Democracy’s not dead

I don’t agree with everything Andrew Potter says here—I think there are legitimate complaints to be made about how our system presently functions and a serious discussion about solutions that should be had—but I have found the recently fashionable hand-wringing over partisanship and decorum to be both over-wrought and shallow.

Why is everyone so convinced our democracy is ruined? There are at least two reasons. The first is the widespread tendency to mistake the work environment for the institution. That is, a lot of the hand-wringing over our democracy is actually just a dislike for the nasty tone of Question Period, or the partisanship of committees. But a lack of decorum is not the same as institutional dysfunction. Our members of Parliament treat one another with disrespect. So what? Why should that bother anyone off the Hill? If MPs want to run their workplace like it’s always last call on Friday night at YukYuks, that’s their business.




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