Power exerted by ‘special interests’ is the root of the dysfunction of western democracies; it creates an adversarial environment of ‘us’ against ‘them.’ It is ‘divide and conquer’ by the elite who have no ‘special interest’ other than remaining at the top of the hierarchy.
A democratic system of governance requires a broad base of popular support – reducing the influence of special interest groups while greatly increasing the influence of citizens.
Our Westminster parliamentary system of governance, headed by a hold over from our colonial past, a monarch, places all political power in the office of the prime minister and cabinet. The requirement that an MP must vote with his or her party entrenches that power until the governing party’s mandate expires or an election is called. A person, group, institution or corporation need simply to persuade the prime minister or a member of cabinet to bring about desired changes; or to entrench the status quo in the face of public demands for change.
Canada is not a democracy under the Westminster parliamentary system where 40% of the voters control the government. In actuality, only 70% of voters, voted – meaning a ‘majority’ government is supported by 40% of the 70% who voted – which is just over a quarter of the voters at 28%. We are under the dictatorship of a ‘majority’ government which is supported by 28% of the voters until Trudeau’s 28% majority resigns or the Liberals five year mandate expires. The NDP, Liberal and Conservative parties are served by the present party system and may be expected to resist a devolution of power from the prime minister/cabinet to the people.
The people of Iceland re-wrote their constitution with direct citizen input through Internet submissions and public gatherings. Iceland’s previous constitution and therefore system of governance, was give to the people of Iceland by the government of Denmark, Iceland’s former colonial master. The people of Canada are very unhappy with our present system of warring special interests locked into our adversarial system of governance. We are more than capable of writing a constitution embodying the principles of cooperation and collaboration in a system of governance operating with the consent of a substantial majority of voters.
A ‘no party system’ of governance based on cooperation is practiced in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. When combined with run-off elections and a ‘none of the above,’ box on ballots, a no party system might look like this:
The first round of voting might see 20 independent candidates with the bottom box on the ballot labelled, ‘none of the above.’
Voters will not have to choose, ‘the best of the bunch,’ no one will have a reason to not vote.
As long as there are less than 20%, ‘none of the above,’ the voting continues. When more than 20% vote, ‘none of the above.’ We stop.
Why are there so many people who don’t like any of the candidates?
Presuming at least 80% voting for candidates:
If there were 20 candidates on the ballot in the first round of voting, the bottom 10 would be dropped from the next ballot – meaning whoever was eleventh in the run-off will be ‘courted’ by the remaining ten, and so it is with all the ‘dropped’ candidates. It will be consensus building after each round of voting – ’lets get your people and my people together’ – down to the last two.
But it could be a 60/40 split – a divided community.
The last two candidates would work together to produce a platform that both believe, at a minimum, 80 % of the voters will approve. The last round of voting is on the joint platform – if the joint platform receives at a minimum 80% – both candidates are elected – meaning 80% of the community is represented by the two MP’s. If the final ballot is less than 80% in favour of the joint platform then the two candidates will adjust the joint platform until the necessary 80% is achieved. We will double our MP’s and it will cost twice as much – but consider the increased value for constituents.
The 80% threshold is high to avoid the present situation of, ‘competing interest groups’, which allows our political ‘masters’ to play one interest group against another. Consensus means that we are all valued – not simply the members of a political party’s base, ‘interest group.’
After the run-off election both MPs go to Ottawa and ‘shmooz’ with the other newly elected MPs for a couple of weeks – at the appointed hour the MPs gather – a CBC announcer begins by calling order – then –
’Who would like to be the Speaker of the House?’
A show of hands –
’I would because’’I would because’ ’I would because’ etc.
‘Are there any others?’
‘Who votes for?’ – a show of hands – ’Who votes for?’ etc. The selection process will continue in a ‘run-off’ fashion until a single MP receives 80% support from the other MPs.
The newly elected speaker would then take over from the CBC announcer.
‘Who would like to be the Prime Minister?’
‘I would because’ ’I would because’ ’I would because’ etc.
’Who votes for?’ etc. until one MP receives 80% support. The entire cabinet, our executive branch of government, would be ‘elected’ this way – with the support of 80% of the MPs.
The remaining MP’s, become the Legislative branch of government.
At any time that the, ‘house is sitting,’ an MP may simply rise, interrupt the present speaker announcing a motion of non-confidence in the, ‘whatever,’ minister.
Bang goes the Speaker’s gavel. ’Present speaker interrupted by a motion of non-confidence in the, ‘whatever’ minister. What support is there for the motion?’ A show of hands. ’Sustained.’ ‘Would the minister of, ‘whatever,’ please step down.’
‘Who would like to be the, ‘whatever,’ minister?’
‘I would because’ ’I would because’ ’I would because’
‘Who votes for’ etc. The same procedure would be followed to achieve 80% support of the MPs as was followed in the original selection process.
‘Would the new, ‘whatever,’ minister, please take her/his seat in the cabinet.’
Bang goes the Speaker’s gavel.’Resume interrupted speaker.’
We could watch the parliamentary channel any time that a motion of non-confidence was being considered, it would be covered in the media for some time, as the ‘idea’ of a non-confidence motion was discussed – along with possible replacements if the motion is successful.
MP’s, could be petitioned to step down by his or her constituents. Petitioners would inform the Speaker when the respondents to the petition reached 80% of the constituency. The House would then invite the MP to resign.
The no party system places the focus on local candidates and the joint platform with emphasis on cooperation and collaboration – rather than conflict. Politics will become less confrontational, creating a more appealing atmosphere for Canadians to be drawn to government. Any candidate elected could be elected to the cabinet, meaning that there would be a much higher interest in politics at the constituency level.
Presently less than 4% of Canadians belong to a political party. ‘Election issues’ are ‘framed’ by party, ‘back-room boys,’ at the national level. The ‘no party system’ takes power away from the ‘back-room boys’ and places power in the hands of the people.