Irresponsible Government - Dundurn

Irresponsible Government

The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada

Published September 2014


2015 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize — Shortlisted, Non-Fiction

In Irresponsible Government, former MP Brent Rathgeber takes Parliament to task for its failure to hold the government to account.

Irresponsible Government examines the current state of Canadian democracy in contrast to the founding principles of responsible government established by the Fathers of Confederation in 1867. The book examines the failure of modern elected representatives to perform their constitutionally mandated duty to hold the prime minister and his cabinet to account. It further examines the modern lack of separation between the executive and legislative branches of government and the disregard with which the executive views Parliament. The book seeks to shine light on the current power imbalances that have developed in Canadian government.

Through an examination of the foundation principles of our parliamentary system and their subsequent erosion, Irresponsible Government seeks methods through which we can begin to recalibrate and correct these power imbalances and restore electoral accountability.



Brent Rathgeber

Brent Rathgeber is a Canadian lawyer and former 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.

Andrew Coyne

Andrew Coyne is a columnist with Postmedia; his columns appear in the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen, and other papers in the chain. His writing has also appeared in Maclean’s, Saturday Night, the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Time. Coyne appears frequently as a commentator on television political affairs programs, including the “At Issue” panel on CBC’s The National.

Book Details

September 2014
5x8 in
256 pp
September 2014
256 pp
September 2014
256 pp