Practices of Direct Democracy in Canadian Society

Subject: Politics & Government
Pages: 2
Words: 511
Reading time:
2 min

The legislative structure of Canada is identical to the one of Great Britain – it was adopted by the country as soon as it became a nation in 1867, with the country’s political pattern being built according to the British sample. However, much has changed, and the system shows its inconsistency at the present period of time. As it has been proven by many centuries of practice, the representative democracy is a much more efficient tool for law-making than the direct democracy principle is.

The reasons for this are very clear – in case every person had an opportunity to voice his/her personal viewpoint that would surely differ slightly or considerably from other people’s viewpoints, it would become much harder to achieve consensus and to exercise the function of law-making in an effective and timely manner. However, the direct democratic system shows many advantages as well in the modern period of time. The recognition of this fact comes directly from the modern practices of using representative democracy as a voice of the majority, with full neglect towards the diverse needs of minorities. The main drawback of the representative democracy in Canada nowadays is the way laws are initiated and passed:

“In most democratic legislatures, policy is both introduced and formulated by the executive branch of government. Australia, Canada, Great Britain and other parliamentary systems operate legislatures that fuse executive and legislative powers according to the majority principle: the political power or coalition that enjoys the support of a majority of seats in the legislature forms an executive that drafts and initiates legislation”.

This way, one can see how beneficial the system is for the ruling majority who can pass any legislation they want, with the needs of minorities left aside with their inability to initiate any legislative drafts. Thus, it seems that any idea and any reform, even the most senseless one, can be passed in Canada under the condition of major support in the Parliament, which in itself is very dangerous for the political system of the country and its nation.

Thus, mainstream politics is accepted while the needs of minorities are forgotten; it may lead to a major conflict within the country since there are many struggling points on such a diverse territory. It seems that direct democracy would yield much more success in such issues as the rights of the First Nations, the language issues in politics, public issues, and education, etc.

The consequences of the direct democracy’s implementation would be diverse: at first, it would surely bring much more work to the legislative branch of government as many viewpoints, needs, and wants of the population would reveal themselves in the referenda and polling; at the same time, the threat of conflict would be reduced in case the nation would feel its factual power and participation in law-making, which would affect the whole political climate in a positive way.