How do you define dictatorship?

Dear editor,

Suggesting that we have a dictatorship instead of a democracy is not “collective hyperbole,” as one recent letter suggests.

Dear editor,

Suggesting that we have a dictatorship instead of a democracy is not “collective hyperbole,” as one recent letter suggests.

Yes, we have a parliamentary-style government within a constitutional monarchy.

However, our form of government came into being in 1688 in England at a time when there were only two political parties, the Whigs and the Tories. The world has changed substantially since then, but unfortunately our system of government hasn’t.

Because of our antiquated first-post-the-post electoral system, we have a Parliament comprised of 165 Conservative MPs, 100 NDP, 35 Liberal, five Bloc, one Green and two independent, despite the fact that fewer than 60 per cent of the voters actually voted Conservative.

Looking at the numbers, you can see that even if all the opposition MPs unite to vote against legislation proposed by the Conservatives, it can be defeated if only 23 Conservative MPs decide to side with the Opposition.

Under Harper’s iron hand, this is extremely unlikely to ever happen. This means that whatever legislation Prime Minister Harper proposes cannot be voted down by Parliament.

Our Senate has 53 Conservatives who were appointed by Prime Minister Harper, along with 11 Conservatives appointed by previous governments, out of a total of 105 members.

So the Senate also has a Conservative majority and does not vote against legislation proposed by Harper either.

The classic definition of a dictatorship is a government run by one individual. Isn’t this what we have in Canada now?

Ellen Rainwalker,

Cumberland

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