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Democracy 2.0


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Democracy 2.0 aka Chimeric Government:

Raison D'etre: A single party can't accurately represent your beliefs.

1. Divide the government up into 5 major branches. Ex. Foreign,Education,Health,Economy. The head of each branch directs the policy for that branch.

2. When you vote. You vote for which party you want to represent you in each branch.

Ex:

Foreign: Vote Conservative (I like their approach to the war on Terror)

Education: Vote New Democrat (I like their attitude towards higher education)

Health: Vote Bloc (I am interested in health care reforms)

Economy: Vote Liberal (I like their approach to unemployment reforms)

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Foreign: Vote Conservative (I like their approach to the war on Terror)

Education: Vote New Democrat (I like their attitude towards higher education)

Health: Vote Bloc (I am interested in health care reforms)

Economy: Vote Liberal (I like their approach to unemployment reforms)

You can't have your cake and eat it too. I would love to have NDP style social programs with the tax levels promised by the Conservatives but life does not work that way. Parties have to provide a complete program that makes choices based on their principals. Each voter has to choose a party that they feel would makes the tough choices that they can live with.
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"Each voter has to choose a party that they feel would makes the tough choices that they can live with."

Not to sound like a smart-ass (Hey! Scratch that! I love taking any opportunity to be a smart-ass), but some people use democracy so that they can choose a party that they feel would make the EASY choices for themelves that OTHER PEOPLE have to live with (or pay).

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"Each voter has to choose a party that they feel would makes the tough choices that they can live with."

Not to sound like a smart-ass (Hey! Scratch that! I love taking any opportunity to be a smart-ass), but some people use democracy so that they can choose a party that they feel would make the EASY choices for themelves that OTHER PEOPLE have to live with (or pay).

Unlike many Liberal & NDP voters, I vote for the party who shares my beliefs! I know that sounds strange to some of you, but I don't think strategic voting does any good. It's funny when two parties with several differences would do such a thing to stop one party.

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It's funny when two parties with several differences would do such a thing to stop one party.
Conservative voters do the same thing in ridings where an NDP candidate has a chance of winning in many urban ridings. We don't here about it in the media because the Conservatives have give up any hope of winning seats in the cities so they don't try to compaign against it.
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We have that now in Canada. It's called a federal system of government.

This thread should not be in this category but rather in the Moral/Religious issues category.

How is a proposal for a new federal system of government a moral or religious issue? At least, how is it more moral/religious than Canadian Politics>Federal Politics?

Plus, I don't think either you or Riverwind have gotten the point of the initial post at all. Subey is proposing a radical change to the structure of the Canadian Federal government. The system we have now is not at all like what he/she is proposing. Reread the post.

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How is a proposal for a new federal system of government a moral or religious issue? At least, how is it more moral/religious than Canadian Politics>Federal Politics?
We usually discuss general social, philosophical questions in moral/religious category.
Plus, I don't think either you or Riverwind have gotten the point of the initial post at all. Subey is proposing a radical change to the structure of the Canadian Federal government. The system we have now is not at all like what he/she is proposing. Reread the post.
Subey is not proposing a radical change at all.

Provincial governments in Canada are responsible for education and health. We vote for a political party to deal with these. The federal government is responsible for national defence and interprovincial transportation. We vote for a different political party to deal with these issues. Municipal governments deal with garbage removal and streetlights. We choose other politicians for this.

In effect, that's what Suby was suggesting. I suppose we could divide areas differently and have another government but I'm not certain if that would be useful.

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Plus, I don't think either you or Riverwind have gotten the point of the initial post at all. Subey is proposing a radical change to the structure of the Canadian Federal government. The system we have now is not at all like what he/she is proposing. Reread the post.
I got the point. My response was that it is not practical to choose a gov't that way because all policies are interconnected and that a single party needs to look at all policies and construct a coherent platform that addresses their priorites without breaking the bank.
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August:

I have to quibble.

The problem with your argument is that Subey is proposing a system wherein all Canadians have an equal say in all of these spheres of public policy and you are not. Therefore, your argument that we already have the system in place that Subey is proposing is not valid.

For example, the Federal Government currently has legislation in place for collecting taxes and redistributing tax dollars for both Health and Education spending. Their control over healthcare financing in particular gives them a stranglehold over what you've correctly identified as a Provincial matter. This fiscal control allows them to set a national agenda for the manner in which publicly funded healthcare is delivered. Many Canadians agree with this arrangement - they believe every Canadian should have the same level of care, regardless of which Province they reside in. However, if a Province had the wherewithal to forego Federal funding it could pull out of the Canada Health Act and set it's own agenda. If Canadians wanted to ensure equitable treatment across the country was a permanent feature of our pubic policy, we would require some fairly radical amendments to our Constitution.

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The problem with your argument is that Subey is proposing a system wherein all Canadians have an equal say in all of these spheres of public policy and you are not. Therefore, your argument that we already have the system in place that Subey is proposing is not valid.
Huh? A Canadian living in Nova Scotia and a Canadian living in Manitoba each have the right to influence any policy.
For example, the Federal Government currently has legislation in place for collecting taxes and redistributing tax dollars for both Health and Education spending. Their control over healthcare financing in particular gives them a stranglehold over what you've correctly identified as a Provincial matter. This fiscal control allows them to set a national agenda for the manner in which publicly funded healthcare is delivered.
That's Riverwind's point too. And it's a problem that arises when there are different governments, sovereign in their jurisdictions, in a single country. (I believe that was Subey's proposal.)

The federal government, in its wisdom, has decided to get involved in financing provincial government activities. BTW, the US federal government does the same.

My response was that it is not practical to choose a gov't that way because all policies are interconnected and that a single party needs to look at all policies and construct a coherent platform that addresses their priorites without breaking the bank.
Then I guess you are arguing that a federal system is impractical because it will invariably lead to fiscal imbalances.
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Huh? A Canadian living in Nova Scotia and a Canadian living in Manitoba each have the right to influence any policy.

Within their own jurisdictions only. A Nova Scotian can't vote to change policy on Provincial matters in Manitoba.

That's Riverwind's point too. And it's a problem that arises when there are different governments, sovereign in their jurisdictions, in a single country. (I believe that was Subey's proposal.)

No. The way I read it, the difference is under Subey's proposal all Canadians, regardless of the province, would vote on these matters of public policy as represented by a single legislative body, not individual Provincial legislatures.

The federal government, in its wisdom, has decided to get involved in financing provincial government activities. BTW, the US federal government does the same.

Okay, but that's neither here nor there. My example was to point out that though our current method of financing gives the illusion that we have a unified public health care system, in reality we do not, and that to truly unify the system would require the radical constitutional amendments that you claimed are unnecessary.

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Then I guess you are arguing that a federal system is impractical because it will invariably lead to fiscal imbalances.
Only when the accountability chain is broken and the politicians responsible for spending the money are not the same as the politicians responsible for collecting the taxes. Fix the jurisdictional overlap problem and I agree that federalism would provide a form of what Subey was proposing.
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Huh? A Canadian living in Nova Scotia and a Canadian living in Manitoba each have the right to influence any policy.

Within their own jurisdictions only. A Nova Scotian can't vote to change policy on Provincial matters in Manitoba.

Within their own jurisdictions only? But that's the point of the whole idea!

Subey's proposal was that we would have one government dealing with health affairs and another government dealing with national defence. That's what we've got now. It is churlish to note that a Nova Scotians can't vote to change Manitoban health policy - if Manitobans want the same health policy as Nova Scotians, they can readily vote for it.

I think the confusion here lies in not viewing a policy landscape as anything different from a literal (geographic) landscape.

Then I guess you are arguing that a federal system is impractical because it will invariably lead to fiscal imbalances.
Only when the accountability chain is broken and the politicians responsible for spending the money are not the same as the politicians responsible for collecting the taxes. Fix the jurisdictional overlap problem and I agree that federalism would provide a form of what Subey was proposing.
This is the argument of those who believe there is a fiscal imbalance (and indeed of many who believe in Quebec sovereignty). They believe the federal government encroaches into another jurisdiction (you call it breaking the "accountability chain").

There is one difference between a policy landscape and geographic landscape. A citizen can move to another province but short of leaving the country, a citizen can't avoid being subject to a particular national policy. So it's a bit like saying the federal version of Sobey's idea is ideal because it means citizens can vote with their feet too.

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Extracting the most valid argument against my proposal is the idea of interconnectedness and that only a single political party can put forth a cohesive working platform at any one time.

Ultimately this is true because the umbrella that governs all policy (as has been observed in this thread) is the collection and distribution of tax money.

There are solutions, but is there an elegant one?

What if the process was inverted? with 2 elections?

The first election would be to determine the tax/distribution to the 5 branches. And the second would be for what to do with the money.

Ex. Party X wins the Umbrella election with the following agenda:

Personal Income Tax down 1%

and Education spending up 500 million.

(Each party would have a different distribution I assume)

and then the second election would be what to do with the money. i.e. Canadians have voted to increase Education spending by $500 million. Now each party has a platform on what they want to do with that money. (NDP will lower tuitions, Conservatives will increase scholarships etc.)

***

I'll sum it all up using Pizza (for you luddites :D)

Current Democracy: 2 people, one is elected to chooses the size and toppings

Chimeric Democracy: 2 people, one person is elected to chooses size and you get 1/2 half pepperoni and 1/half cheese

If democracy is about representation. Then it should move towards a model that is more representative. Chimeric Government is a suggestion in that direction.

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I admire your creativity but I think its a recipe for anarchy and sheer

100% confusion. I just don't see you how you divide such things so neatly.

In reality they overlap so trying to arbitrarily decide which side of the line

they fall on would be impossible. I can just see the disputes over what is Conservative

this and Liberal that. Ah no thanks.

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I'll sum it all up using Pizza (for you luddites :D)

Current Democracy: 2 people, one is elected to chooses the size and toppings

Chimeric Democracy: 2 people, one person is elected to chooses size and you get 1/2 half pepperoni and 1/half cheese

What you call a "Chimeric Democracy" is the same as a "Federal Government".

In Canada, you get pizza and a drink. If you live in Quebec, you get an all-dressed pizza with Pepsi. If you live in BC, you get a Hawaiian pizza with Iced Tea. (And to exaggerate I suppose, wherever you live, Alberta pays for it.)

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Democracy 2.0 aka Chimeric Government:

Raison D'etre: A single party can't accurately represent your beliefs.

1. Divide the government up into 5 major branches. Ex. Foreign,Education,Health,Economy. The head of each branch directs the policy for that branch.

2. When you vote. You vote for which party you want to represent you in each branch.

Ex:

Foreign: Vote Conservative (I like their approach to the war on Terror)

Education: Vote New Democrat (I like their attitude towards higher education)

Health: Vote Bloc (I am interested in health care reforms)

Economy: Vote Liberal (I like their approach to unemployment reforms)

I really like the idea, ppl on this forum should at least understand that an idea must be develloped to be realist (Subey only wrote a dozen lines), it would be great if we could talk about how to make it a better idea, more structured and a more practical instead of only reveiling whats wrong with the idea. My point isn't to blame anyone, its just an observation i want to share, mainly an observation on me because i do criticize so much myself B)

Here is my share of ideas for Democracy 2.0.

First of all, if we split powers according to those branch we would need a special branch to give a budget to those sub branches, wich is a bit hard if we want them to be autonomous and have their own philosophy. I beleive we would need to vote also on how much % we want the government to be able to spend on that particular branch or to vote knowing they would be able to spend that much % or to give them the right to taxes ourself wich could lead o fiscal imbalance or that could be a task for the senate (vote a budget to those branches). Anyway i beleive its one part that need to be worked on in order to make it a better idea.

Here are some other idea about what i want and don't want:

-I want my government to inspire a philosophy, i dont want it to be partial, we can't ask them to be partial if we want them to inspire a philosophy and do politics. We can't ask a debater to debate on both side or a lawyer to deffend and attack their own client. It is just impossible for a deputy to be for and against his own party.

-I don't want it to be in control of anything that must be partial, i don't want them to tell me how much we are in debt or our financial situation. In other word i don't want to place them in a situation where they would be tempted to lie to us because they want to go higher in the polls...

-I want to know evrything about how my money is spent. I want to know who spent how much, when and why. I want it to be accessible via the web, just like my groceries invoice.

I beleive politicians must not be treated like they want our well being, they must be seen as philosophers and project managers, in no circonstance we should put our entire trust in them. I don't mean we can't trust them or that they doesn't want our well being, it just mean that corruptions need power to exist so we shouldn't be surprised if political powers is very attractive to the corruptors and we should be aware of that fact and prevent it as much as we can.

One way to instore this philosophy would be to split politics in two. One part would be in charge of political philosophy and manage the country's money with that philosophy while the other side would be only in charge of the mathematics such as collecting taxes, financial reports and prevent fraud. They would be in a way our national bank. The political philosophers would then ask for some kind of credit card to the national bank wich would write down its owner and on what that money was spent electronically. The political philosophers must by no mean get free access to our money. This way evry politicians become accountable of the money he spent. If he spent it bad then it is a philosophical error and the voters will judge the politician accordingly with the information the banks give us, if he doesn't use it for what he was ellected for or there is a suspect unusual transfer, then if its fraud the national bank would know immediatly how to deal with it and take actions to protect us.

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This has been said before by others but it really does not seem to sink in:

The mechanics of everything that you describe is already in place with our federal system.

The mechanics are divided up by dividing the jurisdictions of each level of governemtn:

federals, provicials and municipals each take care of different tasks.

Yes, there may be some overlap and maybe we should look at better delineations.

However, the mechanics of what you describe in your Chimeric (sorry, why that word?) government can be actualized currently.

I will take your words and go line by line to illustrate:

"1. Divide the government up into 5 major branches. Ex. Foreign,Education,Health,Economy. The head of each branch directs the policy for that branch.

We already have that:

Foreign branch is managed by the feds.

Education branch is managed by the provinces.

Health branch is managed by the provinces.

Economy branch is managed by the feds.

"2. When you vote. You vote for which party you want to represent you in each branch."

When you vote for each branch (feds, provinces and municipalities) you will be voting for your prefered foreign, education, health and economic policies.

In all fairness, I would suggest that our efforts at political reform would be better served by reducing the overlap of jurisdictions and more transparency instead of creating philosophical politicians.

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Three cheers for Subey in getting us to think outside the box on democracy, and to those who have chimed in with intelligent suggestions.

I, too, would like to see a wholesale redesign of democracy but rather than throwing ideas (like PR) against the wall and seeing what sticks, I think everything should start with a fundemental look at what's going on now.

1 ) Our present method of electing and discussing government was not designed for an ultra-comfortable society that doesn't bother voting, and that gets its ideas from quick and brief electronic media. Most of the electorate is disengaged politically, and we need to either accept this, or look for ways to engage them without demanding an unreasonable effort. It's sad, but that's reality.

2 ) Our present method of government is many times more complex and bloated than it needs to be. This situation also alienates people, aside from costing too much money to run and administer. I would say that most of what government does (the part that doesn't need to be eliminated) should be moved into a crown corporation for delivery systems. If you think of Canada Post, they seem to have benefitted greatly from being taken largely out of the political realm.

So, government services need to be streamlined, de-politicized, and separated somehow from the political process. This would give us more harmony, more focus on the real issues that need discussing, and save us money in the long run. All of this would be managed hand-in-hand with a re-imagining of how we discuss and monitor our governments.

The end result would be something closer to what we had at confederation - a system of government that could spend more time talking about big-picture issues that the electorate would have more interest in, and could actually contribute to.

Even the simplest Canadian can understand and lend an opinion to ideas such as same-sex marriage, or even free trade. But things such as the gun registry are too arcane, complex and frankly boring to bring into the public sphere. Hence, they're mismanaged by crisis.

My two cents.

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Dear Mr.Hardner,

So, government services need to be streamlined, de-politicized, and separated somehow from the political process.
I would think a good start to this would be to abolish unions. Though I am a 'leftist', I think unions cause more trouble and cost than they offer benefit. Most reasonable labour standards are covered by law, the union movement is passe. There have already been major strides and savings in 'jobbing out' things such as road paving, public works, etc. to private companies. (Though pitfalls include the notorious 'Adscam'). The more privatization of public services occurs, the 'less gov't' (or at least, bureaucracy) there need be. CUPE doesn't need to be abolished, it needs to be abandoned.
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I would think a good start to this would be to abolish unions. Though I am a 'leftist', I think unions cause more trouble and cost than they offer benefit. Most reasonable labour standards are covered by law, the union movement is passe. There have already been major strides and savings in 'jobbing out' things such as road paving, public works, etc. to private companies.

Declaring war on unions isn't the way, though. Large changes such as what I've described need a smooth transition.

As far as that goes, Canada Post, LCBO, and other organizations have done a good job of engaging organized labour in a productive way (to be crass, they have made them realize how good they've got it) and managed to get more out of them. As one right-wing poster posted here recently, these jobs also do a good job of raising the general wage.

People don't mind paying more for better service. In the past I was very appreciative of the quick and smart service I got from essential government agencies such as the passport office. The more of this mentality that can be brought to government services the better.

(Though pitfalls include the notorious 'Adscam'). The more privatization of public services occurs, the 'less gov't' (or at least, bureaucracy) there need be. CUPE doesn't need to be abolished, it needs to be abandoned.

Or revitalized. Many organizations that we deal with every day manage to use unions without getting gridlocked.

I agree with the gist of your post, though. These old arrangements are part of the problem and need to be revisited in some way.

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Dear Mr. Hardner,

Declaring war on unions isn't the way, though. Large changes such as what I've described need a smooth transition.
I agree, the outright abolition of unions would not have transition 'go smoothly'. That is why I used the term 'abandoned'. If the Gov't was able to shop around, with union labour being just one of the bidders, they would not always (indeed, rarely) be competitive.

My answer to the Gun Registry debacle was along the same lines. Turn over the admin to private registries, like vehicle registration. Have the user pay a private company, and have the company submit the info to the gov't/police. Much, much more cost-effective.

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