After the Canadian Party

Canadian politics is interesting at the moment. No, really it is. It’s uncertain whether the recently elected minority Conservative Government will last more than a few months and the Liberal Party have just set out to find a new leader as Paul Martin resigned at the weekend. Everything is in flux, so there are lots of debates and scandals for the media to follow, but I’ve been here talking about why none of this really matters because beneath the surface, democracy itself is in trouble.

It follows on from the work Tom and I did about the decline of political parties for the FT and I’ve also been talking about the recent Power Inquiry in the UK. More than one person here has said they think Canada needs its own Power Inquiry as the problems are very similar. My line has been that it’s time to look outside formal politics for ways to revitalise democracy. I’m looking for examples of Do-it-yourself Democracy and I’m not having any trouble finding some fascinating projects.

What I’ve been saying tends to split people in a similar way to the UK. Politicians get defensive while everybody else says yes, they’re much more likely to get involved in politics outside of voting or joining a party and they’d love to know more about how to do this effectively.

I recorded an interview about all this for The Current, CBC’s flagship current affairs program with Anna Maria Tremonti which will go out tomorrow at 08.30 EST and be available on the web afterwards.

Update: the interview is archived here (scroll down to part three).

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