This is why we can't have changed things - Macleans.ca

This is why we can’t have changed things

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Amanda Clarke considers what stands in the way of democratic reform.

This perfect storm of shared disappointment should make parliamentary reform a rare easy win – not just for a campaigning party, but for anyone with a stake in Canadian democracy. Yet, the reforms we have accomplished in the recent past represent relatively paltry efforts to revive our politics … At the same time, initiatives that could have an appropriately transformative effect on the nature of our democracy – electoral reform, cleaning up Question Period, and loosening party discipline, to cite just three examples – are often discussed as impossible feats, and are rarely raised as election issues.

Something doesn’t add up. If citizens want reform, and so do their leaders, why have we cast these more groundbreaking opportunities for democratic renewal aside?