1 Anxious Liberal


Democracy Being Undermined In Canada

We have a democratic system in Canada where the grassroots in a party can be stripped of their rights by the elites and the will of the electorate in a riding can be reversed by the power seeking ambitions of one man.

Liberals bent, folded and mutilated party rules to narrow the leadership contenders to one and anoint Michael Ignatieff interim chief. Whatever the urgency or justification, chattering-class Liberals effectively stripped the rank and file of the right and responsibility to choose a leader.

David Emerson, a respected former forestry executive and top B.C. bureaucrat, is recalled as one of Paul Martin’s most competent ministers. Almost forgotten now is his corrosive effect on public trust.  In 2006, Emerson ran for re-election in Vancouver-Kingsway, winning easily as a Liberal. Weeks after promising to be Stephen Harper’s “worst nightmare,” Emerson was named to the Conservative cabinet in the trade portfolio he had long wanted and was well-suited for. His rationale was simple: There’s no point in being in the capital if there’s no real possibility of influencing the nation’s course.  Emerson is an honest man and his motives genuine. But in severing the link between ballots and voter choice, he made nonsense of the electoral process.

I have about as much respect for Ignatieff as I do for Emerson.  They have both eroded our democratic institutions in Canada.  Neither of them think what they did is wrong.  What is ironic in Ignatieff’s case is that this is a man that has spent a career talking about and presumably trying to advance human rights.

And while the Canadian public loses more and more faith in our politicians and institutions, the truth is that we are the ones to blame.  When these things happen we shouldn’t stand on the sidelines.

There needs to be a massive democratization of the Liberal Party and the ONLY ones who can do it are the grassroots.


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