St. Boniface - Tuesday, October 22, 2002 - by: Mike Reilly


Paul Martin has promised to address what he calls a "democratic deficit" in Ottawa. His plans to increase individual Members of Parliaments’ ability to represent the will of their constituents would be laudable if they had come from a regular, powerless backbencher. Unfortunately, Mr. Martin has been the most influential Cabinet Minister of the Chretien era. His removal from Cabinet has less to do a return to the grassroots of his riding and more to do with a power struggle in the Liberal party.




Canadians can predict Martin's future decisions by looking at his record in office. For him to claim a Parliament under his watch would be a free parliament in laughable; Martin voted numerous times to remove power from the backbenches while invoking closure to end debate on government bills. He did not want parliamentary review of his budgets which siphoned billions of dollars to Crown corporations, neither did he welcome any end to the practice of private members bills disappearing before votes in the House.



to pay

Martin is correct in placing blame for voter apathy on the practice of consolidating power on the government front benches. Canadians have all but given up hope their votes make any difference. While the reforms he suggests will limit the power of the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), don't expect them to be implemented in his government. Martin will owe so many favours to the MP's who helped stage his toppling of Jean Chretien, he will continue to confine MP's in order to spread out enough money and promises in a single term.




Mike Reilly

  Gilroy, Rob, MPs must have more power in Parliament: Martin, CTV October 21, 2002


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