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Trying to understand the whole SNC affair led me to the book Irresponsible Government: The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy In Canada. For those of us who want to understand what is happening in the ‘Ottawa Bubble’, as well as wanting a democracy that truly represents taxpayers, this fact-based, easy to read book is a gift.

Most everyone will know the name of Liberal MP Jody Wilson-Raybould. Author Brent Rathgeber, a retired Conservative MP, may not be as familiar. In June of 2013 Brent left the Harper Conservatives to sit as an Independent. He was quoted as saying, “No unelected pipsqueak from the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) is going to tell me how to vote”.

Rathgeber followed up his actions with the book, Irresponsible Government: The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy In Canada. It clearly identifies ‘how responsible government [has been] lost and [Canada’s] democracy is imperiled’.

Canadians do not directly elect their governments; we elect our legislatures. If the government [PMO and Cabinet] is not accountable to the elected Parliament, [MPs] that government, by definition, is unaccountable.”

In the first chapter Rathgeber puts his conservative values clearly out there for readers. Liberals, please don’t be put off by his declarations. Read on.

Further chapters describe in clear detail with real life examples of how there is no longer a separation of powers between the legislative (MPs) and executive (PMO & Cabinet) branches of government.

Many of us would like to step out of the boxing ring of party politics to assess the ‘rules of law’ that are ‘imperilled’. What changes must be made as we start the slow movement towards a truly transparent, representative and accountable government of any stripe? Irresponsible Government offers some insights.

The road back to responsible government will be neither quick nor easy. But the fact that you have taken the time to read my thoughts gives me hope for our future. Thank you for your interest in Canadian democracy!” says Conservative Brent Rathgeber. I’m sure Liberal Jody Wilson-Raybould would say, ‘hear, hear’.

Respectfully submitted,

Lindy Iversen, Meaford

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