Open to Debate: What’s wrong with Canada’s democracy?

by Canada 2020. Posted July 9, 2021


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There are plenty of criticisms of democracy in Canada. While the country ranks in the upper echelons of mainstream reviewers concerned with global comparisons, there are disconcerting cracks in the foundation of our self-government.

Indeed, the foundation itself is fundamentally flawed. One could—and should—point out the country’s inequities and inequalities, embedded colonialism, vestigial electoral system, and so forth. But on this episode, our focus is on a sort of immanent critique of Canada’s Westminster system itself, on its own terms. And so we ask: What’s wrong with Canada’s democracy?

On this episode of Open to Debate, David Moscrop talks with Emmett Macfarlane, associate professor of political science at the University of Waterloo and author of Constitutional Pariah: Reference re Senate Reform and the Future of Parliament.