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Irresponsible Government: The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada Paperback – Sep 13 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: A J. Patrick Boyer Book; First Edition edition (Sept. 13 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1459728378
  • ISBN-13: 978-1459728370
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 200 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,421 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Rathgeber’s writing is clear and compelling; he damns the 41st Parliament with a methodical narrative you’d expect of a former trial attorney. (Blacklock's Reporter 2014-09-20)

Rathgeber’s insider account is a reminder that something must soon give if citizens are to have confidence that the Parliament they elect will do its job. (Literary Review of Canada)

Review

If you think Canada's democracy is in trouble, you need to read this book; if you don't think our democracy is in trouble, then you really need to read this book. (Graham Thomson)

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4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Disclaimer: I am an author, although I do not know Mr. Rathgeber personally; nor is he my MP. I should be so lucky. I am just a taxpayer who has been concerned for years about Canada's growing democratic deficit.

This book should be required reading for all students and, frankly, all voters. It is a superbly written book that describes in detail the hijacking of whatever was left of our democracy by an executive, steadfastly determined to exercise total control over Members of Parliament, reducing them to mere cheerleaders for the government, rather than responsible members fulfilling their obligation in holding it to account. It's all presented from the perspective of a sitting MP, a former conservative, now independent, who has experienced the strong arm of party politics first hand and has the courage to write about it.

Mr. Rathgeber takes us through a brief history lesson on parliamentary democracy and describes the changes that have taken place which have led to actions by the executive that have effectively consolidated power at the top, with the supreme court as the last line of defense. He argues that MP's have the power, however they do not use it, preferring instead to show the party they are team players looking to be rewarded with cabinet positions and protecting their own turf at the expense of the taxpayers.

After explaining all of the various defects in our system of government that contribute to the democratic deficit, which I found astonishing and sickening at times, Mr. Rathgeber offers his ideas on how to solve the problem, based on a comparison of other democracies.
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By Gordon Ritchie TOP 1000 REVIEWER on Nov. 9 2014
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This rambling polemic is chiefly interesting for who wrote it, one of the "trained seals" of the current House of Commons who has broken free of the pack. Rathgeber writes with passion that comes from direct experience under the whip of the PMO. His arguments are not new, as they have been made more clearly elsewhere, but they do ring true. Part of the charm is the lack of sophistication of the presentation but the book could have done with a good editor. It is discursive, rambling and often repetitive. These weaknesses should not, however, detract from the importance of the basic message: the Parliament no longer exercises effective control of the Government/Executive. Rathgeber's prescriptions are unconvincing but well intentioned. Worth reading if only for confirmation that the system has gone off the rails.
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David Emerson was elected as a Liberal MP, but crossed the floor for a cabinet position and gave Harper his power. Harper didn't think there was anything wrong with that, but when Brent Rathgeber crossed to sit as an independent the PM was furious and demanded that Mr. Rathgeber resign and contest his seat in a by-election. It's Mr. Harper's two-faced inability to actually hold any kind of a compass in his hand, moral or otherwise, that comes out in this book, along with his distortion of the executive branch with its massive spin-control apparatus that has given Harper an effective dictatorship, at taxpayers' expense.

Mr. Rathgeber may be on the other side of the fence on a number of issues from some of us, but I judge him, based on this book, to be the kind of person Parliament needs more of: caring about ALL Canadians and what is good for the entire nation instead of partisan pandering to an oil cartel and a delusional gun-club minority.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Just received this book and found it so interesting that I read it in one sitting.The forward by Andrew Coyne and the introduction by the author alone was worth the price of the book.I totally agree with Mr. Baughman's wonderful review so have no need to go into detail but simply have to say this needs to be read by every Canadian citizen that cares about Canada and it wouldn't hurt to be read by those who don't too.Brent Rathgeber is a very brave man and his book may go along way to save Canada from what some might consider tyranny.Jon.
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A refreshing read. Still steadfastly committed to his Conservative ideals, Rathgeber nevertheless highlights all that has gone wrong of late with our democratic institutions and makes practical suggestions for reclaiming Canada’s democracy
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Format: Paperback
Got this for my husband's birthday. He was super excited to read it and it didn't disappoint. I would recommend this book..

An aside : There was an error with shipping that was immediately corrected when notified.
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Rathgeber's politics are very conservative. I didn't find his political opinions very enlightening, but he is a superb historian of the Parliamentary Democracy system of government. He provides an introduction to "the Westminster system"…which our government follows…or followed, according to Rathgeber.

He documents all the ways n which Stephen Harper has changed the system so that it more clearly mirrors an American style Presidential democracy. There are currently no checks in the power of the PM and the PMO, whereas in the Westminster System, the elected representatives…the House of Commons… can overrule the PM. Rathgeber's point is that Harper is NIOT a democrat, and is, in many ways, degrading our democratic system of government.

My own view, based on reading this book, is that our present PM tends more to a Fascist position, with a dictator at the top…himself. The massive growth of the Prime Minister's Office also points in this direction.

Rathgeber's critique is strong and well documented, and underlines the fact that Harper is no Conservative in the old style, but rather still a Reform member in disguise. A good, even necessary, read for any who value our system of government.
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