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POLI 221 (77)

Peter Aucoin The Democratic Deficit.docx

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Political Science
Course Code
POLI 221
Rick Schultz

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Peter Aucoin and Lori Turnbull, “The Democratic Deficit: Paul Martin and Parliamentary Reform” Canadian Public Administration 2003, 46(4) pp.427-49.  Fall 2002: Paul martin’s speech on parliamentary reforms. Use of “democratic deficit” became the slogan of our political era Parliamentary Reform: Martin’s Six-Point Plan  Losing the hold of party discipline  Boosting the capacity of the members of Parliament to shape legislation before, rather than after, it gains the legislative approval  Increase the capacity of MPs to introducing legislation (introduction of private members’ bill  The House of Commons standing committees should have increased independence and expanded authority  Reforming the process surrounding government appointments  The creation of an independent Ethics Commissioner that would report to Parliament Relaxing Party Discipline  “three-line vote”: distinction between confidence votes (three-line vote) and free votes (one-line vote). Two-line vote is a vote on government legislation or government motion, but MPs can vote against their party without the government loosing the confidence of the House. But there is a preferred outcome recommended by the government to its caucus  When MPs always voted independently is referred to as the “golden age” of parliament  Parliamentary reform that relaxes party discipline still assumes the operation of a party government Securing Citizen Engagement  Bringing MPs into the policy formulation process and engaging citizens in this process will require the government’s legislative agenda to be sent to committees after first reading Reforming government appointments  Qualifications reviewed by a committee before final confirmation  Maybe the review would not even reduce the perception of citizens about democratic deficit Independent Ethics Commissioner  Agent of parliament and would report to the House Democratic Deficit: Why Parliamentary Reform?  Gap between what people expect of political institutions and what they perceive as reality  One critique by Donald Savoie: powe
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