Much less democratic than present system

Well I’m back for a couple of issues at least.
I know some of you were disappointed that I wasn’t submitting columns during the summer. I’ve got to the age where I can’t concentrate on two or more activities at once. During the summer I am busy with my garden and yard work every day and haven’t the time or inclination to think about issues for a column.
In the Oct. 6 issue of the ECA Review there was a letter to the editor from Frank VanderKley of Trochu, Ab. on how he thinks we should change the way we would elect our MP’s in the future. He claims that the process would be more democratic than our ‘first past the post system’.
The system he proposes, in my mind,  would be much less democratic than our present system and I will explain why.
With our present system of electing MP’s, they are accountable to the people in their constituency and once elected they are representing all the people in that constituency, not just the ones that voted for them.
There has been a lot of debate for the past few years about our unelected senators. They are not accountable to the people that they are supposed to represent. They are only accountable to the prime minister who appoints them.
Vanderkley’s proposal for electing MP’s would be even worse. There would be absolutely no connection between the MP and the people that he or she is supposed to represent.
You would simply be voting for a party and God knows what kind of screwballs the party would be appointing as MP’s.
For an MP to effectively represent his or her constituents they need to have some kind of personal relationship with their constituents.
With our present ‘first past the post system’ a person has to go through a double process to become an MP.
They first have to contest a nomination process  by members of the party that they will represent in the election to be a candidate.
Secondly they will have to convince more electors in their constituency than the candidates from the other parties that they are the best person to represent them in government when the election is called.
Once elected an MP is responsible and accountable to represent the concerns of all the people in their constituency, not just the concerns of the people who voted for them.
Every MP has one or more offices that are available for constituents to discuss their concerns or issues with that MP.
With the system that is proposed by VanderKley, voters would not have any connection with an MP and I think the MP couldn’t care less what the people think.  His or her main responsibility is to represent the position of the party that they were appointed by.
What VanderKley is proposing is a system that is similar to what most of the European countries have. Anyone who is paying attention will soon realize that many of those countries are basket cases such as Greece or Spain, or are outright dictatorships like they have in Russia right now.
Is this the kind of Government we want in Canada? I think not.
I am not suggesting that the system we have now isn’t perfect. But there are ways to fix it without throwing the baby out with the bath water.
I agree, even with our present system, parties and leaders have too much control over their MP’s.
The MP’s could override their leaders and fix the system by forcing legislation through that would  give themselves more authority  if they would just agree to do it.

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