The House: ‘We will get the democracy we deserve’


Rather than simply lament for how little attention is paid to the institution, I thought I’d ask some smart people if they had anything to say in response to my piece about the state of the House of Commons. Over the next little while, those responses will appear here. Next up, Alex Himelfarb.

As we watch events unfold in Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya, as the media chronicle acts of extraordinary courage in the face of grotesque brutality, I expect many of us –  inspired, hopeful, uncertain — are led to reflect on things here at home.  For me, at least, this has meant a recognition of our own very good fortune accompanied, at the same time, by worry about our increasingly enfeebled democracy and perhaps too some shame that we don’t seem able to muster the will to do anything about it.

Read on at Alex’s blog.


The House: ‘We will get the democracy we deserve’

  1. I'm can't believe we've become such 'commodities' to be manipulated on the electoral market by The Harper Government (TM) double-talk!
    I'm Canadian and I'm really angry now.

    Orwell must be turning over in his grave.

  2. Well, based on Aaron's selection, it is clear that "smart People" only come in the Liberal variety.

    Hey Aaron…could you not find any worthy candidates at the Fraser Institue? Manning Centre? There are a lot of Smart Conservatives out there……..or maybe they won't return your calls?

  3. In the Himelfarb article, there's mention of Preston Manning, plus a link to a story Manning wrote (which, in turn, I clicked on and read… it was very interesting). FYI.

  4. Which article could explain (at least in part) the current LPC difficulties?

  5. After reading the past few entries in this series appears as though a common theme is emerging: As much as we want to talk about 'fixes' in our institutions and parties, the first step is simply shaking off our complacency, participating, and demanding better.

  6. Hey Aaron…could you not find any worthy candidates at the Fraser Institue?


    I doubt a worthy candidate would participate in the disingenuous sham that is the Fraser Institute.

  7. Both, since they both discuss the disconnect between parties and the people. Manning actually says that modern political parties are on their way to becoming intellectually bankrupt, and are more concerned about winning elections.

    If you were looking at an article that specifically sh*tcans the Liberals, you might be disappointed, however.

  8. "Demand Better" would make an excellent election campaign slogan.

  9. As our society crumbles around us, as our system of taxation is perverted to reward incompetance and failure, as moral relativists equate our civilization with its primitive and brutal predecessors, as the abject failure of the "socialist ideal" confronts the historical reality of 'human action", let us turn to the chief architects of those failed policies and give them another soap box to preach to their choir about how right they are and how their failures of policy, vision and understanding are actually the fault of we foolish conservative types.
    The problem my lefty friends is not what you know, but rather what you have chosen to believe. As the Bard opined 500 years ago. "there is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy". In a nut shell that is why people behave the way they do…we are humans.(cont.)

  10. (cont)Every human, in every transaction, asks the eternal buying question: "what's in it for me?" When for fifty years they have been told by the "leaders"( you are asking for solutions from) that they can have their cake and eat it too, all they have to do is pass laws to take the cake from those who worked for it, they start to believe it…go figure.

  11. "If you were looking at an article that specifically sh*tcans the Liberals…"

    The opposite. Ever thrown something away, only to find the new one is a dud? I did find Manning's article interesting. This is the part that stood out for me, though I'll bet the CPC will never let it happen to them…

    "The danger for parties that have been long in office is that, during that time, they allow this infrastructure to atrophy. Then when the party is removed from office, it finds itself intellectually bankrupt, lacking in qualified personnel and communications capability."

  12. Thank you. Let's change the culture that says belonging to a political party is out of fashion.

  13. Everybody but me is a barbarian.

  14. Aaron, here's a little tidbit for your "relevance of parliament" series…an interesting summary of the MPs which have missed 50 or more of the 311 votes in the Commons since the 2008 election.

    Although given the fact that almost the entire list is Liberal MPs, I suspect we won't be reading about it here. More than half the Liberal MPs in the House have missed 50+ votes.

  15. Yeah. This barbarian socialist accepts diversity, is willing to negotiate and compromise, has a shared sense of communitarianism, and a general liberal attitude towards most social issues. These values may be failed policies under a Harper Government I guess; Harper and peter despise my values.

  16. The road to hell is always paved with good intentions. And while I honor your values…I despise the lie they are based on and feel pity that you fail to notice the reality that manifests everywhere the lie has been tried…the Uk and Australia being the most similar, but further down the road.

  17. Are you suggesting they did not vote because they weren't in attendance or couldn't be bothered? It could be that it was just as conscious an act as choosing to vote a particular way is a conscious act.