Policy Papers

Robert Asselin

Democratic Reform

June 18, 2014

An Agenda for Democratic Reform in Canada

Democratic reform is an issue that should concern all Canadians: how decisions are made by our national government have a direct impact in our daily lives.

From mandatory voting to overhauling Question Period to a striking a non-partisan selection committee for Senate appointments, “An Agenda for Democratic Reform in Canada” by University of Ottawa professor and Canada 2020 Advisory Board Member Robert Asselin, takes a hard look at the health of Canadian democracy and makes practical, yet transformative recommendations for reform.

Key recommendations from the paper:

1.       Canada should implement a Preferential Voting (or PV) system;

2.       Further and serious study should be given to mandatory voting for Canadians – similar to the Australian model;

3.       Each party should substantially ease party discipline, encouraging more free votes (particularly on matters of non-confidence);

4.       Parliament should substantially reform Question Period – through the introduction of a Prime Minister’s Question Period, adding challenge functions to the Speaker’s role, and doubling the amount of time for both questions and answers; and

5.       Parliament should create a non-partisan consultative committee for Senate appointments.

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