The problem we just had in Ottawa is more than just lying and ambitious politicians. It also has to do with our democratic system.
Polls (if you believe them, I personally am skeptical) say that Canadians want to elect their governments. They do not agree with the Liberal-NDP-BQ coalition taking power from the Conservatives despite having more seats and more votes.
Huh? That hardly makes sense. More Canadians voted for non-Conservative parties than the Conservatives. You would think that they would be happy with the coalition. Yet, I read that Canadians believe they should elect their governments and not have them formed by politicians.
The problem is that Canadians are fully ignorant about their democratic institutions. They have never voted for governments. They vote for individuals who belong to a political party who may be able to form the government. Its kind of like how Americans vote for their president – they actually vote for Electors who in turn vote for the President. There is an added layer of democratic administration in both situations.
When we vote for any MP, MLA, or City Counsellor, they are just a piece in the puzzle. They are not the government. That question is determined by the political game which takes place in various legislatures and in party-backrooms. The Government is formed by the politicians and has always been. That is why the Liberal-NDP-BQ coalition is just as legitimate as the Conservatives.
If Canadians want to directly elect their governments then they need to adopt some form of Proportional Representation. This will likely lead to coalition style government, but I personally believe that coalitions can be a good thing. In fact, the Conservatives are just a hidden coalition of populists, old Progressive Conservatives, neo-conservatives, and social conservatives. The one thing I like about coalition governments is that they are more transparent. Greater transparency makes for better government in my opinion.
I might wish for a world without political parties because they are a pack of lying dogs, but I am also a realist. They exist, are not going away, and if we are going to make a bad situation work, then we need better communication which is facilitated by transparency via Proportional Representation.
Canadians then can get their wish and finally vote for their governments.