: 1) Swiss style referendum system, 2) open government 3) ban electronic voting machines, 4) 'Jury' selected Senate system and 5) Parliamentary reform. Parliamentary reform includes British Question Period system (rotating), all party legislation system, all party campaign advertising, citizen initiatives/recall, and proportional representation.

We are convinced our policies are the right solutions for Canada, and had they been in place, we would not be in the situation we are in where the party of big business, party of big gummerment and the party of big unions, support corporate friendly policies, leaving the little guy to get squeezed by ever higher taxes and prices but lower wages and more regulations.
David Hart Dyke Yes I do. What can you say when we find ourselves in yet another federal election because for the first time in our history the ruling party is found to be in contempt of parliament? And that finding, by the way, was made by a person considered by many to be the greatest Speaker in Canada's history.
Gord Hill Yes Yes. A Minority Government would not be able to change Institutions without a vote in Parliament. The rules of Parliament are being missused and in the case of the Government closing Parliament or Prorogueing Parliament the Governor General should have requested a meeting with the other leaders to ask them if they wished to form a coalition Government, which they had already agreed to.
Greg Pattinson No There are only two means of interacting with others: consent and force. In a civilized society consent is the only reasonable means of interaction. Government is no exception. Government's role should be to protect individuals from force, not apply it arbitrarily. Consent leads to better utilization of resources than force. Consent allows innovation to flourish while force stifles it. Throughout history, societies that have recognized this more than others have become the world's super power. Nomadic hunter gatherer tribes that were innovative lead to agricultural societies. The Greeks innovation of philosophy laid the groundwork of reason and became the largest empire under Alexander the great. Magna Carta and the Roman senate lead to the Roman Empire. The French became the super power under Napoleon by establishing the Napoleonic Code. The British innovation of parliamentary supremacy that Canada inherited was a much freer society than the traditional supremacy of the king mentality that dominated in other nations. America improved on this and came up with constitutional supremacy. Canada could become the world's next superpower without the wars of the past through libertarian thinking to establish individual supremacy. For this to happen, parliamentary rule must erode to decentralise power to the lowest level - and in most cases that is the individual. The way we can accomplish this in Canada is to constrain the role of government to its proper function through constitutional reform and greater protection and expansion of charter rights. For example section 33 gives the government the power to infringe a person's rights in any way and by any means they want. This is not acceptable.
Wayne Marston Yes I find the increasing concentration of power in the Prime Minister's Office to be nothing short of alarming. While the current Prime Minister did not create the present difficulties, he has certainly made them worse.

In fact, Canada is now in the midst of an election in part because Opposition MPs were no longer willing to tolerate attempts by the Prime Minister's Office to keep important information about the costs of government programs from us.

One of the first things an NDP government would do would be to introduce a Parliament Act that will prevent the Prime Minister from requesting prorogation of Parliament when a confidence vote is before the House of Commons. Our act will also require a Parliamentary vote before the Prime Minister can seek a lengthy prorogation at other times.

As I've already mentioned, the NDP will propose electoral reform to ensure Parliament better reflects the political preferences of Canadians. To this end we will propose a new, more democratic voting system that preserves the connection between MPs and their constituents, while ensuring parties are represented in Parliament in better proportion to how Canadians voted. Each vote will count.

We will also start the national conversation that will result, we hope, in the abolition of the Senate. In the meantime, to limit Senate abuses, we will bar failed candidates and party insiders from being appointed to the Senate, and ban senators from fundraising for political parties.
Wendell Fields Yes Our Parliament is in crisis. Please see responses above for information on the MLPC's program for democratic renewal.
Hamilton Mountain
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Marie Bountrogianni Yes Parliamentary rule has certainly eroded in recent years. The Stephen Harper government is the first government in the history of Canada to have been found in contempt of Parliament by the Speaker of the House of Commons and by Parliament. This ruling came as a result of flagrant lies and dishonesty in the government's statements to the House.

As an MP, I would conduct myself as I did as a provincial Member at Queen's Park: with respect for the rules of Parliament, and for the need for open, honest, and genuinely engaged debate.
Stephen E. Brotherston No We have voter apathy in Canada. A majority government can be won with less than 25% support from eligible voters. Everything stems from this.
Niagara West-Glanbrook
CandidateBrief ResponseFull Response
Stephen Bieda Yes Yes it is clear that through two prorogations, the contempt of parliament charge, the forging of documents and other corruptions issues, that parliamentary changes are in order. A swearing of oath at the beginning of each session of parliament is something I would support.

I would also like to remind the public that there is a certain democratic spirit in which a government is expected to act:

- Parliament must be informed of decisions and given a real opportunity to debate issues.

- The press must be able to ask questions of the government directly without excessive handling (ie. Question limits, blocking of the national press corp).

Response Summary (top)

Brief ResponseCount% of Total

15 Candidates Have Not Responded (top)

David Sweet
Hamilton Centre
Annie Tennier
David Christopherson
James W. Byron
Hamilton East-Stoney Creek
Bob Mann
Brad Clark
Michelle Stockwell
Hamilton Mountain
Chris Charlton
Henryk Adamiec
Jim Enos
Terry Anderson
Niagara West-Glanbrook
Bryan Jongbloed
David Heatley
Dean Allison
Sid Frere