It is obvious by the arrogant behavior of our majority politicians in Ottawa that Canadians need a system to address contentious issues and even bypass the dictatorial behavior of a tightly disciplined majority political party. The 92 days that parliament was open in 2000 and the endless questions about the mismanagement of money at HRDC had no impact. The introduction of the Auditor Generals report merely meant a call for another election.
It is obvious to anyone who watches the conduct of our majority politicians in Ottawa that something is dreadfully wrong as they manipulate the system in their favor. The basic ideas of democracy and rule by the people for the people, needs to be returned to the people. This is a radical idea in Canadian politics because our national politicians have been accustomed to being isolated by party discipline in distant Ottawa.
Canadians need a Referendum-Recall Act, to amend or cancel legislation, Supreme Court decisions, change our Constitution and give Canada back to Canadians.
Politicians in a majority-disciplined position as the Liberals in Ottawa, are fiercely opposed to this type of legislation. They are comfortable with the Ottawa imposed dictatorship, the constant world traveling, the billion dollars missing at HRDC and the 22 ongoing police investigations. They are extremely reluctant to share power with the people. They prefer to keep Canadians in a dependent child-like state.
They will attempt to stop, delay, change or manipulate these proposals out of existence as they did with the APEC inquiry.
Opportunities to initiate a Referendum-Recall Act should present themselves after a long period of mismanagement by government (as in the HRDC scandal) or extremely arrogant moves by politicians (as in Mulroney of the stacked Senate and the imposed GST). Unfortunately this normal rule of thumb that is expected in ordinary democracies, does not work in Canada. Canadians just reelected the majority Liberals back into office after a yearlong scandal at HRDC. Canadians are either extremely complacent or apathetic. Arrogant despotic politicians love these types of voters as they plot and plan how to increase their power.
A Referendum-Recall Act would force politicians to pay attention to their constituents and be less isolated by party discipline in Ottawa. A Referendum-Recall Act could be designed to enable Canadians on a national level to address national issues or Canadians on a local level to recall their elected representative.
The Referendum-Recall Act should enable Canadians to initiate a referendum by a petition supported by 5% of the eligible voters on the current voters list. 50%+1 should be considered a majority and the result should be legally binding.
This does not mean government by referendum. It does mean that Canadians do not elect dictators to govern for a four-year stretch. It does mean that Canadians may not want to live in a judicial dictatorship of radical decisions by the Supreme Court. It does mean that Canadians want Ottawa to exercise fiscal responsibility.
The business of government should continue in the usual way.
Elections Canada or another designated bureaucracy should be delegated to organize and exercise the leadership necessary for effective and speedy referendum process. Because this system is new to Canadians, the media and a web page to advise Canadians should publish the issues.
Contact Jim Bredin
The Canadian House of Commons. The parliamentary TV cameras are not allowed to scan a picture like this because Canadians might realize how few MPs are actually in parliament.