04w26:1 The Canadian Election

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 26 number 1 (the canadian election)

Outdated democracy: We vote, they rule | Don Tapscott
“Our country’s governing model is best described as broadcast democracy. Politicians broadcast to us — initially in campaigns — through ads and TV sound bites. We get to vote. Then they broadcast to us for four more years and we get to do it again. There is no real engagement in the important decisions that affect our lives. This division of labour — we vote, they rule –dates back to Confederation. Our ancestors didn’t have the education, time, resources or communication tools to participate in the governing process. The system worked only because public-policy issues were simple and evolved at a horse-and-buggy pace. No more. Many unforeseen issues arise between elections, and it’s not credible for the government to assert that it has a voter mandate to take specific action. Moreover, governments lack sufficient in-house policy expertise on many issues. So even if a government commissions an opinion poll to discern the public’s view, the polling process doesn’t tap into the wisdom and insight that a nation’s citizens can collectively offer. With technologies such as the Internet, we can resurrect Pierre Trudeau’s vision of ‘participatory democracy,’ but this time, actually make it happen. Citizens could become involved, learning from each other, taking responsibility for their communities and country, learning from and influencing elected officials and vice versa. “

Grow up and Vote | Globe and Mail Editorial
“Why? Some observers say political parties aren’t addressing the issues that young people care about. Others say the young find today’s politics too partisan. Still others say the domination of one or two big parties is alienating the young, and suggest a new voting system to help smaller parties. But there’s another possibility. Perhaps young people are simply too self-absorbed to bother. […] The options for voters in this election are so varied they make the head spin. On the left, the NDP’s fresh, vigorous new leader, Jack Layton, threatens to slap an inheritance tax on the rich. On the right, the brainy new leader of the united right wants to reduce taxes to U.S. levels and below. For environmentalists, the relaunched Green Party promises to decriminalize industrial hemp production and ban the export of raw logs. For those who like things as they are, the Liberals vow to stay the course. If you live in Quebec, you can even vote for a party that wants to break up the country. […] All excuses aside, there is simply no good reason for young people like him to stand on the sidelines during election time. Their stake in who governs the country after June 28 is as great as that of any other group of Canadians, and their duty as citizens no less. Rather than strike a pose of aloof detachment, Mr. Powell should grow up, get with it and get out to vote. “

Fuck the Vote | kube
“You could argue that the act of casting your vote means that you have voiced your opinion and that voting is a mode of expression. My argument is that a ballot is a weak form of expression. Who sees that opinion? No one knows who I voted for unless I tell them. It’s dropped in a sealed box. It’s just another tally mark in the end. I can voice/speak my opinion on a website and have thousands of people view it in a single day. “

Better days ahead | Garnet Fraser
“You might have noticed a certain demographic trend in your crowds on the campaign trail: A lot more hearing aids than iPods, more walkers than nose rings. That Canadians under 30 don’t vote is common knowledge: Only a quarter of eligible voters under 25 bothered in 2000, and less than 40 per cent of those 25 to 29. Yet youthful vigour and excitement is the image each of you strives to project and surround himself with. Despite your best efforts to remain hip to the kids, here’s the bad news: They’re pretty sure they don’t need you.”

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emailed by Timothy on Tuesday 22 June 2004 @ 4:10 PM

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