Posts tagged: Democracy
Ok, technically, Zephyr Teachout and Tim Wu didn’t win the Democratic nomination on Tuesday. But we should not let this moment pass without recognize just how much they won. With no money, they took on a candidate with $30M. And with incredible grace and warmth, they garnered 34%/40% respectively….
Dear American Friends: please check out (and support) @lessig’s work re: democracy
Leadership Debates are important because they are in essence a job interview. Just as employers are unlikely to hire someone without an interview, voters want to get a good look at the people in the running for…
Yesterday I saw a link to a new initiative intended to try to re-engage Canadians who have given up on our terribly undemocratic political system. It looked like an excellent idea — if course it did, I’ve been advocating the same thing myself for ages. The site was recommended to me by people and organizations whose work I respect and support, so I shared it widely without looking at it as…
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s wife, Laureen, was briefly interrupted during a speech at an online cat video festival in Toronto Thursday night after a university activist demanded she take a stance on a subject she considered to be much more serious.
She was just beginning her brief remarks ahead of Just for Cats: Internet Cat Video Festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox cinema when 21-year-old student activist Hailey King began shouting from the crowd.
“Raising awareness about cat welfare is a good look for your husband’s upcoming campaign strategy,” King said as security rushed over to escort her from the building. “Don’t you think supporting government action on missing and murdered indigenous women in this country would be a better look?”
Harper, who initially attempted to dismiss King’s comments by speaking over her, did stop to address the young women directly.
“We’re raising money for animals tonight. If you’d like to donate to animals, we’d love to take your money,” Harper said. “That’s [missing women] a great cause, perhaps another night. Tonight we’re here for homeless cats.”
Tonight we’re here for homeless cats.
This isn’t a real country anymore.
Ah, but Canada is a very real country. It’s a country that that
The problem is that we’re burdened with an electoral system older than confederation. They call it a representative democracy, but it only represents some Canadians. Most of us have no representation at all. This system maintains the status quo: it makes sure the rich stay rich and the rest of us stay in line.
In this winner-take-all system some votes count more than others, and some votes don’t count at all. And it is so unfair almost half of Canada’s eligible voters have given up on it. Why bother to vote when your vote doesn’t count?
This makes Laureen Harper very happy, because when so many have given up on the system, it makes it ridiculously easy for her husband to get elected Winner so he can control all of very real Parliament and make the laws he wants to. It pays for her cat food and she doesn’t need to worry about murdered and missing indigenous women.
The terribly unfair “Fair Elections Act” will make things even worse by making sure many more Canadians won’t be allowed to vote. Funny, how it will mostly affect the Canadians who wouldn’t vote for them.
If all thinking Canadians give up because it’s futile, it will only get worse.
BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO.
We need to modernize our electoral system — what we need is Proportional Representation. It’s hard for those of us who grew up in North America to understand how real democracy works because we’ve never had any here. But John Cleese explained Proportional Representation so that even I could understand it.
There are plenty of examples of Proportional Representation in other parts of the world. (You know, in countries like Denmark, where they care about the environment and healthcare, and university is free to everyone.)
If we were to adopt Proportional Representation, we would start to elect people who would actually represent us, not just the rich. We would see laws that protect the public good instead of laws protecting special interests and multinational corporations.
And all we have to do to get it is to vote.
If all the Canadians who have given up on our system in frustration get out and vote for candidates who support Proportional Representation, we will see huge changes.
I’m not an expert, so if you want to find out more you should talk to the real experts at Fair Vote Canada, a country wide grass roots organization working for electoral reform… so that the real Canada will be the Canada we want. Find the FVC chapter nearest you to find out what you can do to help.
Together we can make the real Canada something we can be proud of …instead of what we have now.
Canada’s Colours are Red and White
Do red poppies drive help Canadians remember war or do they drive us to it?
Originally red poppy…
Email The Senate Tonight
Tomorrow morning, Conservative Senators are expected to be “whipped” to vote for a motion to…
I snapped this photo of Wayne Smith at an electoral reform debate and then I discovered his words in a comment on a blog. This quotation so nicely summed up why I think Fair Vote Canada is so important.
“Democracy is NOT about picking winners and losers. You are thinking of sports, or perhaps capitalism. Democracy is about working together to accomplish more than we can do as individuals. It is about bringing all stakeholders to the table so everyone can get what they need. When democracy functions as it should, we are all winners. For that, you need a fair voting system”
Wayne Smith, Executive Director, Fair Vote Canada
Canada … Imagine 308 petitions for proportional representation … from 308 ridings …
The #denounceHarper conversation in Twitter is a case of citizen journalism, but its also people, Canadians, from all across the length and breadth of this nation, sharing our anger and frustration at the autocratic way Canada is being run by the Harper Government.
Although Canada supposes itself to be a democracy, the system we have isn’t very democratic, particularly today. It hasn’t been modernized since it was established, back before Confederation. Any checks and balances it had have since been worn away… some have atrophied, others have been compromised by various governments gaming the system.
The thing is, even if we vote Harper out, the same thing will just keep happening. It is more imperative than ever that we fix it, and fast. Because Canada can’t keep this up.
Check it out; if you agree, I hope you’ll be able to sign the petition, spread the word, and maybe even circulate your own.
Thanks for caring, Canada!