Canada is not a great democracy, but do we care?

Submitted to Unity

This opinion piece published by The Washington Post in April 2017, suggests the power held by Canadian Prime Ministers diminishes our democracy. The recent Emergencies Act, brought on by the trucker’s protest, makes this question even more relevant. 

 Here are a few points brought up in the article:

Canadian prime ministers come to power by winning control of the lower house of Parliament, an achievement which almost never requires winning a majority of the popular vote. PMs then appoint members of the upper house directly, so any legislation they propose will quickly sail into law. 

The ruling party runs as a rigid hierarchy, and the notion of a “free vote” in Parliament, where MPs can vote their conscience rather than the prime minister’s, are rare enough to require a distinctive term. 

Virtually every figure of importance in Ottawa, from cabinet members to judges to senior bureaucrats to committee chairs to military leaders to the head of the state broadcaster, are appointed by the prime minister with no oversight or veto by anyone. 

The leadership of a prime minister revolves around their competence in implementing an agenda, given there’s little question the office has all the power it needs.

How do you feel about the power of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) following the decisions to invoke and rescind the Emergencies Act?

Share your thoughts below.