To the editor:
It’s a perennial complaint and on-going dilemma: Why is voter turnout so low and continues to fall? It’s really not rocket science though you might think so by the matter in which all the politicians, bureaucrats, intelligencia and the usual know-it-alls continuously scratch their heads over the issue. The fact of the matter is the system is broken and it has been broken since Pierre Elliot Trudeau altered the Constitutionally described manner in which bills would be voted on in the house in order to give more power to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
As per the Canadian Constitution, when a bill is presented for a vote, all MPs are allowed to vote on the bill according to their conscious. If it is a governing party presented bill and is defeated, then a vote of confidence or non-confidence is held.
If the MPs of the governing party want to keep their job they vote ‘confidence’ in the governing party.
However, sometime during his eight-year reign, between 1976 and 1984, our darling Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, in a manner that is all too common in our present governing practises—behind closed doors in a secret meeting—made a slight adjustment and alteration to the manner in which bills would be voted on; that being the vote for the bill also became the vote of confidence or non-confidence.
Hence, if the MPs wanted to keep their job they had to vote for the bill regardless of how they felt about it.
So you see—no matter how good or bad the candidate is that is supposedly representing your riding, you are, in truth and reality, only voting for the party leader who tells them how they are going to vote (because if the don’t do as they told they get the boot). All power and authority is in the realm of the PMO—look around and what do you see??
Now, really, when people, particularly the young, though they don’t even know how things are really suppose to be conducted, understand and know that something is amiss and wrong, can you actually blame them for having no trust, faith or belief in the system? The Canadian Constitution, if adhered to, is really a marvellous document; however, in their craving for power and control those in positions of authority, claiming they know better twist things to suit their own individual needs and desires.
Just to let you know, I am probably one of the very few Canadians who has ever actually bothered to read any portion of our Constitution—have you? The section on taxation was my particular area of interest and yah, it is a pretty boring read.
John B. Collinson, Kelowna