To the fathers of Confederation, the principle of responsible government -- the critical system that holds the governing executive accountable to the electorate -- was a pillar of Parliamentary democracy. Irresponsible Government examines how recent governments have, or have t, lived up to this founding ideal of the Canadian state. Brent Rathgeber, a sitting member of parliament, examines the failure of modern elected representatives to perform their constitutionally mandated duty to hold the prime minister and his cabinet to account. Shining light on the power imbalances that have developed in Canadian government, he takes aim at the current lack of separation between the executive and legislative branches and the disregard with which the government view parliament. A searching examination of the foundational but eroding principles of our parliamentary system, Irresponsible Government strives to suggest ways forward, toward a recalibration of Canadian politics and a restoration of electoral accountability.
Brent Rathgeber is a Canadian lawyer and sitting Member of Parliament. He was elected as a Conservative in 2008 and 2011. On June 5, 2013, he resigned from the Conservative caucus to sit as an Independent in protest over the government's lack of support for transparency and accountability. He lives in Edmonton.