The real reforms we need and that should be made constitutional ammendments are:
#7 and possibly #6 are not really effective or applicable at the constitutional level but are still badly needed.
1)NO PARTY system! Everyone has to be independant of party affiliation to correctly represent the constituents that elect them. Any 'party' system allows for a 'whipped vote' whereby the member has to follow the party line which may be far from what the constituents of any one riding realy want.
2)Finance Reform! We need to make the recieving of donations from businesses and corporations illegal. Our elected officials are there to represent PEOPLE. A corporation is a nothing more than a piece of paper and cannot vote therefore deserves no representation but they certainly try to buy it with big donations.
3)Lobby reform! Along with their big donations to the campaigns corporations also spend huge amounts on sending lawyers to our parliament where the people who took their money then take their advice on what legislation should be enacted for the benefit of the corporations.
4)Accountability. If you really think your MP or MLA is representing you and are accountable to you then you should seek professional help. the complete lack of any accountability is evidenced in a higher court ruling form Alberta. The quote from the judge is incredulous in a society that is supposedly run by a government that represents the people. Justice E.A. Marshall, Justice of The Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta [MP Wilton Littlechild v. Citizens of Canada, Court of Queen's Bench ofAlberta Docket No. 9012000725, Dec 10, 1990] "I know of no legal duty on an elected representative at any level of government to consult with his constituents or determine their views. While such an obligation may generally be considered desirable, there is no legal requirement."
If that doesn't knock you off your chair you are probably a politician.
We need to enact a law that forces our representitives vote on our behalf as we all believe they should.
Right now, once elected, they can do anything they please and we have no recourse.
5)Budget Reform! They should be forced to operate the government in a fiscally responsible manner. I only have 2 debts in my life, my mortgage and the $170,000 the goverment has run up in my name as a taxpayer and guess what...my mortgage is the smaller debt, especially when you consider there is another $170,000 for my wife and each of my 2 children.
We need a constitutional ammendment that prevents our government from having a deficit budget with a few limited exceptions like time of war or natural disaster.
The general, everyday business of running the country should never put the people in debt.
I was watching CPAC the other day and the house of Commons spent over 1 1/2 hours debating wether the people in the military who recieve medals actually own them and have the right to sell tham or pass them to family members, or if the government owns them and can require them to be returned upon ones death or charge these heroes with a crime for selling them. What do you think it costs to run parliamnet for 1 1/2 hours. Does this not seem like a waste of our money. This is the kind of thing that needs to be stopped so we can save millions.
6)TAX Reform! We are supposed to be taxed in a 'fair and equitable' manner. Right now there are so many loopholes for the wealthy and corporations it is almost impossible to count them. I can write a new, FAIR tax code on 2 sheets of paper.
For individuals - 12% of everybody's income..no deductions, no exemtions, no tax shelters...just shut up and pay your 12% whoever you are and whatever your income. As an example of the disparity of personal taxes my income last year was $43,500 and I paid $13,000 in tax, my sister's family income was $481,000 and she paid $22,000. If you are comfortable with this..... (added: someone brought to my attention the need for an exemption for the lowest wage earners and the terminally ill and infirm. I concur with this analysis)
5% slaes tax across the board, including gas, liquor, tobacco etc. Everything but food.
For businesses - 15% of revenues...no deductions, no exemtions, no tax shelters, and certainly none of this BS about the company is from outside the country so do not need to pay. I don't care your corporation is registered in the Cayman Islands, if you operate a business in this country you pay your taxes here like everyone else.
This would actually increase tax revenues over the current, convaluted structure that allows so many deductions for those with enough money to invest and businesses to deduct everything form pencils to toilet paper.
7) Whle we are making all these changes we might as well rewrite a bunch of the Acts that govern our lives so we, the average people, can understand them and know what the law really is. I was trying to read the land title act recently and after 3 hours and many looks in my law dictionary the only section I could make head or tail of was "139: Air space constitutes land". and 145 which says they can tax it! I didn't say it made any sense I just said I could figure out what it said.
I would also like to ask the folks in Ottawa to return the 64 billion dollars, plus interest, they borrowed from the chartered banks last year in order to give the chartered bank a 75 billion dollar 'bail-out'. The intent of this, according to our Finance Minister was to "make loans and mortgages more available and more affordable for ordinary Canadians". In other words, so the average person can accumulate more debt.
I don't know about you but I see something wrong with that picture.
So, if you all want to talk about true political reform then let's get a government that actually represents the people and is accountable and responsible.
The people in Ottawa and our provincial capitals will fight us every step of the way because they like the current system where a few party leaders and their rich corporate friends tell us how to live our lives and make us pay for all their private jets and 2 week long, five star hotel 'fact-finding' trips to study the transit system in Tahiti.
It won't be easy, it won't be quick, but if we don't all stand up together soon and put and and to all this, it won't get any better!!!!