Hot Take: The Failing of Canadian Democracy Goes by 3 Names

Originally Published on Medium - March 24, 2018

There is a growing sentiment among citizens, particularly millennials, that politics doesn’t really work anymore. I couldn’t agree more, politics is broken. But this failure of politics is often conflated with a failure of democracy itself, and that is where I disagree. The problem with politics actually goes by 3 names: Libreal, NDP and Conservative.

It is the political parties that have broken politics. It is the political parties that are what need to change. Recently, an NDP MP voted “Against the Party” in the house of commons, and was then stripped of his other duties. This is absurd. The role of an MP is to represent their constituents, not the party. This problem is rampant in all three parties, and needs to change.

As you may be aware, we do not vote for a Prime Minister. We vote for our local MP to represent us and our communities issues, and then the House of all of the MPs chooses one among them to serve as the Prime Minister. At least, that is how it is supposed to be.

More and more we have seen a “presidentization” of the Prime Minister’s Office, and what is worse, the growing power of these awful political parties. Political parties are now companies, nothing else. However, they do not trade in money exclusively, they trade in power. And all they care about is being more profitable than the other parties.

We have now gotten to a point where the corporate entities are silencing our democratically elected MPs. Where what was once a union of like minded individuals is now a single minded machine, agree or be banished. THIS is the problem with democracy in Canada.

From my personal experience, this resonates and negatively impacts even the best of MPs. I worked with and volunteered for 3 MPs briefly, and I have to say they were all fantastic. They were all great people, focused on improving the lives of their constituents. The problem was the Party. The Party had to be satisfied, the Party had to be satiated.

You may not know, but the Party can decide who can even run for MP. There was news in the Markham-Thornhill riding because Liberal MP Mary Ng was supposedly “Parachuted” in by the Party to win the election. And even more disturbing, sitting MPs are no longer even required to run for re-election of their Liberal seat.

You probably don’t know, but the even the elected MP does not a Liberal insider make. There are local riding institutions that are much more the Party than an MP may be, and for the MP to have been an outsider is seen as a danger. These Party members have paid their dues, they rightfully deserve their role, they want to self-preserve at all costs.

This may seem like it got off-topic a bit, but these are just some of the various ways in which 3 political companies have kidnapped our democracy. They care more about self-preservation than democracy. They care more about serving themselves than serving us. But when the market is monopolized by bad actors, what can we do?