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Apathy/consent


 

Jonathan Malloy considers our current situation.

In the same way, we can accept the way things have evolved in Parliament; or we could attempt the arduous and perhaps futile task of somehow trying to stop the trend and turn it around. (Indeed, some experts are trying the latter by pushing for more written rules and clearer guidelines for constitutional conventions.) Our parliamentary system, like all democracies, ultimately relies on public consent. The public has looked at these issues and more or less yawned. The government may call this consent, but it is closer to disengagement, especially when we remember that fewer and fewer Canadians even bother to vote.

The bending of unwritten conventions and understandings may seem solely an academic matter with limited implications for an election. But Canadians need to take some time to reflect and inform themselves on this rule-bending, and only then can they express whether this is truly the way they want the system to work.


 

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