Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Party System Fails Constituents

I have long held the position that partisan political parties, with their highly dominant hierarchy, are failing within the political party system. This so-called democratic system that is the current foundation upon how we nominate and elect individuals to serve in provincial legislatures and the Parliament of Canada is failing supporters of all political parties.

A new and principled system within all political parties, with a common set of rules for nominations, is needed to assure the support of volunteers and to assure the parties are equally open to all those who may wish to run. A new system is needed to relieve the supporters of various political parties from the unfair bias forced on them by the party hierarchy that supports one candidate over all others.

The hierarchy of the political parties is comprised of simple individuals whom are usually directed by the leader of respective parties. This dysfunctional system only gets worse among parties that are in power within government as they use this new found power to build on the strength of their heady and high-minded hierarchy. It is always unfair and often brutal how some bright enthusiastic candidates for nominations within the current party system are kicked to the sidelines by the hierarchy in favour of their choice over that of the membership of political party associations. The so-called star candidates almost always win their nominations to represent their party at the next election, but they are often not the best people to have as your elected member. Either way the system is usually tilted against any dwindling powers individual members of party associations may have thought they were entitled to in return for their efforts as volunteers.

In Saskatchewan there are 13 conservative members of Parliament. None of them are particularly outstanding and some would argue that they are mediocre at best. None are the brightest stars in Parliament, but they were either star candidates or the chosen ones of the political hierarchy at their nomination.

The political system currently in place within the federal conservative party locks in mediocrity and disallows any party member from challenging an incumbents' nomination. How is that democratic? How is that fair? How does that serve the best interests of the party faithful and the volunteers whom are expected to run the campaigns for barely competent incumbents whom are already failing to provide the strong representation that constituents expect and deserve?

The voting public have a basic distrust and disrespect for government and for politicians. There are a few exceptions from time to time and they are almost always based on certain policies or issues. Even among popular governments like the SaskParty you will find it is run by the chosen few and not by the general membership of the party. In fact, it was the hierarchy of two individual parties that jointly created the SaskParty. Now they have been at each others throats publicly and in the courts over certain details of their very own creation.

As the base of a political party is diminished and the hierarchy is heightened the party becomes top heavy and eventually will collapse. Whatever is left unchallenged soon adopts a right to rule belief. The party system of politics in Canada and in Saskatchewan is at that point. If it is not soon changed to return control back to the membership and to the volunteers then the party system will continue to fail their constituents. The system may be near collapse and at the very least needs to be changed if we are to attract the best people to represent us and govern our country and our province.

The following CBC media link is yet another example of how the hierarchy continues to rule.  It is further confirmation that the party system is failing constituents.

CBC News - New Brunswick - Tory MP used public funds to back candidate