Does Your Vote Count?


204 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 1-55002-433-7
DDC 320.971






Reviewed by Eric P. Mintz

Eric P. Mintz is an associate professor of political science and
environmental studies at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial
University of Newfoundland.


Documentary producer Paul Kemp makes the case that the Canadian
Parliament is increasingly unable to hold the government accountable for
its actions. The concentration of power in the hands of the prime
minister and the central agencies of government, the pervasiveness of
party discipline, the emphasis of the media on image and controversy,
and changes to the rules of the House of Commons and its committees have
combined to deprive MPs of their important role as representatives of
the people with the ability to keep government responsible for its
actions and expenditures.

This book, part of the “underground royal commission” report on
governing institutions in Canada, includes a large number of excerpts
from interviews with MPs, officials, and some observers of the political
scene. The excerpts provide useful insights into the workings of the
political system from a variety of perspectives. Kemp’s commentary
raises important questions about the quality of Canadian democracy in a
manner that would be suitable for the general reader and useful as
supplementary reading for introductory courses in Canadian government
and politics. Unfortunately, the research was conducted before Paul
Martin became prime minister, and thus there is no evaluation of the
promises and changes to reduce the “democratic deficit” or of the
impact of the minority government situation.


Kemp, Paul., “Does Your Vote Count?,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,