Highlights of a 32 item ‘restore democracy’ to-do list
1. Create a special, all-party parliamentary committee to study alternatives to the current first-past-the-post electoral system, including ranked ballots, proportional representation, mandatory voting and online voting. Within 18 months of taking power, introduce legislation to replace first-past-the-post, based on the committee’s recommendations.
2. Reform question period in the House of Commons so that one day each week would be devoted solely to grilling the prime minister.
3. Impose spending limits on political parties between elections, not just during election campaigns.
4. Appoint an equal number of men and women to cabinet and adopt a government-wide appointment policy to ensure gender parity and greater representation of aboriginal people and other minorities.
5. Create performance standards for services offered by the federal government, complete with streamlined application processes, reduced wait times and money-back guarantees.
6. Create individualized, secure online accounts for Canadians who want to access all their government benefits and review key documents.
7. Empower backbench MPs by allowing free votes on everything except legislation implementing election platform promises, budget measures and matters involving freedoms guaranteed in the charter of rights.
8. End partisanship in the Senate by creating an independent advisory body to recommend non-partisan nominees for appointment to the upper house.
9. Overhaul the Canada Revenue Agency’s operating practices, including proactively contacting Canadians who are not receiving tax benefits they’re entitled to and ending the “political harassment”of charities.
10. Stop Canada Post’s plan to end home mail delivery.
11. Strengthen access-to-information laws, including giving the information commissioner power to issue binding disclosure orders and expanding the law to apply to the Prime Minister’s Office and ministerial offices.
12. Create an all-party national security oversight committee to oversee the operation of security agencies.
13. End the practice of stuffing unrelated legislation into omnibus bills.
14. Repeal stiffer voter identification requirements and other elements of the Fair Elections Act.
15. Appoint an advertising commissioner to ensure government ads are non-partisan and related to actual government business.
16. Create an independent commission to organize leaders’ debates during election campaigns.
(The Canadian Press)