The way the political system has evolved in the last several decades in Canada has not served us well.
This has happened at both the federal and the provincial level.
I think it was happening to some degree ever since confederation but it really got bad when Trudeau #1 became the prime minister.
What he did was concentrate the power of the prime minister in his office by giving highly skilled civil servants authority to micromanage government according to his vision.
These unelected people directed the policy that the MP’s were to communicate to their constituents.
MP’s and MLA’s totally abdicate their responsibility for the citizens they were elected to serve and represent when they vote as directed by the party rather than in the interests of their constituents.
Our system of government is not a republic as they have in the USA.
Our system of government is an adaption of the Westminster form of government that evolved over centuries in England.
The leader of the party in power becomes the prime minister and does not answer directly to the people except in an election.
In most cases, it seems the Prime Minister or Premier can assume the power of a democratically elected dictator.
The caucus does have the power to overrule the leader but that does not seem to happen unless something has gone radically wrong.
That did happen in Alberta in 2014 when the caucus forced Allison Redford to resign due to her irresponsible management of the provincial finances.
Political parties do have caucus meetings but it seems to me MP’s or MLA’s are intimidated to follow the direction of the leader and his minions under threat of being purged from the caucus.
We now have a very good example of what happens when the office of the PM is directing political activity.
Some time ago Justin Trudeau needed a minor cabinet scuffle due to the resignation of a cabinet member.
This afforded him the opportunity to demote the Justice Minister who was one of his best ministers to the Veteran Affairs Portfolio.
No one could figure out why the demotion happened until last week. SNC-Lavalin, a Quebec Engineering Co., is accused of fraud in conducting business in Libya and elsewhere.
It appears that Trudeau and his PMO tried to pressure Jody Wilson- Raybould to make a deal with the Public Prosecutions Office under a new law so that SNC would avoid going to court.
It appears that she refused and that may explain her demotion. Somehow the Globe and Mail found out about this and went public.
I think Trudeau figured that demoting the Justice Minister would send a message to the rest of cabinet.
Well, long story short, Trudeau is in big trouble now and is trying to cover his tracks.
I will bet that the rest of his caucus had no idea what was going on and had no say in what happened, however, they will suffer the fall out in an election.
Change is needed in the way political parties make decisions.
The system is anything but democratic.
There needs to be some kind of a check and balance in the party system whereby the leader can be constitutionally held accountable to the caucus without a government being forced to call an election when they lose a vote.
Independent candidates do not have to follow a party line.
I think we have a chance to elect independent MLA’s in this next election.
That hasn’t happened in Alberta since 1944.
The UCP have done their best to purge any Wildrose influence from the party.
This could be a basis for voting for independent candidates.
MLA’s who are elected independent would have the opportunity to expose the flaws in our present system and get public opinion to cause a needed change.
by Herman Schwenk