Your Community readers weigh in on democracy survey

Categories: Canada, Community, Politics

Canadians are less satisfied with the way democracy works than they were eight years ago, a new poll suggests, and the CBC Community had a lot to say about that result. 

It's not surprising that critics of Prime Minister Stephen Harper would agree with the study's findings. 

  • "No surprise. Party and party leader increasingly come ahead of the good of country and of constituents. It's my distinct impression that my MP sees his prime role as representing the government to us, rather than representing us in Parliament and to government," said John Sollows.

  • "It makes sense. When we have a prime minister making crucial announcements from anywhere but his own nation, it makes you wonder. When Mr. Harper announced changes to Old Age Pension, it was from Switzerland. This secretive and somewhat "yellow" way of representing the people reduces trust in government. Look at the Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal and the way our Prime Minister is promising China more fossil fuels but won't come right out and say he is 100% in favour of the pipeline has made people question democracy in Canada. Don't get me started on the recent 'omnibus budget bill.' That is a kick in the face to all of Canada," said Skeenaman.

Nor is it surprising that Harper's supporters would find fault with the poll. 

  • "I would venture a guess and say that Canadians are in fact very happy that we have a majority Conservative government in place, and that our Parliamentary system is one that is admired from around the globe. A definite success story. We are just seeing a more vocal and desperate socialist element in today's society," said Wallygator.

  • "Lefties are always unhappy with democracy when they lose. Hmmmmmm, that's been happening a lot since 2004," said REDislies. 

Many called for a new voting system with some kind of proportional representation.

  • "'First-past-the-post' electoral system is simple minded and has to go," said Bololoy.

  • "Our current way for electing our Parliament is totally undemocratic, which is why we do not support democracy as it is presented to us," said HankBurnaby.

  • "It is time for some form of proportional representation. That way the parties need to present their platform - and be judged on it, and the people who will deliver it, not just the cult of the leader, or the ways the party deflects issues away from themselves by creating problems each other party has," said HankBurnaby. 

And CBC Community member Common S said that the survey doesn't reflect Canadians' view of democracy, just of the people and parties who are currently in Parliament. 

"All huff and puff for nothing. If Canadians are less content with the way democracy works, then the question they should be asking is, 'What would you like to see democracy replaced with?'

"This is a ridiculous survey, has nothing to do with satisfaction levels about democracy at all, rather it has to with the current level of satisfaction with the current crop of politicians and political parties.

"While the current political landscape leaves a lot to be desired, it is not totally to blame. A greater share of that blame is at the feet of the citizenship in continually electing these losers to represent them.

"It's time to start holding our representatives to a higher standard. Don't blame democracy; blame yourselves for not speaking out. Use it, or lose it."

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Tags: Canada, Community, Community Reaction, Politics

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