HAT topic for 11 August 2018: Reinforcing the good functioning of our representational democracy
When I suggested this topic I used the word ‘representational’ as seen in the title above and everyone in the group seemed to know what I meant. So it surprised me when I tried to do a quick google search and encountered automatic correction of representational to ‘representative’ democracy. Search results were then basically restricted to a discussion which compared the representative democracy model against the direct democracy model – not helpful for our discussion except perhaps to provide a starting point for questions:
-- when considering/evaluating our model of democracy at a given time do we put too much emphasis on the figure of the seated representative compared to the nature and quality of representation?
-- do we tend to think benefit will automatically flow in accordance with a ‘set’ arrangement of seated representatives in our chambers of assembly and is this a problem?
-- what are the foundational principles which underpin the model we follow and to which we need to hold our elected representatives accountable?
-- we hear the call-out ‘attack on our democracy!’, what is meant by this and how does it relate to our topic?
-- what are the measures which come to your mind is respect of aiming to improve the functioning of our decision-making bodies in their representational capacity?
-- for a more specific question: Is Doug Ford justified in labeling Toronto City Council ‘dysfunctional’ and is he then justified on the basis of this label to change the current form of the model of functioning of city council?