Canada Democracy

The Government Needs to Get Serious About GMOs

Rachel Parent | Posted 08.25.2014 | Canada Politics
Rachel Parent

As you may already know, I've been on a mission to meet Canada's Health Minister, Rona Ambrose in person to discuss the important and urgent issue of GMO labeling. To date, I've sent her three letters via courier, and received absolutely no response. Below is the third letter that I sent her.

Free Trade Agreements Attack Democracy And Human Rights

Michaël Lessard | Posted 08.25.2014 | Canada Business
Michaël Lessard

At the Peoples Social Forum, six representatives of prominent civil organizations were heard. These organizations consider that the agreement does not seek to improve trade between countries, but instead are give new special rights to corporations, which undermine the democratic rights of peoples.

How Tories Bully Charities and Abuse Power

Gareth Kirkby | Posted 07.16.2014 | Canada Politics
Gareth Kirkby

Canadian charities are experiencing an "advocacy chill" and changing the way they go about their work as a result of what they say is "bullying" by the Harper Conservative government. My just completed Master's thesis research finds that the denunciatory rhetoric of government ministers against charities, followed by stepped up audits is having its toll not only on charity operations, but also on the strength of Canada's public discussions and thus on the vigor of democracy itself.

Can Surrey Learn From A British System Of Local Government?

Alex Sangha | Posted 08.23.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Alex Sangha

Democracy and governance in Surrey is essentially at a crisis. It is not very responsive to the needs of the citizens and the system is becoming less and less accessible for the average citizen. So what is a potential solution.

Harper's Pipeline Decision Is a Blow to Democracy

David Suzuki | Posted 08.18.2014 | Canada Politics
David Suzuki

A pipeline to carry diluent from the coast to the tar sands to dilute bitumen that would then be carried back to the coast in another pipeline for export to world markets in supertankers does not have a "sufficiently direct connection" to the tar sands? And the impacts of the tar sands and its products on climate are not relevant to the project that makes these impacts possible? What the hell? This project should never go ahead.

Why Is Question Period Full of Fifth Graders?

Will Braun | Posted 08.11.2014 | Canada
Will Braun

Why can't the premier and the leader of the opposition demand that their MLAs refrain from heckling, name-calling, inane repetition and unnecessarily charged language? That would at least bring them up to the level of civility expected in any fifth grade classroom. Maybe we can turn question period into something worthy of attendance.

The Fourth Revolution: A Good Read

Diane Francis | Posted 08.08.2014 | Canada
Diane Francis

"The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State" by Economist Editor in Chief John Micklethwaite and Economist Managing Editor Adrian Wo...

Norway Celebrates 200 Years of Democracy

Mona Elisabeth Brother | Posted 07.15.2014 | Canada Politics
Mona Elisabeth Brother

In Norway, 1814 is known by many as "The Year of Miracles" because of the huge national and political changes that suddenly and rapidly took place that year. 1814 is the starting point for modern Norwegian democracy. It had both a national and a democratic element: independence for the state of Norway and liberty for Norwegian citizens

Let's Shake Up Civic Elections, Starting With Surrey

Alex Sangha | Posted 07.06.2014 | Canada British Columbia
Alex Sangha

Now that the civic election is coming up, I would like to propose electoral reform of local government for big cities in British Columbia, especially my hometown of Surrey. It's the ideal place for a mixed "at-large" and "ward system" of electing city councillors and the mayor.

Which MPs Have Your Back When it Comes to Privacy?

David Christopher | Posted 07.04.2014 | Canada Politics
David Christopher

On Monday afternoon, the government's reckless online spying Bill C-13 came a small step closer to becoming the law of the land. It didn't get through without a lively debate which saw many MPs speak out strongly about how Bill C-13 would enable a wide range of government authorities to spy on the private lives of Canadians.

The Spring Of Our Discontent

Ranjani Iyer Mohanty | Posted 07.01.2014 | Canada
Ranjani Iyer Mohanty

The epic task is well underway. The first week it happened in Kerala, Haryana, and some of Assam. The second week it happened in Karnataka and parts...

'Fair' Elections Act Changes Don't Go Far Enough

Duff Conacher | Posted 06.28.2014 | Canada Politics
Duff Conacher

The federal Conservatives are finally backing off on some of the measures in their proposed so-called "Fair Elections Act" (Bill C-23). Minister for Democratic Reform Poilievre is trying to claim he has listened with an open mind, but this is yet another misleading spin statement from him about the bill. The truth is much more that playing games with democratic voting issues was hurting the Conservatives with their soft supporters, and with swing voters, and they realized they would only recover by compromising.

Squamish on the Precipice: Saying 'No' to LNG

G. Elijah Dann | Posted 06.18.2014 | Canada British Columbia
G. Elijah Dann

We were told how other towns that accepted this industrial turn now look. It's not pretty. "Drive through some of those towns," we were told. See for yourselves what industry has delivered. Smell the air. Look around. See what these oil and gas facilities have done to communities.

Canada Loves Fair Elections, Just Not For First Nations

Ravina Bains | Posted 06.16.2014 | Canada Politics
Ravina Bains

As international champions of democracy and with so much debate over federal election reforms, how would you expect our elected officials to react when democratic rights are being stifled in First Nations communities in Canada? Unfortunately, in recent weeks, they've responded with neglect and evasion.

When "Freedom" and "Democracy" Are Euphemisms for Evil

Mark Taliano | Posted 06.13.2014 | Canada Business
Mark Taliano

Once freed from the devastating tentacles of the transnational monopolies, Canadians will realize that it's time to call 911 on the corporatocracy. We might then recapture real democracy and freedom, rather than settle for their bankrupt facsimiles.

Why a Non-Voter Is Likely To Become a Habitual Non-Voter

David McLaughlin | Posted 06.01.2014 | Canada Politics
David McLaughlin

A citizen-based view of elections takes the view that voter participation independent of party is an important democratic goal in itself. That our democracy is healthier and stronger if more citizens exercised their right to vote habitually. Only one player in the electoral process has this interest at its core, and that is the independent, non-partisan Chief Electoral Officer.

Want to Vote as an Anglophone Student in Quebec? Good Luck

Ilia Blinderman | Posted 05.31.2014 | Canada Politics
Ilia Blinderman

Several students were able to register following initial rejection by returning and speaking to different revisors or to their supervisors. This eventual success, however, underscores the fact that that when insufficient linguistic precision is coupled with haphazard revisor training, registration becomes subservient to bureaucratic fickleness; that is to say, it degenerates into a crapshoot.

Fair Elections Are a Matter of Morality

Joe Gunn | Posted 05.28.2014 | Canada Politics
Joe Gunn

Free and fair votes are the basis of any truly democratic system, something people of faith have a long history of promoting. Yet Christians in Canada have been relatively silent on some of the details. If our approach to politics is rooted in love of neighbour, we will recognize that these issues have moral implications and are worthy of periodic review and revision.

The Fair Elections Act Isn't Fair For Everyone

Qais Ghanem, MD | Posted 05.26.2014 | Canada Politics
Qais Ghanem, MD

The most troubling concern about the Fair Elections Act is the restriction it will impose on our voting rights. In the past, the Voter Identification Card (VIC) used to be a legitimate and sufficient identification of voters, which is what happened in the last election with 120,000 citizens. Potential voters will need additional evidence of identity such as a driver's license or an address on a utility bill, items which some citizens do not have. Vouching, used in the past, will also be eliminated. The net result is that many young students, the unemployed, the homeless and First Nations Canadians will not be able to vote.

Parliament is Beautiful From the Outside, and a Sham Inside

Glen Pearson | Posted 05.12.2014 | Canada Politics
Glen Pearson

I recall moving up those grand steps of Parliament for the first time following my election and the sense of responsibility that suddenly seemed to descend onto my shoulders. But nothing had quite prepared me for the crudeness of human behaviour that I witnessed.

The West Should Butt Out of Ukrainian Politics

Jackson Doughart | Posted 05.05.2014 | Canada Politics
Jackson Doughart

The West, and especially the English-speaking West, has wrongly taken sides in the present conflict in Ukraine. Instead of making empty promises or threats, our message should be clear and decisive: "What is happening in Ukraine is a matter that its population has to sort out for itself. But, if asked, we will work with all interested parties to mediate a speedy and peaceful resolution." No more, no less.

Having Difficult Conversations With Kids

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 04.07.2014 | Canada Living
Danielle S. McLaughlin

If parents and teachers want their children to grow up to be fine people and citizens of the world, the kind of people who make a difference, we need to be fearless. We need to engage our children in very difficult conversations. You know what I mean, the conversations we all dread.

Harper's Politics Serve Politicians, Not Canadians

Glen Pearson | Posted 04.07.2014 | Canada Politics
Glen Pearson

Poet, Anatole France, once observed that, "it is the certainty that they possess the truth that makes men cruel." He could just as easily be commenting on two recent actions of our present federal government that fly directly in the face of what is supposed to be good politics: giving the people what they want. How else to explain the undue harshness against this country's veterans, or the outright attack and manipulation in the Harper government's attempts to revamp Elections Canada to its own purposes? What makes both of these instances so remarkable is the sheer arrogance of a government acting against the best interests of its own people.

Israel: The Defining Speech of Harper's Career

Mitch Wolfe | Posted 03.23.2014 | Canada
Mitch Wolfe

Prime Minster Stephen Harper made a historic speech before the Israeli Knesset. I predict it will be considered Harper's greatest and most memorable of his political career and one of the most memorable speeches given by any Canadian prime minister domestically and internationally.

Be a Resolutionary -- and Help Your Kid Be One Too

Danielle S. McLaughlin | Posted 03.07.2014 | Canada Living
Danielle S. McLaughlin

I like to call us resolutionaries. We are the people who have the best intentions and make great plans for the year to come. We will quit our bad habits and develop new and healthy ones. Today, we are sending our children back to school for the first week of 2014. Let's make a resolution to help them develop healthy habits -- and stick to those new habits.