I would like to submit the following which was intended for the
Federal Government model but is still applicable to a provincial
The Citizens' Assembly is a wonderful idea
and very much a step forward. It does however, miss the
real point, in that it is still seen as a method of tailoring our
existing democracy, predicated on the idea that the best way to
choose leaders is to elect them.
My proposal is based upon the concept of Civic Duty, the idea
that we all owe our society for the rights and privileges we enjoy.
No one should be exempt from having a duty to serve a single term
for the state, say five years. Selection would be random, based
upon a jury duty style process, with the proviso that one is
between 18 and 70, not in jail or hospital and speak English or
French, no exceptions.
We could start out with the Senate, replace 20 percent of them
each year until we have a non-elected group with no political
baggage, allegiance or vested interests. As part of the selection
process, each person is assigned a region not their own, for which
they will be responsible, they will have to learn about the region
so as to be properly able to represent it.
Once this is functioning properly, we could then start on the
rest of the elected bodies, as well as the large number of
sinecures presently awarded by the politicians for services to
The final sting in the tail is that everyone would be
permanently legally responsible for their own decisions while in
office. Every decision must be properly considered.
So what is the downside? The first one is that people who do not
feel any responsibility for our world would resent their term of
service. The second is that people on a career path will do
anything they can to wiggle out of their turn. Finally, all the
hangers on, the party parasites, the mandarins, lawyers,
accountants and other political leaches would be put out of
business. Apart from these factors, there are no obvious
To wrap it up, given the number of people in the country, one
may never be selected. Can this method be any worse at finding
suitable candidates then the present one? I would suggest that the
people who run for office are the very ones we do not want in
charge, so lets give it a trial, add some sensible safeguards
covering conflict of interest, wages, accommodation and actual
methodology. No more vote buying, political promises or
elections, this is what I call a brave new world.