Grassroots democracy

True democracy does not end at the ballot box.  That is where it begins.

We should be electing officials who listen to us.  And then we should tell them what we need from them.  Elected officials at all levels of government should be responsive to the individuals and communities they represent.

Part of what I would like to do when elected is simply to make a pledge to my constituents to reach out and listen.  But part of what I want to do is to help implement the institutional changes so that is more what Parliament does in general.  Parliament should return to the role it was intended to have.  The word “Parliament” comes from the French “parler”, “to talk”.  It is intended to be a place for reasoned discourse among equals, not for bullying from party leaders.

I applaud the motion from Conservative MP Michael Chong to reform Question Period in the House so that there is more decorum and less divisive name-calling, so that backbench MPs have an opportunity to participate, and so that questions can be longer and more careful, rather than being reduced to angry soundbites.

Outside Parliament, the Green Party wants many national objectives to be implemented at a community level.  Not only will this bring in the best local infrastructure that is most beneficial to Canadians in their communities, it also establishes a principle of government cooperation with Canadians at a community level, so that government representatives are required to respond to community concerns.

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