One small change that the last election changed was ethnic diversity or lack there of.
Education wise about two-thirds of MPs do have a university degree. In the United States 93 per cent of representatives have at least one degree.
Being elected in Canada doesn’t require as much money which may pinpoint why Canada’s MPs may have more middle class representatives than in the United States. It costs about $62,000 to run a campaign in Canada for MP. Most House seat campaigns in the United States fall just short of $800,000.
While fresh ‘blood’ in Parliament keeps the system fresh some critics wonder if it’s for the best.
The Canadian Press reports:
“We have very few career politicians currently in our Parliament and most of our MPs are new in terms of their experience. They’re still learning the ropes. And that might in part explain the partisanship and rancour that we see in the House of Commons today.”
David Mitchell, president of the Public Policy Forum cites “an unprecedented level of partisan acrimony and a high degree of distrust between elected representatives and the federal public service.”
“With 75 per cent of our politicians knowing only these dynamics of minority Parliament, has our political culture been altered? Is this a positive development?
“I think some important questions are raised.”
Doctor of Political Science Stephen Purdy talked to Digital Journal on the telephone about his thoughts of the findings. In his opinion “real life experience in the community service sector is the most important element when it comes to becoming an MP, regardless of education background. While education can be important element in the politics of it all the point of an MP is to be a true representative of their riding and for those in office to know what the people at home need and want. They need to be able to work for the people. Law and business degrees can be important but just as important is knowing the inner workings of their communities.”
Dr. Purdy also said that there are similarities between the United States House and the Parliament of Canada as they are both democracy in action.
The lack of experience that may be facing today’s Parliament isn’t as much a concern for Dr. Purdy as if the MPs don’t stick around long enough to bring about changes that are needed.
“In the best of both worlds there would be those who have the education and those who have the real life work experience within communities forming the government.”