2003 Book – Fixing Canadian Democracy

This book was written by Gordon Gibson (who later played an important role in BC’s Citizens’ Assembly) and put out by the Fraser Institute.  It argues that “multiple significant reforms are available to restore voter confidence in our public institutions.”

Excerpt from summary:

Fixing Canadian Democracy points to a variety of ways to improve our governance system. The book is the result of a major Fraser Institute conference on democratic reform during which some of the finest practitioners and thinkers from British Columbia and Ottawa were brought together for presentations on selecting and empowering representatives, the place and limits of direct democracy, constitutional constraints, and how to make any of the above a reality.

Some versions of democracy work better than others. Gordon Gibson, the book’s editor and a contributing author, points out that Canada’s democratic system is one of the most primitive in the western world and that Canadians are — for all practical purposes — governed by four-year elected dictators as things stand now.

“We ought to be the most prosperous and harmonious country on the face of the earth, yet clearly we are not,” says Gibson, senior fellow in Canadian Studies at the Institute. “Our living standard is much lower than in the US or many other smaller countries and the public is broadly cynical and apathetic with respect to our political process – and rightly so.“”