Student Name: Victoria LIABASTRE
Professor Name: Antoine BILODEAU
Course: POLI 204
Due Date: March 15th, 2021
Word Count: 1,028
DEMOCRATIC REFORM ANDTHE VAGARIES OF PARTISAN POLITICS IN CANADA BY TANGUAY
The author offers an analysis of Canada’s political sphere and the citizen’s views on the prospect of democracy and trust in government and government-linked entities. The author assesses various research based on the people’s views on their system of governance and the relevance of media in their country. He notes that most Canadians have faith in their government and their system of governance, though, as shown through the results obtained from the research, this does not always account for an extensive populous of the country. The author identifies key features that contribute to people’s varying opinions over the government and other national institutions. One such factor is the individual mother tongue spoken by the different people occupying Canada. Canada is a great nation with a multilingual populace ranging from Francophones, Anglophones, and Allophones (Tanguay 2). The author notes that there exists excellent distrust of politicians from people mainly under industrialized democracies. In Canada, he notes that most people only distrust some government and government-linked entities and not the whole system; sections such as the Parliament, political parties, and mass media. He then affirms that this distrust is one of the many factors that contribute to increasing the people’s low confidence in their political system and rising low voter turnouts.
In conclusion, the author advises that proposals for democratic reform should remain at the core of Canada’s political debate. This, however, he notes, would still be a challenging task to undertake. He identifies and expounds upon several factors that hinder relative political reform in the country in the article. These include; the fact that a majority of people in the country continue to express their confidence in the state of the country’s democracy and the ineffectiveness of previous state reforms that sought to strengthen the education functionality of political parties and bolster the ties between party elites and organizational grassroots (Tanguay 9-10).
Link to Class Material
Parliamentary Supremacy Principle: The Parliament’s authority is superior to all other institutions of government.
The author talks of the influence of the legislature in the sphere of political reforms and policymaking. He highlights the influence of political parties and the dominance in numbers, which significantly boosts individual parties’ prospects of having the chance to carry forward their agendas. The legislature is more concerned with the federal or provincial division of power than endeavoring to create sensible reforms such as those that enhance the Bill of Rights (Tanguay 4-6). The author highlights the sense of authority that comes from political parties that align themselves with the provinces or federal regions that hold more prospects for putting them onto power positions. Politics in Canada has been entrenched with an increasing slew of ‘power plays’ as differing political parties work to maintain the ‘rules of the game’ to further their chances of either getting into a position of power or maintaining this position (Tanguay 3). Controlling the Parliament means gaining control over the flow of political events within the government. Why? The Parliament is the binding force in forming and reforming laws. It is only through the court system, which is also a part of the government and influenced by the Parliament and political constructs.
The aspect of a minority and a majority government from the class lectures furthers the author’s argument in linking the parliamentary supremacy principle to an authoritarian government. As argued by the author, politics in Canada is greatly influenced by political parties and very negligent of real change and reforms that seek to benefit the country and its people. Most political parties or individuals work to develop their position within their government, seeing as having a majority number of representatives means that the party would have a more extensive play in progressing their ideas, or in the case of a minority government, the losing party would have the opportunity to undermine the ruling party.
Link to a recent Event
In the recent election of 2019, Justin Trudeau and his party suffered great losses (Frum). The party suffered significant losses even though they had endeavored to further reforms that enabled the success of the country’s economy and most notably in the regions of Quebec and Ontario, which are the heartland of the party.
The author concludes that most individuals in Canada frequently voice views of confidence on the state of democracy in the country and the form of governance. However, he also notes that this is not always the case. He highlights critical aspects of the government and government-linked entities that often spur mixed reactions from the people; the Parliament, political parties, and mass media (Tanguay 2). These, he says, have mainly contributed towards the waning confidence of the people in their government.
Trudeau’s campaign was hit with many harsh reactions from the people as a variety of scandalous actions and activities that the media showed him to have committed happened to surface throughout the media network. These scandals significantly hampered the people’s confidence in him as a suitable leader as some of them were actions that are significantly remarked upon in Canada (Frum). This was a ploy set out by the Conservatives who aimed to dim the ‘bright, shining face of hope’ a majority of people saw on Trudeau and his government and succeeded in it. The election saw many changes, with the voter turnout decreasing, though not by a large margin, from the previous election, and the Liberal Party suffered many significant losses in their authority in the Parliament as they saw their number of seats in the Parliament reduced substantially. Trudeau managed to retain his position though his party lost a majority of seats meaning that the government formed a minority government.
The article by Frum features events that complement Tanguay’s argument that political parties and mass media significantly impact the people’s trust in the state of democracy and overall governance in the country. Generally, the media can be used as a tool to either draw the people’s attention from something, somebody, or a group or draw attention away from the same. The avenue of politics has been known worldwide to be encompassed by battles to win supremacy through the media’s application, and Canada is no exclusion to this.
Frum, David. “This Election Brought out Canada’s Worst.” The Atlantic (2019). https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/600511/.
Tanguay, A. Brian. “Democratic Reform and the Vagaries of Partisan Politics in Canada.” (n.d.): 1-10.
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