Democracy, Parliament & Public Service
In a fast-changing world, Canadians need to know they can rely on their democracy, their parliament and their public service.
They also need openings to join the debate, take advantage of free speech and free media, find their own answers or connect with officials to see challenges and solutions more clearly.
Democratic debate, political parties and civic participation should cover the full range of today’s complex issues, with inclusive leadership, open-ended planning and institutional backing.
Canada’s parliament remains robustly accountable to the public at election time, but has little authority to delve into public finances or take initiatives to shape public policy.
Canada’s public service remains independent and highly professional. But the sense of purpose that propelled it through postwar decades has faded; its business models are often outdated.
There are also processes and services that would be better managed and delivered by the private sector, especially in cases where innovation, automation or cost recovery are better options.
Canada’s publicly-accountable institutions need to be tied more closely to results that matter to Canadians – jobs, safety, health care, justice and exports, to name just a few.
They also need to be debating and deliberating about issues that will shape our country’s future – while measuring and reporting results achieved using the public purse.
This continuous review needs to be much more rigorous than ever before, with open, accountable and responsive engagement with tax-paying citizens and businesses.
To deepen this civic engagement, our public institutions need to take full account of the networks – at all levels across Canada and around the world – now driving issues and debate.
As Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada and Prime Minister of Canada, I will:
(i) champion a dynamic, ideas-based, growing, grassroots-driven Party;
(ii) enhance our capacity for policy research and directed network campaigning;
(iii) select senators on merit, for excellence in fields of importance to Canada;
(iv) welcome Conservative Senators to Caucus, then count on their support for government bills;
(v) ensure ministers answer questions substantively, without reading notes;
(vi) return the authority of the Speaker to shape question period and compel substantive answers to hard questions;
(vii) bring the issues of the day to the floor of Parliament and its committees;
(viii) expand Parliament’s capacity to hold debates and hearings;
(ix) enhance Parliament’s capacity to scrutinize public accounts, expenditures and results;
(x) make Library & Archives Canada and Parliament itself hubs for citizen engagement;
(xi) deliver ‘digital first’ services for Canadians and enhance youth hiring;
(xii) conduct intensive programme review for two years to return to balance;
(xiii) strengthen incentives for the public service to innovate and improve efficiency;
(xiv) focus the accountability of all public servants on achieving results for Canadians;
(xv) partner with all public sector unions on a vision for the public service of the future;
(xvi) enhance public sector training for client service, leadership and transformation;
(xvii) end patronage by making all Order-in-Council appointments solely on merit;
(xviii) make Canada the world leader in open data, open government and privacy protection;
(xix) equip Statistics Canada to deliver digital excellence in the era of big data;
(xx) give Canada’s public service a global mandate to seek international partnerships; and
(xxi) enable career interchange with Canadian business, educational and other institutions.