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Canada's political parties have been fully purged of free-thinking people

Canada’s political system has been purged of free-thinking people, while free thinking people see no reason to enter politics in the first place.

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Spencer Fernando Winnipeg MB
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There is a serious contradiction at the heart of Canada’s political system.

We consider ourselves a "free country," yet our political parties are basically authoritarian institutions.

The amount of real debate and public disagreement within political parties is stunningly low, with leaders regularly purging anyone who would even dare slightly disagree with them.

The result is that over time, Canada’s political system has been purged of free-thinking people, while free thinking people see no reason to enter politics in the first place.

A key reason for the problem is that party leaders and party executives are far too powerful.

Somebody could work for a party for years, build connections, run for a nomination, win the nomination, and then the party leader could just kick them out of the seat, appoint somebody else, and end that person’s career in the party.

We see this happen over and over again in many political parties, as loyalty is a one-way street, with party leaders expecting loyalty to themselves, while parties show no loyalty to their own members or supporters.

Look at how Belinda Karahalios was treated by the Ontario PC Party, as she was purged for opposing the expansion of government power, something that the PC Party had claimed to believe. In fact, Doug Ford had promised he wouldn’t boot out MPs as he did with Karahalios, showing that the desire to centralize power and control leads politicians to abandon what they claimed were ironclad principles.

Unfortunately, Ford wasn’t an outlier here, he simply did what almost every other party leader has done.

Those actions show not only a contempt for the idea of diversity of thought, but also contempt for the voters themselves.

What message does it send when the votes of party members in nomination races, or the votes of constituents in elections can be so easily undone by a party leader’s personal whim?

We also see a centralization of power within parties, something which is leading to further and further alienation in the country.

For example, the Conservative Party base is largely in Western Canada, and rural/suburban areas of the country. However, the party executive tends to be concentrated in the capital, and in cities where the Liberals tend to be strongest, creating a disconnect between most of the parties members, and those making decisions.

That disconnect also exists within other parties, as we see in how the Liberals are largely controlled by Justin Trudeau and his close circle of elitists out of touch with the experience of regular Canadians. That disconnect showed up big time in how Trudeau treated Jody Wilson-Raybould, as he purged her and Jane Philpott when they refused to go along with his attempt to subvert Canada’s justice system to benefit a well-connected corporation.

Additionally, the media is highly complicit in this trend, as they love to attack anyone who speaks "out of turn," rather than praising the idea that people within political parties can still have different opinions.

To their credit, the Conservatives have moved somewhat in the right direction with Michael Chong’s Reform Act, which took some power away from the party leader and moved it towards the Caucus.

Canada needs much more of that. To truly be a "free country," our political institutions must be free, rather than the centralized personality cults they increasingly resemble.

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