Taking the first step toward the possible (like Transit City, for example)

, December 11, 2010

Instead of just dealing with democratic theory today, let’s return to The Art of the Possible, a book I discussed in an earlier post or two. The first chapter, entitled “Where Do You Start? Taking the First Step,” seems like as good a place to begin as any. “How do you get over that initial […]


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First past the post, frustrated voters, and the lowest common denominator

, November 20, 2010

Last week, after making a big speech about the importance of creating a schedule for certain blog posts and sticking to it, I totally failed to write about democracy when Saturday rolled around. I made up for it this week by talking about the House and Senate a bunch of times, but that’s not really […]


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“Yet another setback to any kind of progress on climate change”

, November 19, 2010

Liberal senator Grant Mitchell has posted some strong words on his blog about the Bill C-311 debacle, which hit the news on Wednesday and was hotly debated yesterday. “The defeat of the bill by Conservative Senators, against the will of elected Members of Parliament, is yet another setback to any kind of progress on climate […]


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A great time for sober second thoughts

, November 18, 2010

Stephen Harper made an excellent point back in 2006, when he warned us all about the dangers of an appointed Senate that could “interfere with the democratic will of the elected House.” And earlier this week, he finally got the chance to prove his point – by directing his own appointed senators to do the […]


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Unelected Conservative senators have killed a climate change bill passed by the House

, November 17, 2010

“The Conservatives have used their clout in the Senate stacked by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to kill an NDP climate change bill that was passed by a majority of the House of Commons,” according to an item published today by the Globe and Mail. “Without any debate in the Red Chamber,” the story continues, “Conservative […]


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How not to write a democratic manifesto

, November 6, 2010

“Everywhere we are ruled by the Few. Everywhere, inside and outside of formal government, the social, economic, and political decisions of the few – made in the shortsighted, self interest of the Few – shape our lives and our deaths. This is the way it has almost always been. But now, in the 21st century, […]


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Instant runoff voting, as explained by Nirvana’s bass player

, October 30, 2010

Let’s get back to talking about democracy by turning to Krist Novoselic, who’s an interesting dude to say the least. Although he first made a name for himself by playing bass in one of the most vital bands in history, he went on to become rather active in Washington State politics, particularly as an advocate […]


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“Our political system is incredibly accessible”

, September 14, 2010

I mentioned a book called The Art of the Possible by one Amanda Sussman in a previous post. Picking up from where I left off, I’d like to share another passage from the book, simply because it’s as highly relevant now as ever. “The notion that our government is open only to a few is […]


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Direct and representative democracies (and their competition)

, August 30, 2010

If you head a few blocks south from my office in Toronto, you’ll get to City Hall. If you head a few blocks west, you’ll get to Queen’s Park. For those of you from out of town, the former’s obviously home to my municipal representatives, and the latter’s home to my provincial representatives. The missing […]


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The institutional rejection of undesirable voters

, August 21, 2010

I’d like to follow up on a recent post with another excerpt from A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, the latest book from Michael J. Fox: “TV talking heads proclaim every election cycle that pollster data predict apathy among college-age voters,” Fox argues. “Young voters have heard over and over again […]


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