Let’s all fret about our democracy (and the monarchy)

The At Issue panel takes viewer questions.


I’d like the Speaker to be more assertive on a couple fronts, but, in the context of Question Period, he can’t be asked to judge whether or not a question has been answered sufficiently. I think he should, just as he can cut off a question that doesn’t deal with the business of government, cut off a response that strays from the subject raised, but it’s problematic (and unworkable) to expect that he should be judging the quality of the response for the purposes of deciding when a question has truly been answered. I also disagree with Andrew’s suggestion that he should be able to compel a minister to stand. If the government side wants to hide a minister behind a designated deflector, that’s for the public to judge and the government to explain.

As for the way we elect our federal representatives, I’ve lately fallen for the idea of a ranked ballot. And unlike proportional representation or mixed-member proportional representation, I think a ranked ballot is something that could be widely accepted by the public and easily adopted.

(I’d happily be done with the monarchy, but, as Chantal says, it’s hard to imagine how that change would come about. If we’re looking around for things to abolish, it’d be more practical to focus on the Senate.)