Protecting and Improving Democracy: Canadian Style

The Prime Minister of Canada, Jean Chretien, recently submitted Bill C-24 to the House of Commons entitled Act to amend the Canada Elections Act and the Income Tax Act(Political Financing). He then delivered a speech about Democracy and how it has been corrupted in the United States and how it will be improved in Canada. Mr. Speaker, democracy is a living thing. The history of the world teaches us it is a fragile thing, as well. To be nurtured. To be encouraged. To be promoted. And to be defended. I know philosophers say that there is no such thing as a “perfect democracy”. Of course that is true. Any society is a work in progress. But the truest test of a living, growing democracy like Canada is the extent to which our institutions strive to live up to our ideals. For it is in continuing to measure ourselves against our ideals that we reaffirm their power to inspire….In the United States the fitness of a candidate for office is judged first on his or her ability to raise huge sums of money. Rather than on his or her brains or ability to lead. They call it the “money primary”, Mr. Speaker. And it takes place in the shadows. Long before an idea is expressed. Before a speech is given. Before a vote is cast.1 []

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