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The Canadian System Of Goverment Essay

996 words - 4 pages

Canada’s system of government originated largely from the British model, with varied franchise, political parties, and responsible government as a constitutional monarchy. Early on there was a conservative approach to government and politics, although democracy was clearly lacking. Fast forward to modern Canada, where franchise has been opened to all citizens regardless of race, gender and sex and yet a true picture of democracy is often lacking amongst society. This paper will argue that Canada is a democracy, though it is often compromised in practice by exploring its parameters and problematic elements.

Democracy in practice is a hybridized system that combines elements of democratizing ...view middle of the document...

Without this commitment from all citizens, how can Canada be considered a strong reflection of democracy? In particular, when they stand to gain more than they would lose (Brett 2), even if it was just a better understanding of civic and political knowledge.

The parameters of democracy as a discourse are challenging to outline, given that democracy itself may or may not actually exist in practice. It is often used as a broad term that is “liked” or favored by Canadians as a useful umbrella term when necessary, but can be used as a counter when citizens are dissatisfied as well (Nurse 01/20/2014). As mentioned previously, joining into democracy is a voluntary decision, as there are no legal penalties for choosing not to be an active participant. Although, it is evident that voter turnout has significantly decreased, as “ every year fewer Canadians are getting involved in other kinds of political activities, like joining or donating to political parties, signing petitions or attending protests” (Bastedo et al, 2). There is no way that Canadian can be considered a democracy – run on the voices of the people – if there is a large absence of vocal agency, and “if nothing is done to reverse this disturbing trend, those in power will no longer hear the voices of the majority of Canadians” (Bastedo et al, 2). This may be increasingly evident as the 2010 Global Integrity Report moved Canada from 11th to 19th (out of 100 countries) in terms of its national government accountability, integrity, and democratic process (Democracy Education Network). According to David Suzuki there should be an obligation to vote, since without everyone’s vote, democracy as a process is undermined (Jenkins 1). These parameters are double fold: especially because there is a limitation to the popular control over the state (Nurse 01/20/2014). Citizens vote to establish their government, and yet the reality of laws and decisions facing select Canadians is not thrown back equally when marginalized or minority groups are involved. Who votes on the rights of “others:” equality for GLBT...

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