POL382 April 4th.docx

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12 Apr 2012
POL382 April 4th, 2012
Why Democracy Matters
- our lives which is important to ppl
- democracy makes problems visible
- only visible problems get solved
- leadership acts when democracy demands
- democracy means “we” take ownership of our problems
- big thing democracy makes us feel like agents of our own lives/collective conditions
- but… democracy can lead to impasse
- only leadership can break the impasse
- more democracy have, more consultation that is, harder it can be to make decisions
-> have to balance b/n democracy & decisions
- leads to question: is democracy as a structural form necessary to solve some of the
social & institutional problems?
o Ignatieff would say that Canada cannot fix the problems w/o fixing the
- federalism doesn’t just make it difficult to do stuff together, but also to get stuff done
o in Canada right now, feds & provs don’t even meet to discuss very much
Reform Agenda (1)
Decrease pwr of the PM, increase the pwr of parliament
- improve representative democracies
- empwr cabinet
o b/c cabinet members come from all across the country & need that regional
representation at the table -> they impose a check on the PMO pwr
- empwr Commons’ Committees
o allow Commons Committees to select their own chairs & then give them
additional resources to call witnesses, to do studies, to write reports that are
critical of gov’t policies
o right now PM appoints so MPs have more pressure to stay on his good side
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