Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Uphill Battle to Save Democracy in Canada

At the risk of appearing tiresomely repetitive, I am posting once again on the problem of political disengagement. The fact that only about 30% of Canadians bother to follow politics, as if it is a sphere of activity totally separate from the lives they live, is troubling, and one that is being regularly exploited by the Harper regime.

In today's Star, columnist Bob Hepburn writes about The uphill battle to save democracy in Canada, pointing out the two main obstacles to achieving that objective: both the isolation and transitory nature of groups that try to promote democratic renewal, and the blind eye that the Harper government turns to every and all complaints.

About the latter, Hepburn writes:

Their (the general public) letters are ignored or receive innocuous replies, backbench MPs dismiss them as cranks, media commentators pay no attention to their petitions, and apathetic friends and neighbours tell them they’re crazy to think they can change the political culture in Ottawa.

He adds,

That’s just the way Harper wants it. Although he initially vowed to increase government accountability, he has shown zero interest in improving our democratic institutions since coming to power six years ago.

He seems convinced he can get away with it because only about 30 per cent of Canadians regularly follow politics and public policy issues. The rest of us are either turned off, fed up or have given up. Harper is counting on that indifference to continue through the next election.

I hope you will read the entire piece and send an article link to those you feel might benefit from it.

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