What was the best moment in Canadian democracy in 2010?

On Friday the folks at Samara, a charitable organization dealing in citizen engagement, released the results of a poll they launched back in December. Samara asked their blog readers to name “the best moment in Canadian democracy in 2010,” trimming the responses they received down to five that they put to a vote.

The top response, and the best moment in Canadian democracy last year, was the anti-prorogation rallies in January, which received 36.6 percent of the vote.

The rallies were followed by the Milliken ruling on Parliament’s right to access documents on Afghan detainees (23.0 percent); the election of Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi as Canada’s first Muslim mayor (21.1 percent); the anti-HST petition in BC (11.8 percent); and the debate over the long-form census (6.8 percent).

“Love or hate the result,” blogger Alison Loat noted, “together the moments do indicate that growing political apathy has not totally defeated citizens’ engagement in this country, particularly if a government decision annoys them. They also point to the growing importance of social media in our democracy, a trend that may point to even more civic participation in years to come.”

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3 Responses to “What was the best moment in Canadian democracy in 2010?”

  1. kate says:

    So, the best moment in Canadian democracy last year was a protest that had no impact whatsoever on what our government did?

    i was there, we where peaceful, we sang songs, we got on the CBC.

    we where totally ignored.

  2. lexomatic says:

    I almost feel like the g20 could be best/worst.
    there’s so much to choose from for the worst of 2010 though

  3. Matt says:

    It’s important to note that the folks at Samara were deliberately ambiguous about what “best” is supposed to mean; they came right out and said that it’s “as you determine it to be.” I guess the same goes for the meaning of “worst” as well, to the extent that anyone disagrees with the results – as people have here, and as people were bound to do.

    Kate, if you’re still following, can you think of a moment you’d consider a better one?

    The rallies were frustrating for many of the people involved, I’m sure. But I think it’s important to note that the effect of a rally often extends beyond the intended action. They may not have stopped the second annual prorogation – and to be blunt, how often does a protest actually achieve the thing it explicitly sets out to do, assuming anyone’s even articulated a specific goal?

    What the rallies did do, I like to think, was illustrate that there was a large portion of the population that had quickly gotten sick of Harper’s… I wish I had a better word than antics, but there you go. And I do think that plenty of people on the hill took notice of that, cynically or otherwise.