Managed Democracy - Controlled Elections
Parties have rigged the election rules to favour themselves, limit scrutiny, and advantage incumbents
Elections are the most obvious symbol of democracy there is.
People who are entitled to vote cast single ballots to chose representatives to the government.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes plain that everyone has the right “to take part in the government of his country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.”
The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures.
The will of the people shall be the authority of government.
There is no clearer statement of what democracy is.
Here’s the way things are supposed to work in Newfoundland and Labrador, a place we all believe is a democracy in one of the greatest democracies in the world.
People elect representatives to the legislature. Some of those representatives form the government. The others take the lead in holding the government party to account. All the members approve or disapprove of government spending.
They have that power because they represent the people directly as a result of an election in which all adults over the age of 18 who reside in the province had the same chance of voting.
Not only did they all have the same chance of voting, they also all had the same chance of running in an election to be the representative.
Wonderful in theory.
But not how it works in practice in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Parties dominate political across Canada mostly because groups of like-minded people can compete more efficiently and effectively in an election against other groups of like-minded people.
But in Newfoundland and Labrador, parties dominate the political landscape because they have rigged the way elections are run to limit the competition and favour themselves as incumbents.
This is the story of how that works focused on:
fixed election dates,
campaign finance laws,
absentee or special ballots, and
the number of seats.
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