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Conflict of interest


myata

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The omnipresent and ubiquitous conflict of interest seems to be a hallmark of Canadian politics. "Representatives" - employees, independent branch of authority - employees of the chief executive, "independent" oversight by own appointees and very good if not employees, non-competitive contracts to employers of family members, and of course, formal head of  independent state representative of a foreign monarch.

Has it just happened this way, or was designed on purpose? How could one design that on purpose, if, presumably, designing a democracy? Or so that one could never tell with any certainty, in the total absence and working and functional checks and balances and independent powers, which act is proper and where was a transgression?

For a century and some now this type of democracy, but in fact, colonial authority taken to logical limit; managed by hand by a hierarchy of officials accountable to no one; with minimal, once in years exercise providing a token of democratic legitimacy; worked anyhow in the environment far removed from the mainstream events of the world likely in the richest country in world. But will it be successful in the new times with their unique and far reaching impacts on all aspects of our lives? Can it be?

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I can see that in the minds of some words have become the equivalent of physical reality. XYZ billions spent so fixed for generation. Next item. "We think / say so you are". OK that's hardly a surprise upon centuries of social evolution.

Not pushing any theories or making any connections here, only observing:

2018: Pot legalized in Canada

2019: Covid-19

2020: Travel from Wuhan

2021: Fall election, 2021.

Right, how could one forget, "fixed election dates"! See, in the legends of legendary Canadian "conflict of interest" politics, the "law" of fixed election dates was broken by the same PM who promised to introduce it! Maybe because the "law" read something like "yes, of course they are fixed, certainly fixed... until unfixed by the sitting PM". There, enjoy your dates! And for that worthy piece of ... "work" "representatives" were paid well entitled (aka obscene, in the common language) entitlements sorry, digressing.

And now Canadians are dutifully going to the polls (with their masks etc as before) but has anybody asked me? Nope PM figured it out, thank-you, just sigh here and here. We just had our pandemic but how would it deal with the climate change? Wake up to "not to worry, please put on your full oxygen suit and line up for mandatory boosters to vaccinations" morning muzak? Doesn't sound too out of this world anymore... does it?

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9 minutes ago, Queenmandy85 said:

If you don’t participate, you miss out on all the fun. It also gives you the opportunity to have some input. If you don’t campaign, you have no right to complain.

I see no fun there, it's only as funless and boring as is grotesque and outdated in this century. And by now we should know all about "inputs" a majority PM needs (minority one too, most of the time) to shut down inquiries by "independent" "representatives" / employees. Maybe they could alternate, if only for a change? - one day representatives, next employees at least would be some difference.

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I don't like the result: that purported "representatives" are in fact, employees of party offices And that majority PM (and minority too) can shut down any inquiry at will. That is not how a democracy was supposed to work and that process has no meaningful outcome as far as I'm concerned. Nominated sure, got to sit in the chair and push button good for them but how it's got anything to do with me? If I needed to occupy time and meet people I'd rather go cycling in a group. It's better for the environment, good for the health you meet new people beats any time. Politics in this country sadly, degenerated into a club game for its own sake, little to do with concerns and interests of people.

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1 hour ago, Queenmandy85 said:

This is Canada. We do not have American style representatives. We have Members of Parliament. 
What exactly has the government done that offends you?

I already explained one cannot be an independent representative and an employee of the party boss at the same time, this is quite obvious conflict of interest and loyalty. If there are no independent representatives in the Parliament, it cannot be independent branch of authority.

If there is no independent branches then checks and balances cannot exist.

If there's no independent oversight of the executive branch then accountability of the government is not possible.

Question then: is it still a democracy? How can it be, without independent oversight, checks and balances and accountability?

Sure this is Canada, the question is though what is the political system of this country in truth and in essence, not just pretty words: a democracy? Or colonial authoritarian management system with hastily glued elections for appearance of democratic legitimacy?

Edited by myata
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An MP is not an employee of the executive. She can vote non- confidence in the government.

You say there is no over site over the executive yet the cabinet is bound to maintain the confidence of both parliament and the Crown. After all each member of Cabinet is appointed to serve at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

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13 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

An MP is not an employee of the executive. She can vote non- confidence in the government.

You say there is no over site over the executive yet the cabinet is bound to maintain the confidence of both parliament and the Crown. After all each member of Cabinet is appointed to serve at Her Majesty’s pleasure.

1. In theory or in reality? Then examples can be shown and not exceptional once in history but on a regular basis, as required by the situation and the society, that is supposed to be the job after all, not cutting ribbons. For example, sponsorship scandal, SNC and WE scandals merited and required parliamentary inquiry that never materialized. We can paint all kind of pretty pictures but it doesn't mean the contraption will work in reality and for quite obvious reasons as already stated - conflict of interest and loyalty.

2. "... each member of Cabinet is appointed to serve at Her Majesty’s pleasure" true, that can be the ultimate source of confusion if repeated too often and without reflection. In a democracy there's only one subject that is the principal and ultimate source of all authority. And without thinking one inevitably comes to that choice, majesty or democracy. And after centuries of drifting without thought or direction it may very well be too late to begin fixing anything. "Senate reform", sure. "Election reform" but of course.

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People like monarchy, pageant, carriages, amour stories, gossip columns in colorful magazines. But the bureaucracy needs Majesty for another and very logical reason: as a shield between the responsibility, accountability and the people. See, "Her Majesty's pleasure" that's who we serve and please and are accountable to (for all She/He cared, in an independent foreign country, works for us though). A hand move that transforms real, direct and immediate responsibility and accountability into abstract, hypothetical and very remote ones. Such a simple trick and so effective, for centuries.

"We serve Her pleasure", and you, just foot the bill. What? It worked and works!

Takeout: a democracy without active, involved and intelligent citizens cannot exist and would not exist. If one likes to be fooled and looking to be fooled they will be fooled. If one couldn't care, will be fooled. But look at these pretty pictures in the magazines.

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You say democracy cannot exist without “active, involved and intelligent citizens” and yet you say you are neither active nor involved.

The sponsorship and SNC affairs were examined and the governments were held accountable. The Martin government was defeated and the Trudeau government was reduced to a minority. What form of accountability are you looking for?

You mentioned electoral reform. The government tried to bring that in but the NDP blocked it.

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10 minutes ago, Queenmandy85 said:

The sponsorship and SNC affairs were examined and the governments were held accountable. The Martin government was defeated and the Trudeau government was reduced to a minority. What form of accountability are you looking for?

Immediate and direct accountability, such as effective parliamentary investigations as events are happening rather than decades after. Are you going to pay for an expensive renovation to get some results (if any) decade later, sorry that's just the way it works? Sponsorship scandal happened a full decade after the events and we, the public still doesn't know full details about SNC and WE affairs because no independent investigations were held.

Sure I would not involved with imitations of democracy, and why would anyone waste their time and efforts on that? A real democracy begins with the question where all authority in the country originates from and how it is held responsible and accountable to that source.

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One has to look no further than this very Re-politics site. PMO, Privy Council, Treasury board - this is all about how the bureaucracy works, not how the democracy works. 160 years devoted to development of bureaucratic hierarchy and function with none, to democracy? What else can be added in essence to, elect a dictator and let them run as they desire with no responsibility or oversight for so many years, and in the worst case you can try to remove them next time around? If it exists, shouldn't it be on the site too?

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Elections are fun as long as you don’t take the result too seriously. It doesn’t matter if the grits or Tories win anymore than if the Lions or the Riders win. Government win carry on as it should. Canadian governments tend to reflect the electorate. We have a highly professional public service to advise and guide the ministry. The point is to participate an have fun and after the election, get together with your opponents and have a beer.

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I’m still mystified as to what you are concerned about. The government works well, even under the extraordinary circumstances of COVID. Trudeau, O’Toole, Singh and Blanchet are honest people. Any government has a degree of corruption but Canada’s is very low. Where there is money, there are pirates. We have a vibrant press that holds the government to account in addition to the opposition. How would you change the system?

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3 hours ago, Queenmandy85 said:

The point is to participate an have fun and after the election, get together with your opponents and have a beer.

Sorry, being online, the emotional context isn't obvious here, is it irony, joke or uniquely Canadian perspective on the democracy? Healthcare in permanent crisis, tuition went up multiples, taxes, transit and municipal costs doubled, housing prices right through the roofs but the government is highly professional, so relax and enjoy your beer.

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2 hours ago, myata said:

 Healthcare in permanent crisis, tuition went up multiples, taxes, transit and municipal costs doubled, housing prices right through the roofs but the government is highly professional, so relax and enjoy your beer.

Healthcare, education, and transit are underfunded because voters resist paying taxes, thanks to that socialist credit con man, Preston Manning. Governments can only do what the voters will let them do.

Housing is too expensive because of over population.

How do you propose reducing tuition and the price of housing and transit?

It doesn’t matter who forms a government, there is a very narrow range of options available to government. The government is fairly sensitive to voter push back.

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18 minutes ago, Queenmandy85 said:

Healthcare, education, and transit are underfunded because voters resist paying taxes, thanks to that socialist credit con man, Preston Manning. Governments can only do what the voters will let them do.

So in your view paying MPs obscene $185 K for cr..py "laws" that wouldn't not work single term and ministers twice that and so on, not seen even remotely by any regular citizen when the country is in this condition is all fine, but it's the taxpayer at fault for failing to shell out more and more of whatever is left after paying ever rising costs? Would that be like, the reality upside down, in the ivory tower, bread and brioches? Could it not be the other way around: first needs of the citizens are assured by the government, and then from whatever is left, it is paid for the great job? And why not, to think of it, in a democracy?

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