Irresponsible Government: The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada Paperback – Sep 13 2014
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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)
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)See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
An aside : There was an error with shipping that was immediately corrected when notified.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
A must read for all canadian..As members of a big country we really to know the structure of our goverment and this book explain it very well. Read morePublished 5 months ago by sylvaingibson
There were a number of people that when they saw that their golden boy was leading them to defeat, attempted to throw him under the bus as he had done to so many and then blamed... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Peter Teichroeb
This is a must read for every Canadian. Even though I generally consider myself to be politically informed, this book opened my eyes to so much. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Xena Torres
A rare look into the inner working of the Harper brand on government in Canada. A disturbing revelation by a Conservative insider.Published 11 months ago by Ronald W J Ford
Mr. Rathgeber is an intelligent guy who thinks about moral issues carefully.
You can blame my left wing "bias" but I found his arguments for his own positions... Read more
Well written, very readable. Insightful, thought provoking. Should be read by every Canadian interested in preserving democracy in Canada.Published 11 months ago by Debra
a little dry more like a history lesson . Lots of details , a good read but not one that you can do in a day or soPublished 13 months ago by Kincardine Pair