Thursday, January 14, 2010

Strongly-Worded Letters to PM, Opposition Leaders

On January 12, Fair Vote Canada sent an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and another to the leaders of the Liberal, New Democrat and Green parties. I've not seen such strong words from this organization before.

From the letter to Stephen Harper:

You have granted yourself and your party two unsupervised months to correct course...

Your party represents fewer than 40 per cent of Canadian voters. You can’t square that minority support, and the unilateral shutdown of Parliament, with any reasonable concept of legitimate and representative democratic government.

I do not accuse you of violating democracy itself only because the Canadian political system as it stands is intrinsically undemocratic. If you are leading a party of democrats, then surely it is time for you to abandon the shamocracy and make the House of Commons democratic.

And from the letter to the opposition leaders:

There is no sign that elimination of the democratic deficit in the House of Commons is on Stephen Harper’s agenda. It should be on yours...

At present the House of Commons embodies and projects a series of ridiculous untruths. Judging from the current “representation” most Quebecois want to quit the federation; most Canadians are reluctant to elect women; there are no Conservative supporters in Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto; there are no Liberal supporters in Alberta. There are no New Democrat supporters in Saskatchewan and remarkably few elsewhere, and no Green supporters anywhere in Canada...

Each of you should now be asking: does my party really want democratic representation for all Canadians, and what will my party risk or sacrifice, now, to achieve it?

I look forward to your individual written replies – and to your unequivocal commitments to seize the moment and do what is needed to make the House of Commons democratic.

I urge Canadians to read the letters in full.

It's long past time that individuals and organizations promoting democracy took their gloves off. By the tone of these letters, it sounds like Fair Vote Canada has taken the lead, in addition to the 1 out of every 160 Canadians who are members of Canadians Against Proroguing Parliament.