February 2019 archive

How to Improve Canada’s Democracy!

When hearing the word democracy, one can say that it’s a system of government run by the people. When really, it’s much more than that. We are gifted with the privilege to have a role in influencing decisions that affect us on a regular basis. People across the country are coming together to share their ideas and opinions with others to work together and create better communities on a wide range of issues. These issues are such as education, food security, racial equity, community – police relations, building prosperity, and many more. It is a system that represents equality, power and possibility. Although, there’s alway ways to improve our system and maintain status-quo. One of these enhancements is reforming our senate. 

As of constitution the senate is made up of 105 appointed members, divided up among the different provinces and territories. The Governor General is whom appoints the individuals to the senate, of course with the consultation of the Prime Minister present at the time being. The prime minister having the privilege to give advice to the Governor General could lead to many biases. The senate can be under the influence of the prime ministers party, therefor impacting their beliefs. An effective approach to this matter would be by electing the senate as appose to appointing it. Since democracy is a system of government by the people, we acquire the right to have a say about everyone included in our government. 

Electing members of the senate is actually happening right now in the States. Each of the 50 states in America elects two senators disregarding the population of each state. For example California, which has a population of just under 40 million, holds the same representation in the senate as Wyoming, which carries the least amount of population in all of America. This manner represents our equality rights because no matter what your population is, you still have the same say as another province or territory with a higher or lower population. This approach will also allow us to vote for our senators which then falls under our democratic rights.

One can say that since this matter occurs within our senate, why shouldn’t we just abolish and forget about it. Although what they’re missing out on is, that the senate was created to be something they call “a sober second thought” to the House of Commons. Imagine there is a law that has been proposed. Before this law can be passed, it must be reviewed by the senate first. Now the way they review the law is from the stand point of regional interests. They are good at speaking on behalf of the belittled minority interest groups. Examples of minority interests groups include, indigenous peoples, minority language and ethnic groups, and women. The second part of the senates reviewing chamber is investigating the different political and social issues facing the country and how the law being passed would have an affect on those matters. Think of it as looking at the big picture. The senate looks at who and what this law can potentially affect. The senate plays a very crucial role in our law making process, therefor it is extremely essential and should not be abolished.

If we were to reform the Senate it wouldn’t be impossible. The Senate was established under the constitution, meaning that any changes require the consent of two-thirds of Canada’s provinces which is at least seven of them. Representing 50 percent of the population. How we can let the government know that we want this change to occur is by protesting, lobbying, or creating a petition. This is all possible by individuals stepping up and fighting for their beliefs. Standards that were tolerated decades ago are no longer acceptable today. Society and beliefs are changing at an impeccably high rate and so should our government system.

 

Bibliography:

Kheiriddin, Tasha. “Tasha Kheiriddin: If You Want to Reform Our Democracy, Abolish the Senate.” National Post, 20 Jan. 2016, nationalpost.com/opinion/tasha-kheiriddin-if-you-want-to-reform-our-democracy-abolish-the-senate.

 
Legislative Services Branch. “Consolidated Federal Laws of Canada, Access to Information Act.” Canada Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 22 Feb. 2019, laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/Const/page-15.html.

 
Privy Council Office. “About the Senate.” Canada.ca, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 30 Oct. 2017, http://www.canada.ca/en/campaign/independent-advisory-board-for-senate-appointments/about-the-senate.html.

 
Siddiqui, Sabrina. “Democrats Got Millions More Votes – so How Did Republicans Win the Senate?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 8 Nov. 2018, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/nov/08/democrats-republicans-senate-majority-minority-rule.

Elizabeth May Interview

The party that I most side with is the Green Party, and this interview is one with Elizabeth May who is the current leader of the Green party. This interview was published on September 11, 2015 and conveyed by CBC News specifically the National. It is one where every leader of the main Canadian political parties gets interviewed. It is a chance for the parties leader to share their intellectual point of view on what they believe their party is all about, along with the changes they will bring to Canada. The interviewers name is Peter Mansbridge and what he argues at the beginning is the matter that 70 percent of Canadians want “change” according to the polls. He also mentions that if they really wanted “change” then why aren’t they voting for the party that will bring real change, being the Green Party. She then tells him that they do have votes in some parts of Canada but they are pushing towards a minority government so that they have more say than what they have at the moment. She believes that this change will benefit all of Canada. What she did by stating that statement was send out a message to the audience being the voters, and persuading them to vote for her party. Another argument that Mansbridge discusses is the different political policies that the green party is going to bring if they are in power. Those changes being the national Pharmacare program, free tuition, ending oil production by the middle of the century…etc. At the end he adds a snarky comment about these changes being expensive. She then says that she does have a plan and her party has costed it out and it will be paid for. Throughout this interview Elizabeth May numerously displays her party being left wing and one of the quotes backing up this reasoning is, and I quote  “ We’re a party committed to bringing forward big ideas, new ideas and demonstrating by our conduct in Parliament.” This reveals that the Green Party wants to bring change through new ideas which demonstrates them being left wing, a left wing thinker being one open to new changes. I strongly do agree with Elizabeth when she says that if Canadians vote for the Green Party it will benefit Canada. This is because I love the concept of bringing forward new ideas and changes because I believe change is a very good thing to be working towards within a country, even if it is costly. It is important to spend our money towards things that will benefit us.

Social Studies 10 Reflection #2

Socials Reflection:

This week in socials I learned about how we pass laws in Canada, and how there isn’t really a higher power that could rule our country. It helps rest assure that our government won’t fall under an autocracy. An autocracy is a system of government which runs by one person with absolute power. This can cause a lot of problems within our government and country. Which is why its close to 100% certain that we won’t fall into an autocracy with how our government system works when it come to passing a law. I found this useful to learn about because in a way I feel more power knowing that a law can’t be passed without the majority of the population wanting it to be passed. 

Social Studies 10 Reflection #1

Reflection: 

I really enjoyed the past week and a half of social studies and the way mr. Chan teaches it. I really like the way he views social studies and how he thinks it can make you a better person if you really care about a problem in the society enough to make a change about it.  It really got me thinking about how I can start making a change even if it is just a small cause. I also got a glimpse of where I stand in the political spectrum. Which really helped me understand what I believe in when it comes to political views. I can now look at a country and see where they lie,  just by looking at their government system and beliefs. Speaking of governments, I also learned the different ways to make a change in the government. These ways include lobbying, petitioning and civil disobedience. I now understand what each of them do and how much affect they each have on really making a difference. Something else I did was adding more to my knowledge of political ideologies and which one I agree with most and least. This was important because I realized that the ideology I agree with, being liberalism and where I live which is Canada, we lie between socialism and liberalism. This makes me appreciate where I live because I know it supports what I value which is freedom and equality. Overall this has been a great intro to how social studies is going to be for the next few months!