A report card for MPs - Macleans.ca

A report card for MPs


Samara finds that 55% of Canadians are satisfied with the state of our democracy, 20 points lower than a similar survey in 2004.

If you use the results from the Canada Election Study, satisfaction has fluctuated over the last fifteen years.

1997: 56%
2000: 63%
2004: 54%
2006: 59%
2008: 68%
2011: 64%

Samara also found that only 36% were satisfied with how MPs were doing their jobs. Specifically, MPs received failing grades for “holding the government to account,” “representing the views of constituents” and “managing individual constituents’ concerns.” And then there’s what MPs received a decent grade for.

Although this bleak report card suggests a need for all-round improvement, one result is particularly worrisome. Canadians awarded MPs the highest marks at representing the views of their party, fully 15 points higher than the mark they awarded for representing the views of the Canadians who elected  them to office.

In other words, Canadians feel MPs are doing  the best job at the very thing Canadians see as a low  priority: representing the views of their political parties.


A report card for MPs

  1. “And then there’s what MPs received a decent grade for.”

    David Hume ~ Of The Independency of Parliament:

    It is, therefore, a just political maxim, that every man must be supposed a knave: Though at the same time, it appears somewhat strange, that a maxim should be true in politics, which is false in fact. But to satisfy us on this head, we may consider, that men are generally more honest in their private than in their public capacity, and will go greater lengths to serve a party, than when their own private interest is alone concerned.

    Honour is a great check upon mankind: But where a considerable body of men act together, this check is, in a great measure, removed; since a man is sure to be approved of by his own party, for what promotes the common interest; and he soon learns to despise the clamours of adversaries.