Fixing Canadian Democracy

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The genesis of this book was a Fraser Institute conference on democratic reform in November 2001. This, in turn, was inspired by the evident openness of the new government of British Columbia (elected in May of 2001) to consider these topics. Indeed, one of the first measures of that government was to pass legislation providing for fixed-term elections (with exceptions in case of defeat on a confidence motion). Further promises included a Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform, now constituted, and less clear commitments to parliamentary reform.

In this climate it seemed to us that the timing was right for a new focus on democratic reform, building on the BC example. While the central government was resisting any reform in its procedures and institutions, other provincial forces - all parties in Quebec, the Liberal Party of Ontario and the PEI legislature - were actively considering some changes of this sort. There is good reason for hope that progress in one part of Canada on this or that reform may prove contagious to the benefit of the overall system.

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