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CBC Asks: Is politics broken? The 'Team Yes' argument

03/23/2015 10:49 EDT | Updated 05/23/2015 05:59 EDT
Politics may be a messy business, but does it work?

In the lead-up to the 2015 federal election, three public policy thinkers say no.

This Wednesday, CBC News convenes a live debate on the question: "Is Politics Broken?"

Representing Team Yes, arguing that the current political process is no longer the most effective way to enact real change, will be political columnist Andrew Coyne; Alison Loat, executive director of Samara Canada; and community organizer and speaker Dave Meslin.

The Yes panelists laid out some of their reasons in writing before Wednesday's live debate, which will be moderated by CBC Chief Correspondent Peter Mansbridge.

Loat, who teaches at the University of Toronto's School of Public Policy and Governance, believes "the political process now repels more citizens than it attracts."

The non-partisan charity she co-founded, Samara, releases its Democracy 360 report card on March 25, and calls for a cultural shift towards "everyday democracy."

'Idealistic and inspired youth'

Meslin, whose TED talk, The Antidote to Apathy, has been viewed over 1.4 million times online, believes the Occupy movement was a telling example of where today's youth believe "real power" lies.

"Rather than targeting government as an effective path toward change, these idealistic and inspired youth descended on the financial district of New York City," Meslin writes, calling it a "sad reflection on our current political state."

Tickets to Wednesday's debate, which begins at 7 p.m. ET at the CBC Broadcast Centre, are free and open to the public. The event will also be streamed live on CBCNews.ca, and Canadians can engage in the conversation using the hashtag #CBCAsks.

Two teams of three debaters will argue a motion moderated by Mansbridge. The audience will vote on the motion before and after the debate, and the team that is able to sway more voters to their side wins.

Check back tomorrow for Team No's argument from debate panelists Sheila Copps, Aisha Moodie-Mills and Monte Solberg.

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